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All-natural sunscreen derived from algae

July 29, 2015 9:50 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

For consumers searching for just the right sunblock this summer, the options can be overwhelming. But scientists are now turning to the natural sunscreen of algae—which is also found in fish slime—to make a novel kind of shield against the sun’s rays that could protect not only people, but also textiles and outdoor materials.

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Grains of rice hold big promise for greenhouse gas reductions

July 29, 2015 9:30 am | by Dawn Zimmerman, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | News | Comments

Rice serves as the staple food for more than half of the world's population, but it's also the one of the largest manmade sources of atmospheric methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Now, with the addition of a single gene, rice can be cultivated to emit virtually no methane from its paddies during growth. It also packs much more of the plant's desired properties, such as starch for a richer food source and biomass for energy production.

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Making the new silicon

July 29, 2015 9:15 am | by Rob Matheson, MIT News Office | News | Comments

An exotic material called gallium nitride (GaN) is poised to become the next semiconductor for power electronics, enabling much higher efficiency than silicon. In 2013, the U.S. Dept. of Energy dedicated approximately half of a $140 million research institute for power electronics to GaN research, citing its potential to reduce worldwide energy consumption.

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Microsoft Needs a “Splash” with Windows 10

July 29, 2015 8:50 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

Global rollouts of Microsoft’s new operating system (OS) Windows 10 begin at midnight and, with the release, the company is “opting for significance over stability,” according to Kevin Paul Scott, co-founder of brand consulting firm ADDO Worldwide.

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New chemistry makes strong bonds weak

July 29, 2015 8:30 am | by Tien Nguyen, Princeton Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers at Princeton Univ. have developed a new chemical reaction that breaks the strongest bond in a molecule instead of the weakest, completely reversing the norm for reactions in which bonds are evenly split to form reactive intermediates.

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Combined Orthogonal Mobility & Mass Evaluation Technology (CoMet): A Triple S Approach

July 29, 2015 8:00 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Articles | Comments

Every Wednesday, R&D Magazine will feature a R&D 100 Flashback, chosen from our R&D 100 roster of past winners who have presented an innovative technology or product. This week’s flashback is Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Combined Orthogonal Mobility & Mass Evaluation Technology (CoMet), which won in 2013.

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Brain disorder center's closing sends ripples nationwide

July 28, 2015 8:00 pm | by Kathleen Ronayne, Associated Press | News | Comments

As a New Hampshire facility for people with brain injuries and developmental disabilities prepares to close after months of scrutiny over allegations of abuse, the families of the people who live there are scrambling to find new placements for their loved ones. Just 10 people remain at Lakeview NeuroRehabilitation Center, an 88-bed facility near the Maine border.

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Twin discoveries, “eerie” effect may lead to manufacturing advances

July 28, 2015 7:45 pm | by Emil Venere, Purdue Univ. | Videos | Comments

The discovery of a previously unknown type of metal deformation, sinuous flow, and a method to suppress it could lead to more efficient machining and other manufacturing advances by reducing the force and energy required to process metals.  Researchers at Purdue Univ. discovered sinuous flow deformation and were surprised to find a potentially simple way to control it.

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Diffraction Grating

July 28, 2015 6:16 pm | by McPherson | McPherson | Product Releases | Comments

The new grating extends the efficient range of the McPherson Model 251MX for more sensitive spectral acquisition. With a digital camera and adjustable slits it now works from 1 to 100 nm (10 to 1500 eV). McPherson's SXR spectrometer, Model 251MX, is now available with improved efficiency over a wider range.

Short wavelength plasmons observed in nanotubes

July 28, 2015 6:15 pm | by Lynn Yarris, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

The term “plasmons” might sound like something from the soon-to-be-released new Star Wars movie, but the effects of plasmons have been known about for centuries. Plasmons are collective oscillations of conduction electrons (those loosely attached to molecules and atoms) that roll across the surfaces of metals while interacting with photons.

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AI Researchers Warn Against “Arms Race”

July 28, 2015 6:00 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

Stephen Hawking, Noam Chomsky, Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak are among the many signatories of a letter warning against the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and weapons, something the Future of Life Institute sees as feasible within years.

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The Top Three Reasons Why New Products Fail

July 28, 2015 4:00 pm | by Victor Covone | Articles | Comments

No one said launching a new product was easy. It requires a great idea, innovation, marketing, a competitive edge and, ultimately, getting others to care about the problem you’re trying to solve. This plays out weekly on Shark Tank—a flood of people enter the tank believing they have the next great idea.

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Quality Standards for Pharma

July 28, 2015 2:30 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Articles | Comments

When you go to your local Walmart, CVS or Wallgreens to pick up cold medicine (or any other health product), do you ever think of the quality of the product? More than likely you grab the product off the shelf and hurry home to remedy your illness or whatever health ailment you might face. Little do we think of the testing behind the medications prescribed to us that improve the quality of our lives.

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“Seeing” molecular interactions boosts organic electronics

July 28, 2015 2:00 pm | by Kyoto Univ. | News | Comments

Organic materials are increasingly being applied in cutting-edge technologies. Organic semiconductors, for example, are being used to develop paper-thin, plastic LED screens. Materials scientists need to understand the structures and physical properties of organic materials at the atomic level to optimize the efficiency and increase the life span of devices that incorporate them.

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Computer model could explain how simple molecules took first step toward life

July 28, 2015 1:30 pm | by Peter Genzer, Brookhaven National Laboratory | News | Comments

Nearly four billion years ago, the earliest precursors of life on Earth emerged. First small, simple molecules, or monomers, banded together to form larger, more complex molecules, or polymers. Then those polymers developed a mechanism that allowed them to self-replicate and pass their structure on to future generations.

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