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Origami inspires research into materials that self-assemble when exposed to light

August 23, 2012 10:20 am | News | Comments

A multi-university research team led by North Carolina State University will be developing methods to create 2D materials capable of folding themselves into 3D objects when exposed to light. The effort, which is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, is inspired by origami and has a broad range of potential applications.

Day of mourning in S. Africa after mine shooting

August 23, 2012 8:40 am | by EMOKE BEBIAK - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Grieving families Thursday mourned the deaths of 34 striking miners killed by police, as South Africans demanded the arrests of those who gave the orders for the shootings.Memorial services are being held across the country for the victims of the worst state violence since the end of apartheid...

Scientists produce hydrogen for fuel cells using inexpensive catalyst

August 23, 2012 7:01 am | News | Comments

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have produced hydrogen, a renewable energy source, from water using an inexpensive catalyst under industrially relevant conditions—using pH neutral water, surrounded by atmospheric oxygen, and at room temperature.


Australian gov't says mineral price boom is over

August 23, 2012 6:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Australia's resources minister says the mineral price boom that has saved the country from recession has ended.Martin Ferguson spoke Thursday after the world's biggest miner, BHP Billiton Ltd., announced it was delaying a massive $30 billion expansion of its Olympic Dam uranium and copper mine...

Biocompatible cellulose nanostructures could speed wound recovery

August 23, 2012 6:30 am | News | Comments

Nanocellulose is a highly fibrillated material, composed of nanofibrils with diameters in the nanometer scale, with high aspect ratio and high specific surface area. Recently, the suitability of cellulose nanofibrils from wood for forming elastic cryogels has been demonstrated by scientists. These gels could improve wound healing if used in dressings.

Mars rover passes driving test, looks to hit road

August 23, 2012 4:14 am | by Alicia Chang, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Curiosity’s test drive was a success, allowing scientists at NASA to begin planning their next move. An intriguing spot 1,300 feet will mark the rover’s first attempt to drill into bedrock. The ultimate destination is Mount Sharp, a towering mountain that looms from the ancient crater floor. Signs of past water have been spotted at the base, providing a starting point to hunt for the chemical building blocks of life.

New crystalline material could bring down of cost of electronics, computers

August 23, 2012 4:06 am | by Megan Fellman | News | Comments

A team of organic chemists have discovered they can create very long crystals with desirable properties using just two small organic molecules that are extremely attracted to each other. The attraction between the two molecules causes them to self assemble into an ordered network, and, most importantly, they possess the ferroelectric properties that are useful in computing.

Superconductor 'flaws' could be key to its abilities

August 23, 2012 4:04 am | News | Comments

Physicists who study superconductivity strive to create a clean, perfect sample. But a Purdue University team that has mapped seemingly random, four-atom-wide dark lines of electrons on the surface of copper-oxygen based superconducting crystals has discovered that they exist throughout the crystal. The findings suggest the lines, which are “flaws”, could play a role in the material's superconductivity at much higher temperatures than others.


One-molecule-thick material has big advantages

August 23, 2012 3:44 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Graphene has been heralded for its strength and other novel characteristics, but one property in particular—its 2D nature—suggests that graphene its just the start of a wave of new 2D materials. The latest one, molybdenum disulfide, was first described just a year ago by researchers in Switzerland. In that year, researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which struggled unsuccessfully to build circuits from graphene, succeeded in making a variety of electronic components from molybdenum disulfide. They say the material could help usher in radically new products.

Lease of coal tract in NW Colo. goes for $800,000

August 22, 2012 5:40 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal lease to develop about 3.2 million tons of recoverable coal next to the Twentymile coal mine has sold for $800,000.Peabody Energy Corp. runs the Twentymile mine near Hayden in northwest Colorado. It has said it plans to operate the Sage Creek Mine next to it to replace production at...

Elusive metal discovered

August 22, 2012 11:57 am | News | Comments

Carnegie Institution for Science scientists are the first to discover the conditions under which nickel oxide can turn into an electricity-conducting metal. Nickel oxide is one of the first compounds to be studied for its electronic properties, but until now, scientists have not been able to induce a metallic state.

Researchers probe invisible vacancies in fuel cell materials

August 22, 2012 11:34 am | News | Comments

Knowing the position of missing oxygen atoms could be the key to cheaper solid oxide fuel cells with longer lifetimes. New microscopy research from Oak Ridge National Laboratory is enabling scientists to map these vacancies at an atomic scale.

Drought should benefit Mosaic, analyst says

August 22, 2012 10:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Stifel Nicolaus analyst is resuming coverage of The Mosaic Co., noting that the fertilizer company should benefit in wake of the devastating drought.Analyst Paul A. Massoud on Wednesday issued a "Buy" rating and set a share price target of $73 on the Plymouth, Minn., company. He also...


Study: Soybeans susceptible to man-made materials in soil

August 22, 2012 9:18 am | News | Comments

Based on recent published research that describes how soybean plants develop while exposed to manufactured nanomaterials, scientists are now contending that these nanomaterials—now popular in consumer products such as shampoos, gels, hair dyes and sunscreens—may be detrimental to the quality and yield of food crops such as soybeans.

Consol wrongful death case set for 2014 trial

August 22, 2012 8:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal judge is encouraging mediation in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the daughter of an Ohio man whose leg was ripped off in an accident at Consol Energy Inc.'s Shoemaker Mine in West Virginia.Charles "Whitey" McIntire of Shadyside died Oct. 17, 2011, when a ditch-digging machine...

Researchers discover new uses for high-tech alloy

August 22, 2012 8:30 am | News | Comments

Materials scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, Etrema Products Inc., and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division have developed new ways to form a high-tech metal alloy which promise new advances in sensing and energy harvesting technologies.

Hecla buys stake in silver exploration company

August 22, 2012 7:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Hecla Mining Co. said one of its subsidiaries signed an agreement to buy $3.2 million worth of Dolly Varden Silver Corp.The purchase of 20 million shares gives Hecla 19.9 percent of Dolly Varden's outstanding shares. Hecla said in the announcement on Tuesday that it doesn't intend to take a...

Space-age technology helps insulate old buildings

August 22, 2012 4:20 am | News | Comments

Rendering, or cladding, is the most common way of maintaining the look of an old house while adding insulation. But cutting panels to size and shape is a cumbersome process. Researchers in Switzerland, which has many old houses that need fresh insulation, have developed an aerogel-based plaster that is both easier to apply and provides better insulation.

'Electronic nose' prototype developed

August 22, 2012 4:01 am | News | Comments

Research by Nosang Myung, a professor at the University of California, Riverside has enabled Riverside, Calif.-based Nano Engineered Applications Inc. to develop an "electronic nose" prototype that can detect small quantities of harmful airborne substances.

Higher wage demands spread to other SAfrican mines

August 22, 2012 3:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Demands for higher wages spread to at least two other platinum mines in South Africa and raise fears instability could spread to more of the country's mines that provide 75 percent of the world's supply of the precious metal.South Africa's Web site calls it "a possibly ominous...

Self-charging power cell converts, stores energy in single unit

August 22, 2012 3:39 am | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a self-charging power cell that directly converts mechanical energy to chemical energy, storing the power until it is released as electrical current. By eliminating the need to convert mechanical energy to electrical energy for charging a battery, the new hybrid generator-storage cell uses mechanical energy more efficiently than systems using separate generators and batteries.

Bridgestone Corp. to build Mesa research facility

August 22, 2012 1:41 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Tire and rubber giant Bridgestone Corp. has chosen southeast Mesa for the site of a new research and development facility expected to open in 2014.Bridgestone's researchers and technicians will work to develop sustainable methods to transform Guayule into tire-grade rubber.Guayule is a...

Century Aluminum files notice to end contract

August 21, 2012 8:40 am | by BRUCE SCHREINER - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

An aluminum company embroiled in a dispute over its electricity costs said Monday it has given notice to terminate its power contract, a move signaling that the future of its large western Kentucky smelter is in deep jeopardy.Century Aluminum Co. said it gave a 12-month notice to end the...

News Summary: Some SAfrican miners felt invincible

August 21, 2012 8:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A PAUSE: An ultimatum for workers to return from a company that employed 34 protesting miners killed in a police shooting has been postponed.LINE DRAWN: Managers of Lonmin PLC platinum mine had ordered strikers to report for duty by 7 a.m. Tuesday or be fired, even as some family members still were...

Cuba convicts 12 of corruption in nickel industry

August 21, 2012 6:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Cuba has sentenced a dozen people to prison for corruption, including high-ranking government officials and employees of a jointly run Cuban-Canadian nickel operation.A bulletin published in Communist Party newspaper Granma on Tuesday announced the prison terms ranging from four to 12...

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