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Rebar technique strengthens case for graphene

April 7, 2014 7:57 am | Comments

Carbon nanotubes are reinforcing bars that make 2-D graphene much easier to handle in a new hybrid material grown by researchers at Rice Univ. The Rice laboratory of chemist James Tour set nanotubes into graphene in a way that not only mimics how steel rebar is used in concrete but also preserves and even improves the electrical and mechanical qualities of both.

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Optical device could enhance optical information processing, computers

April 7, 2014 7:45 am | by Jo Seltzer, Washington Univ., St. Louis | Comments

At St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, a section of the dome called the Whispering Gallery makes a whisper audible from the other side of the dome as a result of the way sound waves travel around the curved surface. Researchers at Washington Univ. in St. Louis have used the same phenomenon to build an optical device that may lead to new and more powerful computers that run faster and cooler.

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Self-assembled silver superlattices create molecular machines

April 7, 2014 7:34 am | by John Toon, Georgia Institute of Technology | Comments

A combined computational and experimental study of self-assembled silver-based structures known as superlattices has revealed an unusual and unexpected behavior: arrays of gear-like molecular-scale machines that rotate in unison when pressure is applied to them.

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Experts decode germs' DNA to fight food poisoning

April 6, 2014 8:21 am | by Lauran Neergaard - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | Comments

Chances are you've heard of mapping genes to diagnose rare diseases, predict your risk of cancer and tell your ancestry. But to uncover food poisonings? The nation's disease detectives are beginning a program to try to outsmart outbreaks by routinely decoding the DNA of potentially deadly bacteria and viruses.

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Energy breakthrough uses sun to create solar energy materials

April 4, 2014 3:32 pm | Comments

In a recent advance in solar energy, researchers have discovered a way to tap the sun not only as a source of power, but also to directly produce the solar energy materials that make this possible.               

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Algorithm can help robots determine orientation of objects

April 4, 2014 3:27 pm | Comments

Researchers are working on a new algorithm that could make re-identification much easier for computers by identifying the major orientations in 3-D scenes. The same algorithm could also simplify the problem of scene understanding, one of the central challenges in computer vision research.  

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'Unbreakable' security codes inspired by nature

April 4, 2014 3:20 pm | Comments

Inspired by human biology, a revolutionary new method of encrypting confidential information has been patented by scientists. This discovery could transform daily life which is reliant on secure electronic communications for everything from mobiles to sensor networks and the internet.

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Nanostructures show promise for efficient LEDs

April 4, 2014 3:05 pm | Comments

Nanostructures half the breadth of a DNA strand could improve the efficiency of light emitting diodes (LEDs), especially in the “green gap,” a portion of the spectrum where LED efficiency plunges.               

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Tiny, wireless sensing device remotely alerts users to tell-tale vapors

April 4, 2014 2:52 pm | Comments

A research team has developed a small electronic sensing device that can alert users wirelessly to the presence of chemical vapors in the atmosphere.                              

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'Unzipping' poplars' biofuel potential

April 4, 2014 2:26 pm | Comments

New research is focusing on enhancing poplar trees so they can break down easier and thus improving their viability as a biofuel. The long-term efforts and teamwork involved to find this solution can be described as a rare, top-down approach to engineering plants for digestibility.

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Researchers design trees that make it easier to produce paper

April 4, 2014 9:43 am | by UBC | Comments

Researchers have genetically engineered trees that will be easier to break down to produce paper and biofuel, a breakthrough that will mean using fewer chemicals, less energy and creating fewer environmental pollutants.                 

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Obama signs cancer research bill in memory of girl

April 4, 2014 9:37 am | by Associated Press | Comments

A 10-year-old girl who died of brain cancer is leaving a legacy for other sick children in a new law signed by President Barack Obama. The legislation calls for eliminating taxpayer funding for political conventions and redirecting it to pediatric research at the National Institutes of Health.

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Researchers probe the next generation of 2-D material

April 4, 2014 9:34 am | by Institute of Physics | Comments

As the properties and applications of graphene continue to be explored in laboratories all over the world, a growing number of researchers are looking beyond the one-atom-thick layer of carbon for alternative materials that exhibit similarly captivating properties.

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NIST launches new U.S. time standard

April 4, 2014 9:28 am | by NIST | Comments

The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has officially launched a new atomic clock, called NIST-F2, to serve as a new U.S. civilian time and frequency standard, along with the current NIST-F1 standard.

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Quantum photon properties revealed in another particle

April 4, 2014 9:23 am | by Caltech | Comments

Results from a recent applied science study at Caltech support the idea that waveguides coupled with another quantum particle—the surface plasmon—could also become an important piece of the quantum computing puzzle.               

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