Subscribe to R&D Magazine News

The Lead

Tiny wires could provide a big energy boost

July 7, 2015 | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | Comments

Yarns of niobium nanowire can make supercapacitors to provide a surge of energy when it’s needed.

View Sample

FREE Email Newsletter

R&D Daily

A new technique to make drugs more soluble

August 27, 2015 7:00 pm | by Leah Burrows, Harvard Univ. | Comments

Before Ibuprofen can relieve your headache, it has to dissolve in your bloodstream. The problem is Ibuprofen, in its native form, isn't particularly soluble. Its rigid, crystalline structures make it hard to dissolve in the bloodstream. To overcome this, manufacturers use chemical additives to increase the solubility of Ibuprofen and many other drugs, but those additives also increase cost and complexity.


Soaking up carbon dioxide and turning it into valuable products

August 27, 2015 6:00 pm | by Lynn Yarris, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

A molecular system that holds great promise for the capture and storage of carbon dioxide has been modified so that it now also holds great promise as a catalyst for converting captured carbon dioxide into valuable chemical products. Researchers with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have incorporated molecules of carbon dioxide reduction catalysts into the sponge-like crystals of covalent organic frameworks (COFs).


Interstellar seeds could create oases of life

August 27, 2015 5:00 pm | by Christine Pulliam, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | Comments

We only have one example of a planet with life: Earth. But within the next generation, it should become possible to detect signs of life on planets orbiting distant stars. If we find alien life, new questions will arise. For example, did that life arise spontaneously? Or could it have spread from elsewhere? If life crossed the vast gulf of interstellar space long ago, how would we tell?


“Brainbow” reveals surprising data about visual connections in brain

August 27, 2015 4:00 pm | by Virginia Tech | Comments

Neuroscientists know that some connections in the brain are pruned through neural development. Function gives rise to structure, according to the textbooks. But scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have discovered that the textbooks might be wrong.


Cell mechanics: More complex than previously thought

August 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Academy of Finland | Comments

Cell mechanics are considerably more complex than previously thought and may affect cell structures at various levels. This finding is based on a collaborative research project conducted by an international research team from ETH Zurich and Univ. of Tampere, involving Teemu Ihalainen, a postdoctoral researcher at the Academy of Finland.


Successful boron-doping of graphene nanoribbon

August 27, 2015 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Basel | Comments

Physicists at the Univ. of Basel succeed in synthesizing boron-doped graphene nanoribbons and characterizing their structural, electronic and chemical properties. The modified material could potentially be used as a sensor for the ecologically damaging nitrogen oxides, scientists report in Nature Communications.


Turning alcohols into alkylating agents

August 27, 2015 1:00 pm | by Princeton Univ. | Comments

Researchers at Princeton Univ. have developed a dual catalyst system that directly installs alkyl groups onto compounds called heteroarenes. The new reaction uses simple and abundant alcohols and offers a milder and more widely applicable alternative to existing strategies.


Colorful potatoes may pack powerful cancer prevention punch

August 27, 2015 11:00 am | by Matt Swayne, Penn State Univ. | Comments

Compounds found in purple potatoes may help kill colon cancer stem cells and limit the spread of the cancer, according to a team of researchers. Baked purple-fleshed potatoes suppressed the growth of colon cancer tumors in petri dishes and in mice by targeting the cancer's stem cells.


Capture sunlight with your window

August 27, 2015 9:30 am | by Nancy Ambrosiano, Los Alamos National Laboratory | Comments

A luminescent solar concentrator is an emerging sunlight harvesting technology that has the potential to disrupt the way we think about energy: It could turn any window into a daytime power source.


New catalyst may hasten commercialization of fuel cell vehicles

August 27, 2015 9:00 am | by Vic Comello, Argonne National Laboratory | Comments

Scientists have developed a new fuel cell catalyst using earthly abundant materials with performance that is comparable to platinum in laboratory tests. If commercially viable, the new catalyst could replace platinum in electric cars powered by fuel cells instead of batteries, which would greatly extend the range of electric vehicles and eliminate the need for recharging.


Modified bacteria become a multicellular circuit

August 27, 2015 8:00 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | Comments

Rice Univ. scientists have made a living circuit from multiple types of bacteria that prompts the bacteria to cooperate to change protein expression. The subject of a new paper in Science, the project represents the first time the Rice researchers have created a biological equivalent to a computer circuit that involves multiple organisms to influence a population.


Intensity of desert storms may affect ocean phytoplankton

August 27, 2015 7:30 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | Comments

Each spring, powerful dust storms in the deserts of Mongolia and northern China send thick clouds of particles into the atmosphere. Eastward winds sweep these particles as far as the Pacific, where dust ultimately settles in the open ocean. This desert dust contains, among other minerals, iron, an essential nutrient for hundreds of species of phytoplankton that make up the ocean’s food base.


Making grilling more environmentally friendly

August 27, 2015 7:06 am | by American Chemical Society | Comments

Summertime is waning, and that means the end of backyard barbecues is almost upon us. That also means an end to dousing charcoal briquettes with lighter fluid. Reducing the use of lighter fluid might not be a bad thing, as many of those products are made from crude oil and emit potentially harmful compounds when lit. Now, researchers report they developed a waste-paper-based, environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative.


ORNL chemical sampling interface features simplicity, speed

August 26, 2015 5:30 pm | by Ron Walli, Oak Ridge National Laboratory | Comments

In mere seconds, a system developed at Oak Ridge National Laborator can identify and characterize a solid or liquid sample, providing a valuable tool with applications in material science, forensics, pharmaceuticals, biology and chemistry.


Cellular contamination pathway for heavy elements identified

August 26, 2015 4:30 pm | by Julie Chao, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have reported a major advance in understanding the biological chemistry of radioactive metals, opening up new avenues of research into strategies for remedial action in the event of possible human exposure to nuclear contaminants.



You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.