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NASA: International satellite studying oceans stops working

June 17, 2015 8:04 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

NASA says an international satellite studying the world's oceans has stopped working after four years. The space agency said Wednesday that the Argentine-built satellite ceased operations last week after a hardware failure. The satellite carried a NASA instrument called Aquarius that measured the concentration of dissolved salt at the sea surface.

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Preventing fires in next-generation lithium batteries

June 17, 2015 1:00 pm | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | Comments

In a study that could improve the safety of next-generation batteries, researchers discovered that adding two chemicals to the electrolyte of a lithium metal battery prevents the formation of dendrites—"fingers" of lithium that pierce the barrier between the battery's halves, causing it to short out, overheat and sometimes burst into flame.

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Researchers predicted existence of new quantum matter theoretically

June 17, 2015 12:00 pm | by Aalto Univ. | Comments

Aalto Univ. researchers have succeeded to predict, in theory, that superconducting surfaces can become topological superconductors when magnetic iron atoms are deposited on the surface in a regular pattern. They used the latest mathematical and physical models to predict the existence of a topological superconducting state on metallic superconducting surfaces and thin films.

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Hooked on phonons

June 17, 2015 11:29 am | by NIST | Comments

An international research group led by scientists at NIST’s Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology has developed a method for measuring crystal vibrations in graphene. Understanding these vibrations is a critical step toward controlling future technologies based on graphene.

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Inkjet inks made of silk could yield smart bandages

June 17, 2015 9:24 am | by Kim Thurler, Tufts Univ. | Comments

Silk inks containing enzymes, antibiotics, antibodies, nanoparticles and growth factors could turn inkjet printing into a new, more effective tool for therapeutics, regenerative medicine and biosensing, according to new research led by Tufts Univ.  biomedical engineers and published in Advanced Materials.

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Scientists find methane in Mars meteorites

June 17, 2015 9:00 am | by Jim Shelton, Yale Univ. | Comments

An international team of researchers has discovered traces of methane in Martian meteorites, a possible clue in the search for life on the Red Planet. The researchers examined samples from six meteorites of volcanic rock that originated on Mars. The meteorites contain gases in the same proportion and with the same isotopic composition as the Martian atmosphere.

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Graphene heat-transfer riddle unraveled

June 17, 2015 8:50 am | by Jeanne Galatzer-Levy, Univ. of Illinois Chicago | Comments

Researchers have solved the long-standing conundrum of how the boundary between grains of graphene affects heat conductivity in thin films of the miracle substance, bringing developers a step closer to engineering films at a scale useful for cooling microelectronic devices and hundreds of other nanotech applications.

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Best observational evidence of first-generation stars

June 17, 2015 8:31 am | by ESO | Comments

Astronomers have long theorized the existence of a first generation of stars that were born out of the primordial material from the Big Bang. All the heavier chemical elements were forged in the bellies of stars. This means that the first stars must have formed out of the only elements to exist prior to stars: hydrogen, helium and trace amounts of lithium.

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Unravelling the mysteries of carbonic acid

June 17, 2015 8:06 am | by Lynn Yarris, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

Blink your eyes and it’s long gone. Carbonic acid exists for a tiny fraction of a second when carbon dioxide gas dissolves in water before changing into a mix of protons and bicarbonate anions. Despite its short life, carbonic acid imparts a lasting impact on Earth’s atmosphere and geology, as well as on the human body. However, because of its short lifespan, the detailed chemistry of carbonic acid has long been veiled in mystery.

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Researchers successfully target Achilles heel of MERS virus

June 17, 2015 7:49 am | by Elizabeth K. Gardner, Purdue Univ. | Comments

A Purdue Univ.-led team of researchers studying the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, have found molecules that shut down the activity of an essential enzyme in the virus and could lead the way to better treatments for those infected.

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Cellulose from wood can be printed in 3-D

June 17, 2015 7:31 am | by Chalmers Univ. of Technology | Comments

A group of researchers at Chalmers Univ. of Technology have managed to print and dry 3-D objects made entirely by cellulose, for the first time, with the help of a 3-D bioprinter. They also added carbon nanotubes to create electrically conductive material.

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Because both zinc oxide and the polymer are clear, the structure is transparent. And it is stretchable because the ridges of zinc oxide allow the structure to expand and contract, like the bellows of an accordion. Courtesy of Abhijeet Bagal.

Transparent, stretchable conductors use nano-accordion structure

June 16, 2015 10:59 am | by North Carolina State University | Comments

Researchers from North Carolina State University have created stretchable, transparent conductors that work because of the structures’ “nano-accordion” design. The conductors could be used in a wide variety of applications, such as flexible electronics, stretchable displays or wearable sensors.

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Goncharov, McWilliams, and the rest of the team’s work on noble gases could help solve the mystery of why Saturn emits more heat from its interior than would be expected. In Jupiter and Saturn, helium would be insulating near the surface and turn metal-li

Mimicry opens window to star and planet deep interiors

June 16, 2015 10:42 am | by Carnegie Institution for Science | Comments

The matter that makes up distant planets and even-more-distant stars exists under extreme pressure and temperature. This matter includes members of a family of seven elements called noble gases. Scientists used laboratory techniques to mimic stellar and planetary conditions, and observe how noble gases behave under these conditions, in order to better understand the atmospheric and internal chemistry of these celestial objects.

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ETH material engineers found the performance of ion-conducting ceramic membranes that are so important in industry depends largely on their strain and buckling profiles. For the first time, scientists can now selectively manipulate the buckling profile, a

Buckle up for fast ionic conduction

June 16, 2015 10:24 am | by Fabio Bergamin, ETH Zurich | Comments

ETH material engineers found the performance of ion-conducting ceramic membranes that are so important in industry depends largely on their strain and buckling profiles. For the first time, scientists can now selectively manipulate the buckling profile, and thus the physical properties, allowing new technical applications of these membranes.

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View of the experimental hall at the MAMI accelerator: The mass of a strange atomic nucleus was measured with the help of the magnetic spectrometer that can be seen in the photo. Courtesy of the Institute of Nuclear Physics

Measuring the mass of a strange atomic nucleus

June 16, 2015 10:18 am | by Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | Comments

An international team of physicists working at the Institute of Nuclear Physics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz has measured the mass of a "strange" atomic nucleus with the aid of an innovative technique that is capable of significantly greater precision than that of previous methods. The researchers were able, for the first time worldwide, to observe the radioactive decay of artificially generated nuclei of super-heavy hydrogen.

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