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3-D Printing Blasts Off

March 6, 2015 | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Videos | Comments

3-D printing isn’t just a commodity on Earth, it’s now also a commodity in space. In November 2014, the first 3-D printer in space created its first object, albeit self-fulfilling, a replacement faceplate for the printer’s casing that holds its internal wiring in place.

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Black-hole wind linked to galactic gush of star-forming gas

March 26, 2015 8:33 am | by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Videos Comments

By combining observations from the Japan-led Suzaku x-ray satellite and the European Space Agency's infrared Herschel Space Observatory, scientists have connected a fierce "wind" produced near a galaxy's monster black hole to an outward torrent of cold gas a thousand light-years across. The finding validates a long-suspected feedback mechanism enabling a supermassive black hole to influence the evolution of its host galaxy.

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Manufacturing process could yield better solar cells, faster chips

March 25, 2015 10:57 am | by Tom Abate, Stanford Engineering Videos Comments

Computer chips, solar cells and other electronic devices have traditionally been based on silicon, the most famous of the semiconductors, that special class of materials whose unique electronic properties can be manipulated to turn electricity on and off the way faucets control the flow of water. There are other semiconductors. Gallium arsenide is one such material and it has certain technical advantages over silicon.

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Best look yet at “warm dense matter” at cores of giant planets

March 25, 2015 8:30 am | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Videos Comments

In an experiment at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists precisely measured the temperature and structure of aluminum as it transitions into a superhot, highly compressed concoction known as “warm dense matter.” Warm dense matter is the stuff believed to be at the cores of giant gas planets in our solar system and some of the newly observed “exoplanets” that orbit distant suns.

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Turn the light on

March 25, 2015 8:06 am | by Lynn Yarris, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Videos Comments

In the on-going search for a better understanding of how the brain and central nervous system develop, a potentially powerful new tool could soon be available. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have discovered a light-sensitive opsin protein that plays a surprising and possibly critical role in neuron maturation and circuit formation.

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Light as a puppeteer

March 18, 2015 9:24 am | by Laura Petersen, OIST Videos Comments

Researchers at the OIST have demonstrated a more robust method for controlling single, micron-sized particles with light. Passing light along optical microfibers or nanofibers to manipulate particles has gained popularity in the past decade and has an array of promising applications in physics and biology. Most research has focused on using this technique with the basic profile of light.

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Minimal device maximizes macula imaging

March 18, 2015 7:49 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. Videos Comments

A smart and simple method developed at Rice Univ. to image a patient’s eye could help monitor eye health and spot signs of macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, especially in developing nations. The patient-operated, portable device invented at Rice is called mobileVision. It can be paired with a smartphone to give clinicians finely detailed images of the macula, without artificially dilating the pupil.

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Graphene membrane could lead to better fuel cells, water filters

March 17, 2015 12:32 pm | by Walt Miss, Penn State Univ. Videos Comments

An atomically thin membrane with microscopically small holes may prove to be the basis for future hydrogen fuel cells, water filtering and desalination membranes, according to a group of 15 theorists and experimentalists. The team tested the possibility of using graphene as a separation membrane in water and found that naturally occurring defects allowed hydrogen protons to cross the barrier at unprecedented speeds.

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Researchers collaborate to develop revolutionary 3D printing technology

March 17, 2015 10:30 am | by Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Videos Comments

A 3D printing technology developed by Silicon Valley startup, Carbon3D Inc., enables objects to rise from a liquid media continuously rather than being built layer-by-layer as they have been for the past 25 years, representing a fundamentally new approach to 3D printing. The technology allows ready-to-use products to be made 25 to 100 times faster than other methods.

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Maps predict strength of structures

March 16, 2015 7:36 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. Videos Comments

Mother-of-pearl, the iridescent layer in the shells of some mollusks, inspired a Rice Univ. study that will help scientists and engineers judge the ultimate strength, stiffness and toughness of composite materials for anything from nanoscale electronics to buildings.

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Necklace can help track food intake

March 13, 2015 11:05 am | by Bill Kisliuk, Univ. of California, Los Angeles Videos Comments

A sophisticated necklace developed by researchers at the Univ. of California, Los Angeles, can monitor food and drink intake, which could help wearers track and improve their dietary habits. The inventors of the WearSens device say it could help battle obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other problems related to nutrition.

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Magnetic brain stimulation

March 13, 2015 7:54 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office Videos Comments

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a method to stimulate brain tissue using external magnetic fields and injected magnetic nanoparticles: a technique allowing direct stimulation of neurons, which could be an effective treatment for a variety of neurological diseases, without the need for implants or external connections.

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Cheap Lamp Key to Energy Storage

March 9, 2015 8:00 am | by Univ. of British Columbia Videos Comments

Researchers wanted to find a better way to make coatings that can be painted onto surfaces to conduct electricity or convert electricity into hydrogen fuels. Instead, they found a new way to make state-of-the-art materials for energy storage using a cheap lamp from the hardware store.

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Pens filled with high-tech inks for DIY sensors

March 3, 2015 9:06 am | by Ioana Patringenaru, Jacobs School of Engineering Videos Comments

A new simple tool developed by nanoengineers at the Univ. of California, San Diego, is opening the door to an era when anyone will be able to build sensors, anywhere. The team developed high-tech bio-inks that react with several chemicals, including glucose. They filled off-the-shelf ballpoint pens with the inks and were able to draw sensors to measure glucose directly on the skin and sensors to measure pollution on leaves.

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First ever photograph of light as both a particle and wave

March 2, 2015 8:34 am | by EPFL Videos Comments

Light behaves both as a particle and as a wave. Since the days of Einstein, scientists have been trying to directly observe both of these aspects of light at the same time. Now, scientists at EPFL have succeeded in capturing the first-ever snapshot of this dual behavior.

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Electrochemical “fingers” unlock battery’s inner potential

February 27, 2015 8:18 am | by Justin Eure, Brookhaven National Laboratory Videos Comments

Lithium-ion batteries unleash electricity as electrochemical reactions spread through active materials. Manipulating this complex process and driving the reactions into the energy-rich heart of each part of these active materials is crucial to optimizing the power output and ultimate energy capacity of these batteries. Now, scientists have mapped these atomic-scale reaction pathways and linked them to the battery’s rate of discharge.

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