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The cement industry’s CO2 emissions can only be cut by actually removing CO2 from flue gasses.

Fighting climate change—with cement

June 12, 2015 12:31 pm | by Lars Martin Hjorthol, Norwegian University of Science and Technology | News | Comments

Carbon capture—membrane-based technology developed at NTNU is one of four technologies that may be used in a full-scale CO2 capture project—in a cement factory. The four technologies being tested as part of the project are amines (Aker Solutions), membranes (NTNU, SINTEF, DNV GL, Air Products), regenerating calcium cycle (Alstom) and solid sorbents (Research Triangle Institute, USA).

A bright light for ultrafast snapshots of materials

June 11, 2015 4:46 pm | by Rachel Berkowitz, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

If you want to understand how novel phases emerge in correlated materials you can obtain complete viewpoints by taking “snapshots” of underlying rapid electronic interactions. One way to do this is by delivering pulses of extremely short-wavelength UV light to a material and deriving information based on the energy and direction of travel of the emitted electrons.

Variations in atmospheric oxygen levels shaped Earth’s climate

June 11, 2015 4:37 pm | by Jim Erickson, Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

Variations in the amount of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere significantly altered global climate throughout the planet's history. Efforts to reconstruct past climates must include this previously overlooked factor, a new Univ. of Michigan-led study concludes. Oxygen currently comprises about 21% of Earth's atmosphere by volume but has varied between 10% and 35% over the past 541 million years.

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Nanoparticles target, kill cancer stem cells that drive tumor growth

June 11, 2015 4:29 pm | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

Many cancer patients survive treatment only to have a recurrence within a few years. Recurrences and tumor spreading are likely due to cancer stem cells that can be tough to kill with conventional cancer drugs. But now researchers have designed nanoparticles that specifically target these hardy cells to deliver a drug. The nanoparticle treatment, reported in ACS Nano, worked far better than the drug alone in mice.

The winner doesn't always take all

June 11, 2015 3:59 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have been able to only speculate as to why and how this strain diversity in the bacterium Myxococcus xanthus is maintained. One theory states that less competitive strains are retained in the population if they can occupy a niche of their own that the dominant bacteria cannot colonizes.

Framework materials yield to pressure

June 11, 2015 3:48 pm | News | Comments

A group of scientists demonstrate that pressure offers a novel approach for generating new phases and exploring the structure-property relationships of molecular materials.

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.

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Gene variants linked to MS disrupt key regulator of inflammation

June 11, 2015 10:49 am | by Bill Hathaway, Yale Univ. | News | Comments

With genetic roots of many autoimmune diseases pinpointed, scientists are zeroing in on the variety of molecular mechanisms triggered by these harmful variants. A team led by Yale School of Medicine researchers has implicated a central regulator of inflammation as a cause of many cases of multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as ulcerative colitis.

Atmospheric signs of volcanic activity could aid search for life

June 11, 2015 10:25 am | by Peter Kelley, Univ. of Washington | News | Comments

Planets with volcanic activity are considered better candidates for life than worlds without such heated internal goings-on. Now, graduate students at the Univ. of Washington have found a way to detect volcanic activity in the atmospheres of exoplanets, or those outside our solar system, when they transit, or pass in front of their host stars.

Longstanding problem put to rest

June 11, 2015 9:51 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Comparing the genomes of different species is the basis of a great deal of modern biology. DNA sequences that are conserved across species are likely to be functionally important, while variations between members of the same species can indicate different susceptibilities to disease. The basic algorithm for determining how much two sequences of symbols have in common is now more than 40 years old.

Synthetic immune organ produces antibodies

June 11, 2015 9:32 am | by Anne Ju, Cornell Univ. | News | Comments

Cornell Univ. engineers have created a functional, synthetic immune organ that produces antibodies and can be controlled in the lab, completely separate from a living organism. The engineered organ has implications for everything from rapid production of immune therapies to new frontiers in cancer or infectious disease research.

Cutting carbon emissions could have indirect effects on hunger

June 11, 2015 9:05 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

As many of the world’s nations prepare and implement plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, researchers say another critical factor needs to be considered. A new study has found for the first time that efforts to keep global temperatures in check will likely lead to more people going hungry. That risk, they say, doesn’t negate the need for mitigation but highlights the importance of comprehensive policies.

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Fragile X proteins involved in proper neuron development

June 11, 2015 8:31 am | by Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison | News | Comments

Fragile X syndrome is the most common inherited intellectual disability and the greatest single genetic contributor to autism. Unlocking the mechanisms behind fragile X could make important revelations about the brain. In a new study, researchers from the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison show that two proteins implicated in fragile X play a crucial role in the proper development of neurons in mice.

Engineer creates origami battery

June 11, 2015 8:20 am | by Ryan Yarosh, Binghamton Univ. | News | Comments

Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, can be used to create beautiful birds, frogs and other small sculptures. Now a Binghamton Univ. engineer says the technique can be applied to building batteries, too. Seokheun "Sean" Choi developed an inexpensive, bacteria-powered battery made from paper.

Research reveals how computer chips could beat the heat

June 11, 2015 8:07 am | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | News | Comments

The heat that builds up in the shuttling of current in electronics is an important obstacle to packing more computing power into ever-smaller devices: Excess heat can cause them to fail or sap their efficiency. Now, x-ray studies have, for the first time, observed an exotic property that could warp the electronic structure of a material in a way that reduces heat buildup and improves performance in ever-smaller computer components.

Investigating buried interfaces in ferroelectric materials

June 11, 2015 7:54 am | by Rachel Berkowitz, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

The nanoscale device community has shown great interest in exploiting the unique properties of ferroelectric materials for encoding information. But the circuitry for reading information stored in the polarization of these materials has prohibited its adaptation to extremely small scales. Now, researchers have developed a new technique that provides key information for an alternative decoding method.

Common antibiotic may be the answer to multidrug-resistant bacterial infections

June 11, 2015 7:44 am | by Heather Buschman, Univ. of California, San Diego | News | Comments

Contrary to current medical dogma, researchers at Univ. of California, San Diego report the common antibiotic azithromycin kills many multidrug-resistant bacteria very effectively. The researchers believe the finding could prompt an immediate review of the current standard of care for patients with certain so-called “superbug” infections.

Probing what happens to plutonium in a nuclear explosion

June 11, 2015 7:33 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

For years, research on nuclear weapons has relied on old data, limited experiments and computer modeling. But this year, that pattern has changed. Scientists have run new experiments that simulate what happens to plutonium in a nuclear explosion. The research will deepen scientists’ understanding of the element, and help them analyze a nuclear event should one occur.

Surfaces get smooth or bumpy on demand

June 11, 2015 7:24 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology team has developed a way of making soft materials, using a 3-D printer, with surface textures that can then be modified at will to be perfectly smooth, or ridged or bumpy, or even to have complex patterns that could be used to guide fluids.

Researchers make ultrasensitive conductivity measurements

June 10, 2015 11:25 am | by Jade Boyd, Rice Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers at Rice Univ. have discovered a new way to make ultrasensitive conductivity measurements at optical frequencies on high-speed nanoscale electronic components. In a series of experiments, researchers linked pairs of puck-shaped metal nanodisks with metallic nanowires and showed how the flow of current at optical frequencies through the nanowires produced “charge transfer plasmons” with unique optical signatures.

Boron compounds for OLEDs

June 10, 2015 11:15 am | by Goethe Univ. Frankfurt | News | Comments

Major advances in the field of organic electronics are currently revolutionizing previously silicon-dominated semiconductor technology. Customized organic molecules enable the production of lightweight, mechanically flexible electronic components that are perfectly adapted to individual applications. Chemists at the Goethe Univ. have now developed a new class of organic luminescent materials.

A celestial butterfly emerges from its dusty cocoon

June 10, 2015 9:57 am | by ESO | News | Comments

Some of the sharpest images ever made with ESO's Very Large Telescope have, for the first time, revealed what appears to be an ageing star giving birth to a butterfly-like planetary nebula. These observations of the red giant star L2 Puppis, from the ZIMPOL mode of the newly installed SPHERE instrument, also clearly showed a close stellar companion.

Fast, accurate synchronization in the “blink” of an eye

June 10, 2015 9:41 am | by Univ. of Southern California | News | Comments

"Let's synchronize our watches." It's the classic line before a group goes out on a mission. We are all familiar with the concept of synchronized clocks—less known, but equally important, is that wireless devices need to be synchronized too. However, instead of requiring a precision of minutes, wireless devices have to make their clocks match within very small fractions of a second.

3D printing with metals achieved

June 10, 2015 9:25 am | by Univ. of Twente | News | Comments

A team of researchers from the Univ. of Twente has found a way to 3D print structures of copper and gold, by stacking microscopically small metal droplets. These droplets are made by melting a thin metal film using a pulsed laser.

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