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“Temporal cloaking” could bring more secure optical communications

June 5, 2013 12:08 pm | News | Comments

Purdue Univ. researchers have demonstrated a method for "temporal cloaking" of optical communications, representing a potential tool to thwart would-be eavesdroppers and improve security for telecommunications. While the previous research in temporal cloaking required the use of a complex, ultrafast-pulsing "femtosecond" laser, the researchers achieved the feat using off-the-shelf equipment.

Visualization reveals virus particle have more individuality than thought

May 29, 2013 9:01 am | News | Comments

Virus particles of the same type had been thought to have identical structures, like a mass-produced toy, but a new visualization technique developed by a Purdue University researcher revealed otherwise. It was found that an important viral substructure consisted of a collection of components that could be assembled in different ways, creating differences from particle to particle.

Innovation could bring flexible solar cells, transistors

May 23, 2013 8:07 am | News | Comments

Researchers have created a new type of transparent electrode that might find uses in solar cells, flexible displays for computers and consumer electronics, and future "optoelectronic" circuits for sensors and information processing. The electrode is made of silver nanowires covered with a material called graphene, an extremely thin layer of carbon.

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"Makers" 3D print shapes created using new design tool, bare hands

May 14, 2013 4:38 pm | News | Comments

A new design tool interprets hand gestures, enabling designers and artists to create and modify 3D shapes using only their hands as a "natural user interface" instead of keyboard and mouse. The tool, called Shape-It-Up, uses specialized computer algorithms and a depth-sensing camera to observe and interpret hand movements and gestures.

New technique to improve quality control of lithium-ion batteries

May 8, 2013 7:56 am | News | Comments

Researchers have created a new tool to detect flaws in lithium-ion batteries as they are being manufactured, a step toward reducing defects and inconsistencies in the thickness of electrodes that affect battery life and reliability. The Purdue researchers have developed a system that uses a flashbulb-like heat source and a thermal camera to read how heat travels through the electrodes.

New type of super-resolution microscope doesn’t need fluorescent dyes

April 29, 2013 10:11 am | by Emil Venere, Purdue University | News | Comments

Researchers at Purdue University have found a way to see synthetic nanostructures and molecules using a new type of super-resolution optical microscopy that does not require fluorescent dyes. The imaging system, called saturated transient absorption microscopy, or STAM, uses a trio of laser beams, including a doughnut-shaped laser beam that selectively illuminates some molecules but not others.

Imaging technology could reveal cellular secrets

April 25, 2013 2:30 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have married two biological imaging technologies, creating a new way to learn how good cells go bad. Being able to study a cell's internal workings in fine detail would likely yield insights into the physical and biochemical responses to its environment. The technology, which combines an atomic force microscope and nuclear magnetic resonance system, could help researchers study individual cancer cells.

U.S. Coast Guard accredits analytical system developed at Purdue

April 24, 2013 7:48 am | News | Comments

In efforts to prioritize and efficiently manage the repair of boats and stations damaged by Superstorm Sandy, the U.S. Coast Guard has accredited a system called Coast Guard Search and Rescue Visual Analytics (cgSARVA) developed in collaboration with Purdue University.

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Professor identifies proton pathway in photosynthesis

April 19, 2013 8:51 am | News | Comments

A Purdue University-led team has revealed the proton transfer pathway responsible for a majority of energy storage in photosynthesis. The team used X-ray crystallography to describe the molecular structure of the cytochrome complex isolated from cyanobacteria, the most primitive photosynthetic organism. The findings contribute to the understanding of the function of photosynthesis and that of membrane proteins.

In-package plasma process quickly, effectively kills bacteria

April 17, 2013 8:49 am | by Brian Wallheimer, Purdue University | News | Comments

Kevin Keener, a professor of food science at Purdue University, looks for new ways to kill harmful bacteria, and has determined that exposing packaged liquids, fruits, and vegetables to an electrical field for just minutes could remove all traces of foodborne pathogens. His method uses electricity to generate a plasma, or ionized gas, from atmospheric gases inside the food package.

Layered 2D nanocrystals promising new semiconductor

April 16, 2013 8:52 am | News | Comments

Researchers are developing a new type of semiconductor technology for future computers and electronics based on "2D nanocrystals" layered in sheets less than a nanometer thick that could replace today's transistors. The layered structure is made of a material called molybdenum disulfide, which belongs to a new class of semiconductors—metal di-chalogenides—emerging as potential candidates to replace today's CMOS technology.

Sunlit snow triggers atmospheric cleaning, ozone depletion in the Arctic

April 15, 2013 4:23 pm | News | Comments

A Purdue University-led team of researchers discovered sunlit snow to be the major source of atmospheric bromine in the Arctic, the key to unique chemical reactions that purge pollutants and destroy ozone. The team's findings suggest the rapidly changing Arctic climate—where surface temperatures are rising three times faster than the global average—could dramatically change its atmospheric chemistry.

A solution to antibiotic-resistant bacteria

March 28, 2013 8:35 am | News | Comments

Through the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, several types of bacteria have become resistant to drugs that were designed to kill them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that some of these "superbugs" are linked to tens of thousands of deaths in the United States annually, including 14,000 for C. difficile and 19,000 for MRSA. Technology developed by Purdue University researchers and commercialized through a Purdue Research Park-based firm could be effective against the increased number of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria in the world.

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Findings to help in design of drugs against virus causing childhood illnesses

March 21, 2013 11:12 am | News | Comments

New research findings may help scientists design drugs to treat a virus infection that causes potentially fatal brain swelling and paralysis in children. The virus, called enterovirus 71, causes hand, foot, and mouth disease and is common throughout the world. Although that disease usually is not fatal, the virus has been reported to cause fatal encephalitis in infants and young children, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region. Currently, no cure exists for the infection. However, new findings show the precise structure of the virus bound to a molecule that inhibits infection.

Metasurfaces to usher in new optical technologies

March 15, 2013 10:25 am | News | Comments

New optical technologies using "metasurfaces" capable of the ultra-efficient control of light are nearing commercialization. According to Alexander Kildishev, an electrical engineer and professor at Purdue University, the metasurfaces could make possible "planar photonics" devices and optical switches small enough to be integrated into computer chips for information processing and telecommunication

Analytical theory may bring improvements to lithium-ion batteries

March 5, 2013 10:58 am | by Emil Venere, Purdue University | News | Comments

A new analytical theory has been developed at Purdue University that shows how to design experiments to study ways of controlling dendrite growth on electrodes in lithium-ion batteries. Using this approach, the researchers have shown theoretically how to control or eliminate the formation of these dendrites, which cause lithium-ion batteries to fail. The advance could help improve safety and might enable the batteries to be charged within a matter of minutes instead of hours.

Yeast study yields potential for new drugs

February 25, 2013 1:20 pm | News | Comments

While studying a mutant strain of yeast, Purdue University researchers may have found a new target for drugs to combat cholesterol and fungal diseases.

Expert: Asteroid would explode like a thermonuclear weapon

February 13, 2013 8:36 am | by Jim Schenke, Purdue University | News | Comments

According to Jay Melosh, a distinguished professor of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences and physics and aerospace engineering at Purdue University, if the asteroid rapidly approaching us this week were to impact rather than nearly miss Earth, it would explode with a four-megaton force near what the military calls optimum height for damage. This asteroid would release only half the energy of the Siberian strike in 1917, but the 30,000-foot detonation height could cause significant property damage and loss of life.

Researcher taking shot at flu vaccine that's more effective, easier to make

February 7, 2013 8:52 am | by Elizabeth K. Gardner, Purdue University | News | Comments

In the midst of an unusually deadly flu season and armed with a vaccine that only offers partial protection, a Purdue University researcher is working on a flu vaccine that overcomes the need to predict which strains will hit each year and eliminates the common causes of vaccine shortages.

New modeling approach transforms imaging technologies

February 5, 2013 12:09 pm | by Emil Venere, Purdue University | News | Comments

Researchers are improving the performance of technologies ranging from medical computed tomography scanners to digital cameras using a system of models to extract specific information from huge collections of data and then reconstructing images like a jigsaw puzzle. The new approach is called model-based iterative reconstruction, or MBIR, and it is helping to greatly reduce the noise in data, providing great clarity at lower radiation intensities.

Some carbon nanotubes deplete beneficial microbes in certain soils

January 24, 2013 1:53 pm | News | Comments

Some types of carbon nanotubes used for strengthening plastics and other materials may have an adverse effect on soil microbiology and soil microbial processes, a Purdue University study shows. Specifically, these raw, non-functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes were shown to damage the active microbiology in low-organic soil.

Indiana using new concrete to increase bridge life span

January 24, 2013 12:04 pm | by Emil Venere, Purdue University | News | Comments

Civil engineers at Purdue University, working with the Indiana Department of Transportation, is in the process of deploying a new internally cured high-performance concrete on four bridges in Indiana. Typically curing methods involve a surface application of water on cement. The new method introduces water in internal pockets, enhancing curing efficacy and strengthening the finished concrete.

New effort to create green electronics, workforce

January 15, 2013 10:18 am | by Emil Venere, Purdue University | News | Comments

The world's love affair with gadgets—many of which contain hazardous materials—is generating millions of tons of electronic waste annually. Now, Purdue and Tuskegee universities are leading an international effort to replace conventional electronics with more sustainable technologies and train a workforce of specialists to make the transition possible.

Surgeons may use hand gestures to manipulate MRI images in OR

January 11, 2013 7:44 am | News | Comments

Doctors may soon be using a system in the operating room that recognizes hand gestures as commands to tell a computer to browse and display medical images of the patient during a surgery. Purdue University researchers are creating a system that uses depth-sensing cameras and specialized algorithms to recognize hand gestures as commands to manipulate MRI images on a large display.

Biochip technology uses tiny whirlpools to corral microbes

January 8, 2013 12:47 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have demonstrated a new technology that combines a laser and electric fields to create tiny centrifuge-like whirlpools to separate particles and microbes by size, a potential lab-on-a-chip system for medicine and research.

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