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Earth’s mineralogy unique in the cosmos

August 26, 2015 1:30 pm | by Carnegie Institute of Science | Comments

New research from a team led by Carnegie’s Robert Hazen predicts that Earth has more than 1,500 undiscovered minerals and that the exact mineral diversity of our planet is unique and could not be duplicated anywhere in the cosmos.

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Cells cling and spiral “like vines” in first 3-D tissue scaffold for plants

August 26, 2015 1:04 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | Comments

Miniscule artificial scaffolding units made from nanofiber polymers and built to house plant cells have enabled scientists to see for the first time how individual plant cells behave and interact with each other in a 3-D environment. These "hotels for cells" mimic the "extracellular matrix" which cells secrete before they grow and divide to create plant tissue.

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Why platinum nanoparticles become less effective catalysts at small sizes

August 26, 2015 12:00 pm | by A*STAR | Comments

A*STAR scientists have used first-principles computer simulations to explain why small platinum nanoparticles are less effective catalysts than larger ones. Platinum nanoparticles are used in the catalysis of many reactions, including the important hydrogen evolution reaction used in fuel cells and for separating water into oxygen and hydrogen.

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Robotically steered flexible needles navigate in tissue

August 26, 2015 11:00 am | by Univ. of Twente | Comments

Robotically steered flexible needles can reach their intended target in tissue with sub-millimeter-level accuracy. This has been demonstrated by the doctoral research of Momen Abayazid, who is affiliated with the research institute MIRA of the Univ. of Twente. A major advantage of steering flexible needles is that one can avoid obstacles or sensitive tissues and can re-orient the path of the needle in real time as you insert the needle.

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Dying star suffers “irregular heartbeats”

August 26, 2015 10:00 am | by Univ. of Warwick | Comments

Some dying stars suffer from “irregular heartbeats,” research led by astronomers at the Univ. of Warwick has discovered. The research confirms rapid brightening events in otherwise normal pulsating white dwarfs, which are stars in the final stage of their lifecycles.

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Making the air fair

August 26, 2015 8:00 am | by Peter Dizikes, MIT News Office | Comments

Nobody likes flight delays, but they are a common occurrence: In 2011, about 20% of U.S. flights were at least 15 min behind schedule. Those delays irritate passengers and, in 2010, added an estimated $6.5 billion to U.S. airlines’ operating costs.

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3-D-printed microscopic fish do more than swim

August 26, 2015 7:41 am | by Liezel Labios, Univ. of California, San Diego | Comments

Nanoengineers at the Univ. of California, San Diego used an innovative 3-D printing technology they developed to manufacture multipurpose fish-shaped microrobots that swim around efficiently in liquids, are chemically powered by hydrogen peroxide and magnetically controlled. These proof-of-concept synthetic microfish will inspire a new generation of "smart" microrobots.

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Researchers combine disciplines, computational programs to determine atomic structure

August 25, 2015 5:30 pm | by Univ. of Illinois | Comments

A team from the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Indiana Univ. combined two techniques to determine the structure of cyanostar, a new abiological molecule that captures unwanted negative ions in solutions.

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Quantum diffraction at a breath of nothing

August 25, 2015 4:25 pm | by Univ. of Vienna | Comments

The quantum mechanical wave nature of matter is the basis for a number of modern technologies like high resolution electron microscopy, neutron-based studies on solid state materials or highly sensitive inertial sensors working with atoms. The research in the group around Prof. Markus Arndt at the Univ. of Vienna is focused on how one can extend such technologies to large molecules and cluster.

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NTU Assistant Professor Terry Steele (right) with his researcher Gao Feng, who is holding the new Voltaglue. Courtesy of NTU Singapore

Researchers identify electrifying solution to sticky problem

August 25, 2015 12:10 pm | by Nanyang Technological University | Comments

Inspired by the limitations of biomimetic glues in wet environments, scientists have invented a glue that will harden when a voltage is applied to it. The new adhesive, nicknamed "Voltaglue," opens up a host of possible practical applications, from making underwater repair works for ships and pipes, to being a versatile tool for doctors performing surgery.

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Supramolecular endofullerene H2O@C60, or buckyball

Scientists find new way to detect ortho-para conversion in water

August 25, 2015 11:36 am | by University of Southampton | Comments

New research has found that water molecules react differently to electric fields, which could provide a new way to study spin isomers at the single-molecule level. Water molecules exist in two forms or ‘isomers,’ ortho and para, with different nuclear spin states. In ortho-water, nuclear spins are parallel to one another, and in para water, spins are antiparallel.

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Ionization times (left axis) reconstructed using the ARM theory from offset angles (right axis) obtained numerically using TDSE calculations. Red circles are the numerically calculated offset angles, divided by the laser frequency, θ/ω. Blue diamonds show

How long does it take an electron to tunnel?

August 25, 2015 11:17 am | by Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB) | Comments

The combination of ab-initio numerical experiments and theory shows that optical tunneling of an electron from an atom can occur instantaneously. How long does it take an atom to absorb a photon and loose an electron? And what if not one but many photons are needed for ionization? How much time would absorption of many photons take? These questions lie at the core of attosecond spectroscopy.

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A schematic of the pressure chamber of the double-stage diamond anvil cell: The osmium sample is just 3 microns small and sits between two semi-balls made of nanocristalline diamond of extraordinary strength. Courtesy of Elena Bykova/University of Bayreut

Record high pressure squeezes secrets out of osmium

August 25, 2015 11:06 am | by Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY | Comments

An international team of scientists has created the highest static pressure ever achieved in a lab: Using a special high pressure device, the researchers investigated the behavior of the metal osmium at pressures of up to 770 Gigapascals (GPa)—more than twice the pressure in the inner core of the Earth, and about 130 Gigapascals higher than the previous world record set by members of the same team.

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Another milestone in hybrid artificial photosynthesis

August 25, 2015 11:00 am | by Lynn Yarris, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

A team of researchers developing a bioinorganic hybrid approach to artificial photosynthesis have achieved another milestone. Having generated quite a buzz with their hybrid system of semiconducting nanowires and bacteria that used electrons to synthesize carbon dioxide into acetate, the team has now developed a hybrid system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane.

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Artificial photosynthesis used to produce renewable molecular hydrogen for synthesizing carbon dioxide into methane. Courtesy of Berkeley Lab

Milestone achieved in hybrid artificial photosynthesis

August 25, 2015 10:29 am | by Berkeley Lab | Comments

A team of researchers at (Berkeley Lab developing a bioinorganic hybrid approach to artificial photosynthesis have achieved a milestone. Having generated quite a buzz with their hybrid system of semiconducting nanowires and bacteria that used electrons to synthesize carbon dioxide into acetate, the team has now developed a hybrid system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane.

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