Sunday, January 31, 2016

New elements recently added to periodic table

A physicist lays claim to being instrumental in the discovery of four new super-heavy chemical elements—atomic numbers 113, 115, 117, and 118—recently added to the periodic table.

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New type of nanowires, built with natural gas heating

A new simple, cost-effective approach that may open up an effective way to make other metallic/semiconducting nanomaterials.

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Innovative molecule helps palladium catalyst create complex compounds

Innovative molecule helps palladium catalyst create complex compounds.

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Let them see you sweat: What new wearable sensors can reveal from perspiration

Engineers have developed the first fully integrated electronic system that can provide continuous, noninvasive monitoring of multiple biochemicals in sweat. The advance opens doors to wearable devices that alert users to health problems such as fatigue, dehydration and dangerously high body temperatures.

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Making liver tissue in the lab for transplants and drug screening

Engineered liver tissue could have a range of important uses, from transplants in patients suffering from the organ's failure to pharmaceutical testing. Now scientists report in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry the development of such a tissue, which closely mimics the liver's complicated microstructure and function more effectively than existing models.

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Creating 'greener' wrinkle-resistant cotton fabric

Ironing is a tedious chore, but wearing crumpled clothing is unprofessional. That's why 'wrinkle-resistant' garments have become so popular. But the current methods for making these textiles often release formaldehyde -- a chemical that in large amounts is hazardous to human health -- into the air and water. Now a team reports a method for making wrinkle-resistant cotton fabrics that is more environmentally friendly and cost effective.

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Turning electronic waste into gold

Anew financially viable and environmentally friendly way to recover and recycle gold from electronic waste has been outlined by scientists. With lower toxicity, cheaper cost and quicker extraction, the team has discovered an approach that could revolutionize the industry and be a veritable gold mine, so to speak.

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Easier way to make ‘bijels,’ a complex new form of liquid matter

Getting the interfaces between the two liquids into different shapes unlocks new kinds of behaviors and applications. And thanks to new research, one special kind of emulsion is becoming easier to make.

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Chemists uncover how key agent allows diseases to reproduce

Chemists have revealed the chemistry behind how certain diseases, from anthrax to tuberculosis, replicate. The key lies in the function of a gene absent in humans, called thyX, and its ability to catalyze the DNA building block thymine. The finding could help drug companies target the chemical reaction, rather than testing millions of compounds, to stop these diseases.

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You’ll never 'be-leaf' what makes up this battery!

Scientists have a new recipe for batteries: Bake a leaf, and add sodium. They used a carbonized oak leaf, pumped full of sodium, as a demonstration battery’s negative terminal, or anode, according to a paper published yesterday in the journal ACS Applied Materials Interfaces.

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Completely new kind of polymer could lead to artificial muscles, self-repairing materials

Imagine a polymer with removable parts that can deliver something to the environment and then be chemically regenerated to function again. Or a polymer that can contract and expand the way muscles do. These functions require polymers with both rigid and soft nano-sized compartments with extremely different properties. Researchers have developed a hybrid polymer of this type that might one day be used in artificial muscles; for delivery of drugs or biomolecules; in self-repairing materials; and for replaceable energy sources.

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Small is different

In the production of margarine, millions of tons of unsaturated fatty acids are converted from vegetable oils using hydrogen. While searching for improved catalysts for these so-called hydrogenation reactions, a research team made a discovery that puts a 50-year old rule in question: In catalytic particles comprising only a few atoms, shape and size influence reactivity much more strongly then previously thought.

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Harnessing the oxidizing power of air

Researchers report the catalysis of a highly specific chemical reaction where oxygen from the air is one ingredient and the other, an organic molecule, is selectively 'oxidized'. A simple manganese compound catalyses this reaction. This type of methodology is an important step for the discovery of new catalysts, for example, for the conversion of methane into methanol or greener chemical processes for pharmaceutical production.

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Breakthrough enables ultra-fast transport of electrical charges in polymers

For the first time, researchers have shown that a very efficient vertical charge transport in semiconducting polymers is possible by controlled chain and crystallite orientation. These pioneering results enhance charge transport in polymers by more than 1,000 times, have implications for organic opto-electronic devices.

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Breakthrough enables ultra fast transport of electrical charges in polymers

A research team at UmeƄ University in Sweden has showed, for the first time, that a very efficient vertical charge transport in semiconducting polymers is possible by controlled chain and crystallite orientation. These pioneering results, which enhance charge transport in polymers by more than 1,000 times, have implications for organic opto-electronic devices.

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Increasing oil's performance with crumpled graphene balls

Crumpled graphene balls self-disperse in oil to reduce friction and protect engines better than commercial lubricants.

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Determination of ion exchange constants for ion exchange processes occurring at the cationic micellar surface

The effects of moderately hydrophobic counter ions (X) on cationic micellar growth have been studied extensively because of its various industrial applications. We have developed a chemical method to quantify X affinity to ionic micelles, and X-induced and temperature-induced micellar growth (spherical-to-wormlike micelles-to-vesicles).

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Alternative to platinum: Iron-nitrogen compounds as catalysts in graphene

A cost-effective catalyst material has been produced for fuel cells using a new preparation process which researchers analyzed in detail. It consists of iron-nitrogen complexes embedded in tiny islands of graphene only a few nanometres in diameter. It is only the FeN4 centres that provide the excellent catalytic efficiency -- approaching that of platinum. The results are interesting for solar fuels research, they say.

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Cracking cases with nuclear forensics

A group of nuclear detectives has taken on tough challenges, from detecting illicit uranium using isotopic “fingerprints” to investigating Presidential assassination conspiracies.

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Exploiting non-selective polymeric membrane for determination of ionic mixtures

Multiple sensing cells built from non-selective sensing membrane can be adopted to produce sensor signals that can be fed as variables into a multivariate analytical algorithms.

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New research advances oil production in yeast

A research team has adapted the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system for use in a yeast strain that can produce useful lipids and polymers. The development will lead to new precursors for biofuels, specialty polymers, adhesives and fragrances.

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Sophisticated enzyme-mimic enables efficient hydrogen production

Researchers have developed a new catalyst that paves the way for low-cost, large-scale hydrogen-production.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Scientists synthesize nanoparticles that can deliver tumor suppressors to damaged livers

Chemists have successfully used synthetic nanoparticles to deliver tumor-suppressing therapies to diseased livers with cancer, an important hurdle scientists have been struggling to conquer.

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No more insulin injections?

In patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the pancreas, eventually leaving patients without the ability to naturally control blood sugar. These patients must carefully monitor the amount of sugar in their blood, measuring it several times a day and then injecting themselves with insulin to keep their blood sugar levels within a healthy range, which is a challenge for many reasons. Now researchers report that encapsulated pancreatic cells offer possible new diabetes treatment.

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Scientists create graphene barrier to precisely control molecules for making nanoelectronics

Gardeners often use sheets of plastic with strategically placed holes to allow their plants to grow but keep weeds from taking root. Scientists have found that the same basic approach is an effective way to place molecules in the specific patterns they need within tiny nanoelectronic devices.

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With microbial technology, researchers increases by 26% the recovery of hydrocarbons in oil wells

With microbial technology, the a research team aims to increase hydrocarbon recovery factor in extraction wells. The Technology of Hydrocarbons Recovery using Microbes uses microorganisms found in oil samples that already produce metabolites like carbon dioxide, solvents and acids to increase the recovery factor.

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New fluorescent nanomaterials whose inspiration was taken from plant antenna systems

One of the biggest temptations facing a scientist is to try and reproduce natural phenomena which are so fascinating given their effectiveness and perfection. Scientists have now designed a set of fluorescent nanomaterials which have taken their inspiration from the antenna systems of plants. These new multifunctional materials aim to imitate the photosynthetic organisms of plants. These microorganisms consist of thousands of chlorophyll molecules embedded in a protein matrix, which provides them with a specific orientation/arrangement and intermolecular distance.

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Flexible and transparent pressure sensor

Healthcare practitioners may one day be able to physically screen for breast cancer using pressure-sensitive rubber gloves to detect tumors, owing to a transparent, bendable and sensitive pressure sensor.

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Novel 4-D printing method blossoms from botanical inspiration

A team of scientists has evolved their microscale 3-D printing technology to the fourth dimension, time. Inspired by natural structures like plants, which respond and change their form over time according to environmental stimuli, the team has unveiled 4-D-printed hydrogel composite structures that change shape upon immersion in water.

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Beetle-inspired discovery could reduce frost's costly sting

Researchers made a beetle-inspired surface that uses chemical micropatterns to control the growth of condensation and frost. They were even able to create a surface where inter-droplet ice growth is completely stopped.

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Researchers use neutrons to gain insight into battery inefficiency

Lithium ions are depleted as a battery charges and are also lost to the formation of a thin coating on a battery’s anode. Researchers used powerful neutron science facilities to try to understand the dynamics behind this phenomenon.

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Sponge-like material to more efficiently store natural gas

Researchers are utilizing metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to develop a new type of storage system that would adsorb natural gas like a sponge and allow for more energy-efficient storage and use.

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Self-stacking nanogrids

Researchers have described the first technique for stacking layers of block-copolymer wires such that the wires in one layer naturally orient themselves perpendicularly to those in the layer below.

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Microwaved nanotubes come up clean

Researchers use a household microwave oven to enhance the purification of carbon nanotubes. The work could help in the preparation of nanotubes for drug delivery or photovoltaic applications.

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Mystery surrounding non-platinum catalysts for fuel cell technologies solved

A persistent mystery surrounding the structure of nitrogen-doped carbon catalysts has been solved, say researchers, with potential for a range of fuel cell technologies. Constructing and testing a number of model catalysts allowed the researchers to clarify the active site as being the carbon atom attached to pyridinic nitrogens in the material. These developments open the door for optimization studies looking to accelerate gains in catalyst performance.

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Scientists discover method to potentially repair nerve damage

Nerve damage from neurodegenerative disease and spinal cord injury has largely been considered irreversible, but researchers now report progress in the effort to synthesize rare natural products that promote regeneration and growth of injured nerve cells.

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Molecular-like photochemistry from semiconductor nanocrystals

Researchers have demonstrated the transfer of triplet exciton energy from semiconductor nanocrystals to surface-bound molecular acceptors, extending the lifetime of the originally prepared excited state by six orders of magnitude.

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Researchers prove surprising chemistry inside a potential breakthrough battery

Lithium-air batteries hold the promise of storing electricity at up to five times the energy density of today's familiar lithium-ion batteries, but they have inherent shortcomings. Researchers have helped prove that a new prototype is powered by a surprising chemical reaction that may solve the new battery's biggest drawback.

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First materials woven at atomic and molecular levels: Weaving a new story for COFS and MOFs

Scientists have woven the first 3-D covalent organic frameworks (COFs) from helical organic threads. The woven COFs display significant advantages in structural flexibility, resiliency and reversibility over previous COFs.

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Toward consistently good pinot noir

The grapes used to make pinot noir, the red wine of hit comedy 'Sideways' fame, are known to be literally and figuratively thin-skinned. They're highly sensitive to their environment, making it difficult for growers to determine their quality at harvest time. To get a better handle on the finicky fruit, scientists have now figured out how the grapes' aroma profile changes as they ripen.

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Gone fishin' for natural products, with a new dragnet

Nature contains a treasure trove of substances that could help fight human disease. Just this year, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine honored the development of drugs that fight parasites and malaria based on such 'natural products.' But finding these molecules and discovering new chemical identities represents slow and painstaking work. This week researchers report a new way to greatly speed up that process.

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Nano-weaving: Synthesis of threaded polymers begins

For the first time, scientists have been able to weave a material at molecular level.

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New light shed on structure of gold nanoparticles in water

For the first time, researchers have determined the dynamical behavior of the ligand layer of a water-soluble gold nanocluster in solution. Nanometre-scale gold particles are used for applications as catalysts, sensors, drug delivery devices and biological contrast agents and as components in photonics and molecular electronics.

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New insights into the supercritical state of water

Using molecular dynamics simulations, researchers have analyzed the properties of supercritical water. The researchers showed which structure of the hydrogen bond network is formed in different supercritical states and also simulated the relevant terahertz spectra. This approach may help in future to interpret experimental results.

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Research sheds new light on structure of gold nanoparticles in water

Researchers have for the first time ever determined the dynamical behavior of the ligand layer of a water-soluble gold nanocluster in solution. The breakthrough opens a way towards controllable strategies for the functionalisation of ligated nanoparticles for applications.

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Scientists have shown how to make a low-cost yet high precision glass nanoengraving

A mechanism of laser deposition of patterns on glass with a resolution of 1000 times lower than the width of a human hair has been developed by scientists. This mechanism allows inexpensively and relatively easy to apply complex patterns to a glass surface, whereby obtaining a spatial resolution of less than 100 nanometers.

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Mechanism for direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide revealed

The mechanism for the direct synthesis of H2O2 on palladium cluster catalysts has been revealed, paving the way to design improved catalysts to produce H2O2 to use in place of harmful chlorine, regardless of the scale of the production facility.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Self-heating lithium-ion battery could beat the winter woes

A lithium-ion battery that self heats if the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit has multiple applications, but may have the most impact on relieving winter 'range anxiety' for electric vehicle owners, according to a team of researchers.

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New process enables easier isolation of carbon nanotubes

Long carbon nanotubes with high structural integrity, and without contaminants, can be obtained by using a newly created process. The improved characteristics of these high-quality nanotubes can then be utilized in fields such as materials science, and in electrical and biomedical applications.

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High-performance material polyimide for the first time with angular shape

Using a new synthesis procedure, it is now possible to produce the extremely resistant material polyimide in the form of angular particles for the first time.

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