A team in China have described a new approach to the production of adjustable microlenses made from protein gels. They used a laser to "write" the desired micrometer-sized lens shape out of a solution of bovine serum albumin, using tailored pulses to achieve the desired characteristics.
With the help of a Swiss violin maker, researcher Francis Schwarze has created a type of with such extraordinarily good tonal qualities; better, in fact, than even a Stradivarius. The innovation was achieved with the bizarre introduction of a white-rot fungus that attacked and destroyed spruce in just the right way.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have successfully used nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to analyze the structure of gold nanoparticles and determine whether or not they exist in a right-handed or left-handed configuration. Determining chirality is of major importance in pharmaceutical development, an area that has seen experimentation with gold nanoparticles.
Tube-shaped traps carved from bottle-brush molecules by chemists at the University at Buffalo could one day be used to capture and purify nanomaterials or proteins. The trapping mechanism is based on charge, and the tubes can selectively encapsulate positively charged molecules.
Researchers have demonstrated, for the first time, a graphene-based transistor array that is compatible with living biological cells and capable of recording the electrical signals they generate. This proof-of-concept platform opens the way for further investigation of a promising new material.
It looks like bone. It feels like bone. For the most part, it acts like bone. And it came off an inkjet printer. Washington State University researchers have used a 3D printer to create a bone-like material and structure that can be used in orthopedic procedures, dental work, and to deliver medicine for treating osteoporosis.
One of the first tasks for the University of Warwick's new supercomputer is to use its monster megabytes to analyze the natural properties of the tiny mollusk shell. By modeling the process of a mollusk's shell construction, scientists are hoping to guide future development of materials which replicate its strength and light weight in a synthetic format.
Purdue University scientists have developed a method for stacking synthetic DNA and carbon nanotubes onto a biosensor electrode, a development that may lead to more accurate measurements for research related to diabetes and other diseases.
Also called nacre, mother-of-pearl makes up the inner shell lining of pearl mussels and some other mollusks. After studying its properties a researcher at the University of South Carolina has proposed an explanation for the unusual resilience this defensive shield shows in the face of attacks.
In nature, the strength of mother-of-pearl is a key to survival for some shellfish. Now a team led by Xiaodong Li, an engineering professor at the University of South Carolina, has posited an explanation for the unusual resilience that this important defensive shield shows in the face of predatory attacks.
The Brazilian fern Salvinia molesta has proliferated around the Americas and Australia in part because its surface is dotted with odd, eggbeater-shaped hairs that trap air, reduce friction, and help the plant stay afloat. Ohio State University engineers have recreated this texture in a new coating that is both hydrophobic and hydrophilic.
Inspired by the skin of the sea cucumber, which is normally soft and flexible but becomes rigid in self defense, biomedical engineers at Case Western Reserve University have built a nanostructured polymer mesh that is firm enough to reach the cortex, but begins unlinking in water, causing less brain damage.
Chemist Jay Groves at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has led a study in which artificial membranes were embedded with fixed arrays of gold nanoparticles, which controlled the spacing of proteins and other cellular molecules. The invention gave researchers an opportunity to study how spatial patterns of chemical and physical properties influenced cells’ behavior.
Fluorescent markers are handily outperformed by quantum dots, which produce more intense, longer-lasting light. But because they do not dissolve in water, they haven’t been used that much for biological purposes. A new coating recipe, however, has allowed them to be used even inside living cells.
Researchers have long been interested in waste products as sources of biofuel. In Maine, those waste items could include treetops and limbs deemed by the forest products industry as unusable and often left behind in the woods. A University of Maine research team has, however, discovered a new chemical process can transform forest residues into a hydrocarbon fuel oil.
Not all parts of a corn stalk are equal, and they shouldn't be treated that way when creating cellulosic ethanol, say Purdue University researchers. When corn stover is processed to make cellulosic ethanol, everything is ground down and blended together. But a research team found that three distinct parts of the stover—the rind, pith, and leaves—break down in different ways.
Single-wall carbon nanotubes produced by SouthWest NanoTechnologies are being used by researchers in China for promising photothermal therapy to suppress tumor growth in breast cancer. Recent experiments with the nanotubes have minimized tumor growth with little damage to surrounding tissue.
The same piezoelectric effect that ignites your gas grill with the push of a button could one day power sensors in your body via the respiration in your nose. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison report creating a plastic microbelt that vibrates when passed by low-speed airflow such as human respiration.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers will play major roles in three new energy research projects being funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. These three projects entail the development of tobacco as a source of biofuels, creation of a personalized system for reducing customer demands for electrical power when the grid is congested, and development of a commercial process for extracting biofuels from the resin of pine trees.
Seattle biofuel producer Imperium Renewables and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are developing a new method to make biomass-based drop-in jet fuels so that additional renewable jet fuel production facilities can be built in the Pacific Northwest. So far, their novel process has produced a meaningful amount of fuel that is being evaluated to determine how well it can blend with traditional, petroleum-based jet fuel.
By looking to Mother Nature for solutions, researchers have identified a promising new binder material for lithium-ion battery electrodes that could not only boost energy storage, but also eliminate the use of toxic compounds now used in manufacturing the components.
Because they subsist on the tough, woody bamboo plant, it makes sense that panda waste, according to scientists, contains bacteria with potent effects in breaking down plant material in the way needed to tap biomass.
A bio-art project has given Utah State researcher Randy Lewis more reason to hope his genetically engineered spider silk can be used to help surgeons heal large wounds and create artificial tendons and ligaments.
With five times the tensile strength of steel, spider thread is a fascinating material. Yet, attempts to produce the material on an industrial scale have failed. Researchers in Germany have unlocked the protein structure of this thread, a finding that could open the door to artificial spider silk.
Both bone and wood are solid, living elements with an internal structure that is porous. By transforming red oakwood into a charcoal substance that emulates bone, scientists in Europe may have discovered a weight-bearing implant that will help regenerate bone.