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Atom-sized craters make a catalyst more active

November 24, 2015 1:00 pm | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | Comments

Bombarding and stretching an important industrial catalyst opens up tiny holes on its surface where atoms can attach and react, greatly increasing its activity as a promoter of chemical reactions, according to a study by scientists at Stanford Univ. and the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.


Researcher suggests storing solar energy underground for a cloudy day

November 24, 2015 11:00 am | by Dan Stober, Stanford Univ. | Comments

Over the last few years, Mark Jacobson, a Stanford professor of civil and environmental engineering, and his colleague, Mark Delucchi of the Univ. of California, Berkeley, have produced a series of plans, based on huge amounts of data churned through computer models, showing how each state in America could shift from fossil fuel to entirely renewable energy.


Tuberculosis: Daily antibiotics recommended to prevent resistant strains

November 24, 2015 10:00 am | by Kate McAlpine, Univ. of Michigan | Comments

A computer model of tuberculosis has shown that approved treatments prescribing antibiotic doses once or twice a week are more likely to lead to drug resistant strains than are daily antibiotic regimens. The finding, from a Univ. of Michigan study, could help inform the treatment of the roughly 10 million people worldwide who fall ill with tuberculosis each year.


Chemical design made easier

November 24, 2015 7:44 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | Comments

Rice Univ. scientists using an efficient metal-free process have synthesized dozens of small-molecule catalysts, tools that promise to speed the making of novel chemicals, including drugs. The lab of synthetic chemist László Kürti made elusive chiral biaryl compounds in a single-flask process that does not require the use of transition metals.


A new way to make x-rays

November 24, 2015 7:35 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | Comments

The most widely used technology for producing x-rays has remained essentially the same for more than a century. But based on a new analysis by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that might potentially change in the next few years.


Supercomputer simulations enhance understanding of protein motion, function

November 24, 2015 7:27 am | by Morgan McCorkle, Oak Ridge National Laboratory | Comments

Supercomputing simulations at Oak Ridge National Laboratory could change how researchers understand the internal motions of proteins that play functional, structural and regulatory roles in all living organisms.


An eagle-eye, real-time view of neural activity

November 24, 2015 7:20 am | by Ken Kingery, Duke Univ. | Comments

Researchers at Duke and Stanford Univs. have devised a way to watch the details of neurons at work, pretty much in real time. Every second of every day, the 100 billion neurons in your brain are capable of firing off a burst of electricity called an action potential up to 100 times per second.


Tandem solar cells are simply better

November 23, 2015 12:00 pm | by Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) | Comments

What's true for double-blade razors is also true for solar cells: two work steps are more thorough than one. Stacking two solar cells one on top of the other, where top cell is semi-transparent, which efficiently converts large energy photons into electricity, while the bottom cell converts the remaining or transmitted low energy photons in an optimum manner. This allows a larger portion of the light energy to be converted to electricity.


Nanomagnets: Creating order out of chaos

November 23, 2015 10:49 am | by Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf | Comments

Miniaturization is the magic word when it comes to nanomagnetic devices intended for use in new types of electronic components. Scientists  have proposed the use of ion beams for their fabrication. An ultra-fine beam consisting of around 10 neon ions suffices to bring several hundred atoms of an iron-aluminum alloy into disarray and thereby generate a nanomagnet embedded directly in the material.


Wireless sensor enables study of traumatic brain injury

November 23, 2015 10:37 am | by Emil Venere, Purdue Univ. | Comments

A new system that uses a wireless implant has been shown to record for the first time how brain tissue deforms when subjected to the kind of shock that causes blast-induced trauma commonly seen in combat veterans.


New detector perfect for asteroid mining

November 23, 2015 7:47 am | by David Salisbury, Vanderbilt Univ. | Comments

The grizzled asteroid miner is a stock character in science fiction. Now, a couple of recent events, one legal and the other technological, have brought asteroid mining a step closer to reality.


Electric fields remove nanoparticles from blood with ease

November 23, 2015 7:38 am | by Liezel Labios, Univ. of California, San Diego | Comments

Engineers at the Univ. of California, San Diego developed a new technology that uses an oscillating electric field to easily and quickly isolate drug delivery nanoparticles from blood. The technology could serve as a general tool to separate and recover nanoparticles from other complex fluids for medical, environmental and industrial applications.


Biomedical imaging at one-thousandth the cost

November 23, 2015 7:31 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | Comments

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed a biomedical imaging system that could ultimately replace a $100,000 piece of a lab equipment with components that cost just hundreds of dollars. The system uses a technique called fluorescence lifetime imaging, which has applications in DNA sequencing and cancer diagnosis, among other things.


The route to high-temperature superconductivity goes through the flat land

November 20, 2015 11:30 am | by Aalto Univ. | Comments

Superconductors are marvelous materials that are able to transport electric current and energy without dissipation. For this reason, they are extremely useful for constructing magnets that can generate enormous magnetic fields without melting. They have found important applications as essential components of the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator at CERN and the magnetic resonance imaging tool widely used for medical purposes.


How hibernation protects hearts

November 20, 2015 10:30 am | by American Chemical Society | Comments

Wintry weather means hats and scarves for some mammals, and hibernation for others. Hibernation dramatically lowers body temperatures, heart rates and oxygen consumption. A team reports a study of the proteins and genes that allow squirrels' hearts to stay healthy during the winter. A better understanding of this phenomenon could help researchers develop better treatments for people with cardiac disease.



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