Friday, October 31, 2014

Scientists propose existence and interaction of parallel worlds: Many Interacting Worlds theory challenges foundations of quantum science

Academics are challenging the foundations of quantum science with a radical new theory on parallel universes. Scientists now propose that parallel universes really exist, and that they interact. They show that such an interaction could explain everything that is bizarre about quantum mechanics.



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Could copper prevent spread of Ebola?

Copper could help to prevent the spread of Ebola, researchers have found. While hand washing, disinfectants and quarantine procedures alone have been found to be insufficient to contain the spread of the virus, research has offered promising evidence that antimicrobial copper - engineering materials with intrinsic hygiene benefits - could be a valuable addition to these existing measures.



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Functional nanomaterials to advance vehicle battery tech

Toyota scientists will collaborate with Brookhaven Lab experts and use world-leading electron microscopes to explore the real-time electrochemical reactions in promising new batteries.



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Boosting biogasoline production in microbes

Microbial genes that can improve both the tolerance and the production of biogasoline in engineered strains of E. coli have been identified by researchers. "Our study demonstrates that microbial tolerance engineering using transcriptomics data can be used to identify target genes that improve fuel production," says the lead researcher. "Our targets include a regulator for amino acid biosynthesis, and an ABC transporter protein, the first native transporter that improves tolerance to a short-chain alcohol."



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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Combing the atmosphere to measure greenhouse gases

By remotely 'combing' the atmosphere with a custom laser-based instrument, researchers have developed a new technique that can accurately measure -- over a sizeable distance -- amounts of several of the major 'greenhouse' gases implicated in climate change.



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Clean smell doesn't always mean clean air

Scientists are taking a closer look at aerosol formation involving an organic compound -- called limonene -- that provides the pleasant smell of cleaning products and air fresheners. This research will help to determine what byproducts these sweet-smelling compounds are adding to the air while we are using them to remove germs and odors.



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Microrockets fueled by water neutralize chemical and biological warfare agents

With fears growing over chemical and biological weapons falling into the wrong hands, scientists are developing microrockets to fight back against these dangerous agents, should the need arise. They have developed new spherical micromotors that rapidly neutralize chemical and biological agents and use water as fuel.



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Scientists' new analysis of plant proteins advances our understanding of photosynthesis

A world without plants would be a world without oxygen, uninhabitable for us and for many creatures. We know plants release oxygen by absorbing carbon dioxide and breaking down water using sunlight through the process of photosynthesis. However, we know little about the mechanics of how plants create oxygen during photosynthesis. A breakthrough that will help advance our understanding of this critical ecological process was made recently by scientists.



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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Co-opting bacterial immune system to turn off specific genes

A technique that co-opts an immune system already present in bacteria and archaea to turn off specific genes or sets of genes -- creating a powerful tool for future research on genetics and related fields -- has been developed by researchers. "This should not only expedite scientific discovery, but help us better engineer microbial organisms to further biotechnology and medicine," says a senior author of a paper on the work. "For example, this could help us develop bacterial strains that are more efficient at converting plant biomass into liquid fuels."



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Tracking heat-driven decay in leading electric vehicle batteries

In a new study, scientists reveal the atomic-scale structural and electronic degradations that plague some rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and make them vulnerable during high-temperature operations.



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'Sticky' ends start synthetic collagen growth

Researchers detail how synthetic collagen helices self-assemble into fibers and gels. The discovery could lead to better synthetic materials for medical applications, they say. Collagen is the most common protein in mammals, a major component of bone and the fibrous tissues that support cells and hold organs together. Discovering its secrets may lead to better synthetic collagen for tissue engineering and cosmetic and reconstructive medicine.



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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Deepwater Horizon spill: Much of the oil at bottom of the sea

Due to its unprecedented scope, the damage assessment caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been a challenge. One unsolved puzzle is the location of 2 million barrels of submerged oil thought to be trapped in the deep ocean.



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Ultrafast electron diffraction experiments open a new window on the microscopic world

Researchers have succeeded in simultaneously observing the reorganizations of atomic positions and electron distribution during the transformation of the “smart material” vanadium dioxide from a semiconductor into a metal – in a timeframe a trillion times faster than the blink of an eye.



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Emergent behavior lets bubbles 'sense' environment

Tiny, soapy bubbles can reorganize their membranes to let material flow in and out in response to the surrounding environment, according to researchers. This behavior could be exploited in creating microbubbles that deliver drugs or other payloads inside the body -- and could help us understand how the very first living cells on Earth might have survived billions of years ago.



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How cells know which way to go

Amoebas aren’t the only cells that crawl: Movement is crucial to development, wound healing and immune response in animals, not to mention cancer metastasis. In two new studies, researchers answer long-standing questions about how complex cells sense the chemical trails that show them where to go — and the role of cells’ internal “skeleton” in responding to those cues.



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Breakthrough in molecular electronics paves way for new generation of DNA-based computer circuits

Scientists have announced a significant breakthrough toward developing DNA-based electrical circuits. Molecular electronics, which uses molecules as building blocks for the fabrication of electronic components, has been seen as the ultimate solution to the miniaturization challenge. However, to date, no one has actually been able to make complex electrical circuits using molecules. Now scientists report reproducible and quantitative measurements of electricity flow through long molecules made of four DNA strands, signaling a significant breakthrough towards the development of DNA-based electrical circuits.



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Sunday, October 26, 2014

New compounds for tunable OLED devices manufacturing

New organic compounds characterized by a higher modularity, stability and efficiency, have been developed by researchers. These compounds could be applicable in the semiconductors industry for using them in electronics or lighting.



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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Li-ion batteries contain toxic halogens, but environmentally friendly alternatives exist

Physics researchers have discovered that most of the electrolytes used in lithium-ion batteries -- commonly found in consumer electronic devices -- are superhalogens, and that the vast majority of these electrolytes contain toxic halogens.



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Liquid helium offers a fascinating new way to make charged molecules

Chemists have developed a completely new way of forming charged molecules which offers tremendous potential for new areas of chemical research.



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Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers’ instructions. Chlorinated paraffins are included in the subject group of persistent organic pollutants which humans and animals should be protected from.



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New insights on carbonic acid in water: Implications for geological and biological processes

A new study provides valuable new insight into aqueous carbonic acid with important implications for both geological and biological concerns.



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Chemists achieve new technique with profound implications for drug development: Pure batches of 'one-handed' molecules

Chemists have established a new C-H activation technique that opens the door to creating a broader range of pure molecules of one-handedness or “chirality” by eliminating previous starting-material limitations.



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Friday, October 24, 2014

Designer 'barrel' proteins created

Designer proteins that expand on nature's own repertoire, created by a team of chemists and biochemists, are described in a new paper. Proteins are long linear molecules that fold up to form well-defined 3D shapes. These 3D molecular architectures are essential for biological functions such as the elasticity of skin, the digestion of food, and the transport of oxygen in blood.



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Molecular structure of water at gold electrodes revealed

Researchers have recorded the first observations of the molecular structure of liquid water at a gold electrode under different battery charging conditions.



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First protein microfiber engineered: New material advances tissue engineering and drug delivery

Researchers have broken new ground in the development of proteins that form specialized fibers used in medicine and nanotechnology. For as long as scientists have been able to create new proteins that are capable of self-assembling into fibers, their work has taken place on the nanoscale. For the first time, this achievement has been realized on the microscale -- a leap of magnitude in size that presents significant new opportunities for using engineered protein fibers.



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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bipolar disorder discovery at the nano level

A nano-sized discovery helps explain how bipolar disorder affects the brain and could one day lead to new drug therapies to treat the mental illness, researchers report.



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As permafrost soils thaw soil microbes amplify global climate change

Scientists have discovered how an invisible menagerie of microbes in permafrost soils acts as global drivers of Earth processes such as climate via gas exchange between soils and the atmosphere. These findings will help climate modelers more accurately predict Earth's future climate.



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An effective, cost-saving way to detect natural gas pipeline leaks

Major leaks from oil and gas pipelines have led to home evacuations, explosions, millions of dollars in lawsuit payouts and valuable natural resources escaping into the air, ground and water. Scientists say they have now developed a new software-based method that finds leaks even when they're small, which could help prevent serious incidents -- and save money for customers and industry.



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A 'Star Wars' laser bullet -- this is what it really looks like

Action-packed science-fiction movies often feature colourful laser bolts. But what would a real laser missile look like during flight, if we could only make it out? How would it illuminate its surroundings?



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Skin patch could replace the syringe for disease diagnosis

Drawing blood and testing it is standard practice for many medical diagnostics. As a less painful alternative, scientists are developing skin patches that could one day replace the syringe. Scientists now they have designed and successfully tested, for the first time, a small skin patch that detected malaria proteins in live mice. It could someday be adapted for use in humans to diagnose other diseases, too.



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Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas

BiogàsPlus, a technology which allows increasing the production of biogas by 200% with a controlled introduction of iron oxide nanoparticles to the process of organic waste treatment, has been developed by scientists.



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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Special microscope captures defects in nanotubes

Chemists have devised a way to see the internal structures of electronic waves trapped in carbon nanotubes by external electrostatic charges. Carbon nanotubes have been touted as exceptional materials with unique properties that allow for extremely efficient charge and energy transport, with the potential to open the way for new, more efficient types of electronic and photovoltaic devices. However, these traps, or defects, in ultra-thin nanotubes can compromise their effectiveness.



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Scientists disprove theory that reconstructed boron surface is metallic

Scientific inquiry is a hit and miss proposition, subject to constant checking and rechecking. Recently, a new class of materials was discovered called topological insulators—nonmetallic materials with a metallic surface capable of conducting electrons. The effect, based on relativity theory, exists only in special materials -— those with heavy elements —- and has the potential to revolutionize electronics.



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Detecting cancer earlier is goal of new medical imaging technology

A new medical imaging method could help physicians detect cancer and other diseases earlier than before, speeding treatment and reducing the need for invasive, time-consuming biopsies. The potentially lifesaving technique uses nanotechnology and shortwave infrared light to reveal small cancerous tumors and cardiovascular lesions deep inside the body.



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Extremely high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging

For the first time, researchers have succeeded to detect a single hydrogen atom using magnetic resonance imaging, which signifies a huge increase in the technology's spatial resolution. In the future, single-atom MRI could be used to shed new light on protein structures.



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Researchers patent a nanofluid that improves heat conductivity

Researchers have developed and patented a nanofluid improving thermal conductivity at temperatures up to 400°C without assuming an increase in costs or a remodeling of the infrastructure. This progress has important applications in sectors such as chemical, petrochemical and energy, thus becoming a useful technology in all industrial applications using heat transfer systems such as solar power plants, nuclear power plants, combined-cycle power plants and heating, among other.



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How radiotherapy kills cancer cells

A new discovery in experimental physics has implications for understanding how radiotherapy kills cancer cells, among other things.



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Monday, October 20, 2014

Facetless crystals that mimic starfish shells could advance 3-D-printing pills

In a design that mimics a hard-to-duplicate texture of starfish shells, engineers have made rounded crystals that have no facets.



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Scientists create possible precursor to life

How did life originate? And can scientists create life? These questions not only occupy the minds of scientists interested in the origin of life, but also researchers working with technology of the future. If we can create artificial living systems, we may not only understand the origin of life -- we can also revolutionize the future of technology.



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In between red light and blue light: New functionality of molecular light switches

Diatoms play an important role in water quality and in the global climate. They generate about one fourth of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere and perform around one-quarter of the global carbon dioxide assimilation, i.e. they convert carbon dioxide into organic substances. Their light receptors are a crucial factor in this process. Researchers have now discovered that blue and red light sensing photoreceptors control the carbon flow in these algae.



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Imaging electric charge propagating along microbial nanowires

Physicists report that they've used a new imaging technique, electrostatic force microscopy, to resolve the biological debate with evidence from physics, showing that electric charges do indeed propagate along microbial nanowires just as they do in carbon nanotubes, a highly conductive human-made material.



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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Crystallizing the DNA nanotechnology dream

For the last 20 years, scientists have tried to design large DNA crystals with precisely prescribed depth and complex features -- a design quest just fulfilled by scientists. The team built 32 DNA crystals with precisely-defined depth and an assortment of sophisticated three-dimensional features.



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Friday, October 17, 2014

Impact of offshore wind farms on marine species

Offshore wind power is a valuable source of renewable energy that can help reduce carbon emissions. Technological advances are allowing higher capacity turbines to be installed in deeper water, but there is still much unknown about the effects on the environment. Scientists have now reviewed the potential impacts of offshore wind developments on marine species and make recommendations for future monitoring and assessment as interest in offshore wind energy grows around the world.



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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Simple and versatile way to build 3-D materials of the future

Researchers have developed a novel yet simple technique, called 'diffusion driven layer-by-layer assembly,' to construct graphene into porous three-dimensional structures for applications in devices such as batteries and supercapacitors.



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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Optimal particle size for anticancer nanomedicines discovered

Nanomedicines consisting of nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery to specific tissues and cells offer new solutions for cancer diagnosis and therapy. In a recent study, researchers systematically evaluated the size-dependent biological profiles of three monodisperse drug-silica nanoconjugates to determine the optimum particle size for tissue penetration and tumor inhibition.



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A brighter design emerges for low-cost, 'greener' LED light bulbs

The phase-out of traditional incandescent bulbs in the U.S. and elsewhere, as well as a growing interest in energy efficiency, has given light-emitting diode lighting a sales boost. However, that trend could be short-lived as key materials known as rare earth elements become more expensive. Scientists have now designed new materials for making household light-emitting diode bulbs without using these ingredients.



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Power of thorium for improved nuclear design explored by scientists

The development of a radical new type of nuclear power station that is safer, more cost-effective, compact, quicker and less disruptive to build than any previously constructed is underway.



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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Beyond LEDs: Brighter, new energy-saving flat panel lights based on carbon nanotubes

Scientists have developed a new type of energy-efficient flat light source based on carbon nanotubes with very low power consumption of around 0.1 Watt for every hour’s operation -- about a hundred times lower than that of an LED.



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Scientists create new protein-based material with some nerve

Scientists have taken proteins from nerve cells and used them to create a 'smart' material that is extremely sensitive to its environment. The work could lead to new types of biological sensors, flow valves and controlled drug release systems, they report.



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Do cycle lanes increase safety of cyclists from overtaking vehicles?

Cycling is well known to improve individual health and fitness; it also benefits the wider population in terms of economy, road congestion and environmental impact. However, despite benefits outweighing the risks by 20:1, many consider the risk too great and fear of perceived danger on the road needs to be tackled.



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