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The Lead

Focused energy of lasers breaks microscopic adhesion

July 2, 2015 8:59 am | by NSF | News | Comments

When small objects get stuck to you, a vacuum or lint roller can help remove them. But small, clingy objects are a serious problem in the growing field of nanomanufacturing. So what do engineers use when they have to build circuits that will fit on a piece of confetti? Researchers supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) have a solution: lasers.

Study: Targeted LEDs could provide efficient lighting for plants grown in space

July 2, 2015 8:54 am | by Purdue University | News | Comments

A Purdue University study shows that targeting plants with red and blue LEDs provides energy-...

Improving insulation materials, down to wetting crossed fibres

July 2, 2015 8:52 am | by Springer | News | Comments

Sandcastles are a prime example of how adding a small amount of liquid to a granular material...

Implantable 'artificial pancreas' could help diabetes patients control their blood sugar

July 2, 2015 8:48 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Scientists are reporting the development of an implantable "artificial pancreas" that...

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Team develops new storage cell for solar energy storage, nighttime conversion

July 2, 2015 8:41 am | by UT Arlington | News | Comments

A University of Texas at Arlington materials science and engineering team has developed a new energy cell that can store large-scale solar energy even when it's dark. The innovation is an advancement over the most common solar energy systems that rely on using sunlight immediately as a power source. 

We're not alone, but the universe may be less crowded than we think

July 2, 2015 8:38 am | by Michigan State University | News | Comments

Over the years, the Hubble Space Telescope has allowed astronomers to look deep into the universe. There may be far fewer galaxies further out in the universe then might be expected, according to a new study led by Michigan State University.

New method can make cheaper solar energy storage

July 1, 2015 7:46 am | by EPFL | News | Comments

Storing solar energy as hydrogen is a promising way for developing comprehensive renewable energy systems. EPFL scientists have now developed a simple, unconventional method to fabricate high-quality, efficient solar panels for direct solar hydrogen production with low cost.

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Scientists propose new model of mysterious barrier to fusion known as the 'density limit'

July 1, 2015 7:00 am | by Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory | News | Comments

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have developed a detailed model of the source of a puzzling limitation on fusion reactions. The findings complete and confirm previous PPPL research and could lead to steps to overcome the barrier if the model proves consistent with experimental data. 

New model of cosmic stickiness favors 'Big Rip' demise of universe

July 1, 2015 7:00 am | by Vanderbilt University | News | Comments

The universe can be a very sticky place, but just how sticky is a matter of debate. That is because for decades cosmologists have had trouble reconciling the classic notion of viscosity based on the laws of thermodynamics with Einstein's general theory of relativity. However, a team from Vanderbilt University has come up with a fundamentally new mathematical formulation of the problem that appears to bridge this long-standing gap.

Chemists characterize 3-D macroporous hydrogels

July 1, 2015 7:00 am | by Carnegie Mellon University | News | Comments

Carnegie Mellon University chemists have developed two novel methods to characterize 3-dimensional macroporous hydrogels -- materials that hold great promise for developing "smart" responsive materials that can be used for catalysts, chemical detectors, tissue engineering scaffolds and absorbents for carbon capture.

Does radiation from X-rays and CT scans really cause cancer?

July 1, 2015 12:00 am | by Loyola University Health System | News | Comments

In recent years, there has been widespread media coverage of studies purporting to show that radiation from X-rays, CT scans and other medical imaging causes cancer. But such studies have serious flaws, including their reliance on an unproven statistical model.

New method of quantum entanglement vastly increases how much information can be carried in a photon

June 30, 2015 8:51 am | by UCLA | News | Comments

A team of researchers led by UCLA electrical engineers has demonstrated a new way to harness light particles, or photons, that are connected to each other and act in unison no matter how far apart they are  — a phenomenon known as quantum entanglement.

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Graphene flexes its electronic muscles

June 30, 2015 8:47 am | by Mike Williams, Rice University | News | Comments

Flexing graphene may be the most basic way to control its electrical properties, according to calculations by theoretical physicists at Rice University and in Russia.

Startup brings nonstick coating to consumer goods packaging

June 30, 2015 8:44 am | by Rob Matheson, MIT News Office | News | Comments

The days of wasting condiments — and other products — that stick stubbornly to the sides of their bottles may be gone, thanks to MIT spinout LiquiGlide, which has licensed its nonstick coating to a major consumer-goods company.  

New nanogenerator harvests power from rolling tires

June 30, 2015 8:40 am | by University of Wisconsin-Madison | News | Comments

A group of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers and a collaborator from China have developed a nanogenerator that harvests energy from a car's rolling tire friction.

Physicists shatter stubborn mystery of how glass forms

June 30, 2015 8:37 am | by University of Waterloo | News | Comments

A physicist at the University of Waterloo is among a team of scientists who have described how glasses form at the molecular level and provided a possible solution to a problem that has stumped scientists for decades.

Sandia's Z machine receives funding aimed at fusion energy

June 30, 2015 8:35 am | by DOE, Sandia National Laboratories | News | Comments

A two-year, $3.8 million award has been received by Sandia National Laboratories and the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) to hasten the day of low-cost, high-yield fusion reactions for energy purposes.

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A deep, dark mystery

June 30, 2015 8:31 am | by UC Santa Barbara | News | Comments

UC Santa Barbara geologist Jim Boles has found evidence of helium leakage from the Earth's mantle along a 30-mile stretch of the Newport-Inglewood Fault Zone in the Los Angeles Basin.

Major step for implantable drug-delivery device

June 29, 2015 8:56 am | by Rob Matheson, MIT News Office | News | Comments

An implantable, microchip-based device may soon replace the injections and pills now needed to treat chronic diseases: Earlier this month, MIT spinout Microchips Biotech partnered with a pharmaceutical giant to commercialize its wirelessly controlled, implantable, microchip-based devices that store and release drugs inside the body over many years.

The peaks and valleys of silicon

June 29, 2015 8:52 am | by University of Southern California | News | Comments

When the new iPhone came out, customers complained that it could be bent — but what if you could roll up your too big 6 Plus to actually fit in your pocket? That technology might be available sooner than you think, based on the work of USC Viterbi engineers.

Scientists develop potential new class of cancer drugs in lab

June 29, 2015 8:48 am | by Saint Louis University | News | Comments

In research published in Cancer Cell, Thomas Burris, chair of pharmacology and physiology at Saint Louis University, has, for the first time, found a way to stop cancer cell growth by targeting the Warburg Effect, a trait of cancer cell metabolism that scientists have been eager to exploit.

Making a better semiconductor

June 29, 2015 8:44 am | by Michigan State University | News | Comments

Research led by Michigan State University could someday lead to the development of new and improved semiconductors. In a paper, scientists detailed how they developed a method to change the electronic properties of materials in a way that will more easily allow an electrical current to pass through.

Opening a new route to photonics

June 29, 2015 8:35 am | News | Comments

A new route to ultrahigh density, ultracompact integrated photonic circuitry has been discovered by researchers. The Berkeley Lab team has developed a technique for effectively controlling pulses of light in closely packed nanoscale waveguides, an essential requirement for high-performance optical communications and chip-scale quantum computing.

Dendritic cells of elite controllers able to recognize, mount defense against HIV

June 11, 2015 3:39 pm | News | Comments

Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard have added another piece to the puzzle of how a small group of individuals known as elite controllers are able to control HIV infection without drug treatment.  

NASA's Hubble Telescope detects 'sunscreen' layer on distant planet

June 11, 2015 3:31 pm | News | Comments

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has detected a stratosphere, one of the primary layers of Earth's atmosphere, on a massive and blazing-hot exoplanet known as WASP-33b.

Martian glass: Window into possible past life?

June 9, 2015 10:20 am | News | Comments

Researchers from Brown University have used satellite data to detect deposits of glass within impact craters on Mars. Though formed in the searing heat of a violent impact, the glasses just might provide a delicate window into the possibility of past life on the Red Planet.

State-by-state plan to convert US to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050

June 9, 2015 10:14 am | News | Comments

One potential way to combat ongoing climate change, eliminate air pollution mortality, create jobs and stabilize energy prices involves converting the world's entire energy infrastructure to run on clean, renewable energy.

Engineers develop a computer that operates on water droplets

June 9, 2015 9:49 am | News | Comments

Computers and water typically don't mix, but in Manu Prakash's lab, the two are one and the same. Prakash, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford, and his students have built a synchronous computer that operates using the unique physics of moving water droplets.

Injectable electronics hold promise for basic neuroscience, treatment of neuro-degenerative diseases

June 9, 2015 9:45 am | News | Comments

It's a notion that might be pulled from the pages of science-fiction novel — electronic devices that can be injected directly into the brain, or other body parts, and treat everything from neuro-degenerative disorders to paralysis. It sounds unlikely, until you visit Charles Lieber's lab.

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