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Study confirms magnetic properties of silicon nanoribbons

October 18, 2012 7:32 am | Comments

Nanoribbons of silicon configured so the atoms resemble chicken wire could hold the key to ultrahigh density data storage and information processing systems of the future. This was a key finding of an Oak Ridge National Laboratory team who used scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy to validate first principle calculation that for years had predicted this outcome.

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Ice sheet retreat controlled by the landscape

October 17, 2012 12:56 pm | Comments

A U.K. research team has recently determined that the geometry of channels beneath the ice can be a strong control on ice behaviour, temporarily hiding the signals of retreat. The findings, which provide the first simulation of past ice-sheet retreat and collapse over a ten thousand year period in Antarctica, shed new light on what makes ice stable or unstable and will help refine predictions of future ice extent and global sea-level rise, the researchers say.

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A glance at the brain's circuit diagram

October 17, 2012 12:46 pm | Comments

The human brain consists of around 80 billion neurons, which form a tight-knit network that they use to exchange signals with each other. Understanding which neurons connect with each other could provide valuable information about how the brain works. A team of scientists in Germany has developed a method for decoding neural circuit diagrams. Using measurements of total neuronal activity, they can determine the probability that two neurons are connected with each other.

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At the nanoscale, graphite can turn friction upside down

October 17, 2012 12:21 pm | Comments

If you ease up on a pencil, does it slide more easily? Sure. But maybe not if the tip is sharpened down to nanoscale dimensions. A team of researchers at NIST has found that if graphite is sticky enough, as measured by a nanoscale probe, it actually becomes harder to slide a tip across the material's surface as you decrease pressure—the exact opposite of our everyday experience.  

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Study questions feasibility of entire genome sequencing in minutes

October 17, 2012 12:04 pm | Comments

The claim that nanopore technology is on the verge of making DNA analysis so fast and cheap that a person's entire genome could be sequenced at low cost in just minutes has produced intense interest. But a review by Northeastern University physicist Meni Wanunu questions whether the remaining technical hurdles can be overcome to create a workable, easily produced commercial device.

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New paper reveals fundamental chemistry of plasma-liquid interactions

October 17, 2012 11:56 am | Comments

Though not often considered beyond the plasma television, developers have begun to capitalize on how these small-scale microplasmas interact with liquids to kill bacteria or synthesize nanoparticles. An interdisciplinary collaboration has revealed a critical interaction that is occurring at this plasma-liquid interface in that the electrons in plasma actually serve to separate water, producing hydrogen gas.

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Training light to cool the material it strikes

October 17, 2012 9:30 am | Comments

Light might one day be used to cool the materials through which it passes, instead of heating them, thanks to a breakthrough by engineers at Lehigh and Johns Hopkins Universities. The discovery could lead to smaller, lighter, and cheaper communication devices with faster switching times, increased output, and higher operating voltages.

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Dark matter filament studied in 3D for the first time

October 17, 2012 8:29 am | Comments

Extending 60 million light-years from one of the most massive galaxy clusters known, the filament of dark matter examined recently by the Hubble Space Telescope is part of the cosmic web that constitutes the large-scale structure of the Universe, and is a leftover of the very first moments after the Big Bang. If the high mass measured for the filament is representative of the rest of the Universe, then these structures may contain more than half of all the mass in the Universe.

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New military apparel repels chemical, biological agents

October 17, 2012 8:17 am | Comments

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and collaborators are developing a new military uniform material that repels chemical and biological agents using a novel carbon nanotube fabric. The material will be designed to undergo a rapid transition from a breathable state to a protective state.

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Pfizer: Cancer drug narrowly misses study goal

October 17, 2012 8:11 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

  Pfizer Inc.'s advanced kidney cancer treatment Inlyta missed its main late-stage study goal when compared to another drug in patients who had not been treated for the disease. The New York drugmaker said Wednesday that patients taking Inlyta had a median progression-free survival that exceeded that of patients taking the drug sorafenib, but the difference was not statistically significant.

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Feds enlist Rice for nanocarbon project

October 17, 2012 7:57 am | Comments

The nascent industry of carbon-based nanomanufacturing will benefit from a new cooperative venture between scientists at Rice University and NIST. NIST announced a $2.7 million, five-year cooperative research agreement to study how nanoparticles operate and interact with other materials at the molecular, even atomic, scale.

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Can cobalt-graphene catalyst beat platinum?

October 17, 2012 7:44 am | Comments

Platinum works well as a catalyst in hydrogen fuel cells, but it has at least two drawbacks: It is expensive, and it degrades over time. Brown University chemists have engineered a cheaper and more durable catalyst using graphene, cobalt, and cobalt-oxide—the best nonplatinum catalyst yet.

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New method measures movements of tiny devices at every step

October 17, 2012 7:35 am | Comments

Makers of minuscule moving machines, do you know where your micro- and nanorobots really are? Care to bet? A team of researchers at NIST likely would prevail in such a hypothetical wager. On the basis of its findings in a study of the motions of an experimental microelectromechanical system, the team might even offer better-then-even odds.

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Article One Partners Awards More Than $3 Million to Patent Research Community

October 17, 2012 6:00 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

Article One Partners (AOP), the world's largest patent research community, has passed more than $3 million in financial rewards paid to its global research community. This announcement comes just six months after reaching the $2 million milestone in February. The need for...

Alaska receives drugs from company in fungus case

October 16, 2012 9:49 pm | by RACHEL D'ORO - Associated Press - Associated Press | Comments

Health care providers in Alaska have received drugs from the Massachusetts pharmacy behind the deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis, state officials said Tuesday. Alaska providers have not received any of the implicated injectable steroid produced by the New England Compounding Center that has...

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