Friday, December 30, 2016

New class of hydrogen sulfide donor molecules

Researchers have designed molecules with the potential to deliver healing power to stressed cells -- such as those involved in heart attacks. The research, at a cellular level in the lab, involves organic molecules that break down to release hydrogen sulfide when triggered by oxidative stress.

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Nitrogen doped bimodal cellular structure activated carbon produced

Phenol-urea-formaldehyde (PUF) organic foam were used as precusors for the new monolithic nitrogen-containing microporous cellular activated carbons production. Carbonization and CO2 activation were used to prepare this novel monolithic nitrogen-containing activated carbon foam with both interconnected macroporous and micro/meso- porosity structures from the developed PUF organic foam.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Miniscule amounts of impurities in vacuum greatly affecting OLED lifetime

Reproducibility is a necessity for science but has often eluded researchers studying the lifetime of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Recent research from Japan sheds new light on why: impurities present in the vacuum chamber during fabrication but in amounts so small that they are easily overlooked.

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Engineers create programmable silk-based materials with embedded, pre-designed functions

Engineers have created a new format of solids made from silk protein that can be preprogrammed with biological, chemical, or optical functions, such as mechanical components that change color with strain, deliver drugs, or respond to light.

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Light opens, closes windows in membranes

Researchers have developed novel membranes, whose selectivity can be switched dynamically with the help of light. For this purpose, azobenzene molecules were integrated into membranes made of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Depending on the irradiation wavelength, these azobenzene units in the MOFs adopt a stretched or angular form. In this way, it is possible to dynamically adjust the permeability of the membrane and the separation factor of gases or liquids.

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Stability challenge in perovskite solar cell technology

While solar cell technology is currently being used by many industrial and government entities, it remains prohibitively expensive to many individuals who would like to utilize it. There is a need for cheaper, more efficient solar cells than the traditional silicon solar cells so that more people may have access to this technology. One of the current popular topics in photovoltaic technology research centers around the use of organic-inorganic halide perovskites as solar cells because of the high power conversion efficiency and the low-cost fabrication.

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Scientists develop solvent-, catalyst-free way to produce alkali metal hydrides

Researchers have found a way to create alkali metal hydrides without the use of solvents or catalysts. The process, using room temperature mechanical ball milling, provides a lower cost method to produce these alkali metals which are widely used in industrial processes as reducing and drying agents, precursors in synthesis of complex metal hydrides, hydrogen storage materials, and in nuclear engineering.

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Scientists identify a new approach to recycle greenhouse gas

Using a novel approach involving a key enzyme that helps regulate global nitrogen, molecular biologists have discovered an effective way to convert carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide that can be adapted for commercial applications like biofuel synthesis.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Bright future for energy devices

A new material embeds sodium metal in carbon and could improve electrode performance in energy devices. Scientists ran tests on the sodium-embedded carbon and it performed better than graphene in dye-sensitized solar cells and supercapacitors.

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New ultrasound technique is first to image inside live cells

Researchers have developed a breakthrough technique that uses sound rather than light to see inside live cells, with potential application in stem-cell transplants and cancer diagnosis.

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Light powers new chemistry for old enzymes

Researchers have developed a method that irradiates biological enzymes with light to expand their highly efficient and selective capacity for catalysis to new chemistry.

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Nanoarray sniffs out and distinguishes multiple diseases

Before modern medical lab techniques became available, doctors diagnosed some diseases by smelling a patient's breath. Scientists have been working for years to develop analytical instruments that can mimic this sniff-and-diagnose ability. Now, researchers report that they have identified a unique 'breathprint' for each disease. Using this information, they have designed a device that screens breath samples to classify and diagnose several types of diseases.

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Chemistry research breakthrough that could improve nuclear waste recycling technologies

Researchers have taken a major step forward by describing the quantitative modelling of the electronic structure of a family of uranium nitride compounds – a process that could in the future help with nuclear waste recycling technologies.

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'Glue' that makes plant cell walls strong could hold the key to wooden skyscrapers

Molecules 10,000 times narrower than the width of a human hair could hold the key to making possible wooden skyscrapers and more energy-efficient paper production, according to new research. The study solves a long-standing mystery of how key sugars in cells bind to form strong, indigestible materials.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Neutron diffraction probes forms of carbon dioxide in extreme environments

Through a Deep Carbon Observatory collaboration, researchers are using neutrons to study the fundamental role carbon dioxide plays in Earth’s carbon cycle, especially in the composition of carbon reservoirs in the deep Earth and the evolution of the carbon cycle over time.

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Scientists bear witness to birth of an ice cloud

Scientists have witnessed the birth of atmospheric ice clouds, creating ice cloud crystals in the laboratory and then taking images of the process through a microscope, essentially documenting the very first steps of cloud formation.

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New approach to water splitting could improve hydrogen production

A team of researchers has demonstrated a more efficient, less cost-prohibitive way to split water into its elements of hydrogen and oxygen. Their approach could make hydrogen fuel a more viable energy source in the future while addressing the technological challenge of developing clean and renewable energy without depleting Earth’s natural preserves.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

The Deepwater Horizon aftermath

Researchers have analyzed 125 compounds from oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico to determine their longevity at different contamination.

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First use of graphene to detect cancer cells

By interfacing brain cells onto graphene, researchers have shown they can differentiate a single hyperactive cancerous cell from a normal cell, pointing the way to developing a simple, noninvasive tool for early cancer diagnosis.

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

An informatics approach helps better identify chemical combinations in consumer products

An informatics approach can help prioritize chemical combinations for further testing by determining the prevalence of individual ingredients and their most likely combinations in consumer products.

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World’s smallest radio receiver has building blocks the size of two atoms

Researchers have made the world’s smallest radio receiver – built out of an assembly of atomic-scale defects in pink diamonds.

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Water: Finding the normal within the weird

Researchers have figured out a way to take snapshots of liquid water freezing within a deeply supercooled range of temperatures. This range has long remained a mystery and has given rise to the ideas that it might behave in an unusual way. It turns out water isn't as weird as it could be. Liquid water can exist all the way down to the glass transition point, crystallizing into a solid more slowly as things get colder.

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New graphene-based system could help us see electrical signaling in heart and nerve cells

Scientists have enlisted the exotic properties of graphene to function like the film of an incredibly sensitive camera system in visually mapping tiny electric fields. They hope to enlist the new method to image electrical signaling networks in our hearts and brains.

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Ultrafast lasers reveal light-harvesting secrets of photosynthetic algae

Using ultrafast lasers, scientists discovered a surprising mechanism of cryptophyte algae for extremely efficient light-harvesting that gives valuable insight for the design of artificial light capture systems.

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Macromolecules: Light to design precision polymers

Chemists have succeeded in specifically controlling the setup of precision polymers by light-induced chemical reactions. The new method allows for the precise, planned arrangement of the chain links, i.e. monomers, along polymer chains of standard length. The precisely structured macromolecules develop defined properties and may possibly be suited for use as storage systems of information or synthetic biomolecules.

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Capturing the energy of slow motion

A team of materials scientists and electrical engineers has designed a mechanical energy transducer that points toward a new direction in scalable energy harvesting of unused mechanical energy, including wind, ocean waves and human motion.

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Biodegradable polymer coating for implants

Medical implants often carry surface substrates that release active substances or to which biomolecules or cells can adhere better. However, degradable gas-phase coatings for degradable implants, such as surgical suture materials or scaffolds for tissue culturing, have been lacking so far. In a new article, researchers now present a polymer coating that is degraded in the body together with its carrier.

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Masters of crystallization

Biology isn't just for biologists anymore. That's nowhere more apparent than in the newly furnished lab in room 097 of the Shriram Center basement, where flasks of bacterial and animal cells, snug in their incubators, are churning out proteins destined for jobs they may not have done in nature.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Researchers work to improve the lifecycle of materials

In a sweeping perspective article, a trio of researchers reviews the field they pioneered more than a decade-and-a-half ago and look at the future of autonomous polymers.

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New way to trap dangerous gases

A team of researchers has developed a novel method for trapping potentially harmful gases within microscopic organo-metallic structures.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New anode material set to boost lithium-ion battery capacity

A team of researchers claims to have made yet another step towards finding a solution to accelerate the commercialization of silicon anode for Lithium-ion batteries.

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Nanorockets now available with brakes and a steering wheel

Tiny machines like nanorockets are ideal candidates for drug delivery in the human body. Chemists now demonstrate the first complete movement regulation of a nanorocket, by providing temperature responsive brakes. An interesting feature for practical applications, since temperature sensitivity enables the rocket to stop in diseased tissues where temperatures are higher.

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Chemists uncover a means to control catalytic reactions

Scientists have found a way to make catalysis more selective, breaking one chemical bond 100 times faster than another. The team of researchers employed a combination of experiment and theory to discover that the position of the molecule on the catalytic surface is a key factor in determining the rate at which particular bonds break.

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Hydraulic fracturing fluids affect water chemistry from gas wells

Pressure, temperature and fluid composition play an important role in the amount of metals and other chemicals found in wastewaters from hydraulically fractured gas reservoirs, according to researchers.

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Wind farms play key role in cutting carbon emissions, study finds

Wind farms have made a significant impact in limiting carbon emissions from other sources of power generation in Great Britain, a study shows.

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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Natural gas and wind are the lowest-cost generation technologies for much of the U. S.

Natural gas and wind are the lowest-cost technology options for new electricity generation across much of the U.S. when cost, public health impacts and environmental effects are considered, according to new research.

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Hydrogen from sunlight -- but as a dark reaction

The storage of photogenerated electric energy and its release on demand are still among the main obstacles in artificial photosynthesis. One of the most promising, recently identified photocatalytic new materials is inexpensive graphitic carbon nitride. Scientists have now explored a modified form that can produce light-generated electrons and store them for catalytic hydrogen production even after the light has been switched off.

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Friday, December 9, 2016

Wind turbines may have beneficial effects for crops, research suggests

Turbulence created by wind turbines may help corn and soybeans by influencing variables such as temperature and carbon dioxide concentration, according to research. The project drew on data generated by research towers set up on a 200-turbine wind farm in Iowa.

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A step to understanding polymorphs

Scientists have looked at some of the organizing principles behind crystal structures with high Z'. This study lies at the very heart of understanding and being able to control properties of molecular structures.

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Cloud formation: How feldspar acts as ice nucleus

In the atmosphere, feldspar particles act as ice nuclei that make ice crystals grow in clouds and enable precipitation. The reason was found with the help of electron microscopy observations and molecular dynamics computer modeling. The ice nucleus proper is a quasi-hidden crystal surface of the feldspar that is exposed at surface defects only. The researchers present their findings that are of major relevance to the understanding of cloud and precipitation formation in Science.

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Chemical trickery corrals 'hyperactive' metal-oxide cluster

After decades of eluding researchers because of chemical instability, key metal-oxide clusters have been isolated in water, a significant advance for growing the clusters with the impeccable control over atoms that's required to manufacture small features in electronic circuits.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Observing crystallization at the molecular level for the first time

We watch crystallization take place every winter when ice crystals form on our windows. But no one had ever seen it happen at the molecular level – until now. Scientists have created a way to observe this phase of crystallization, verifying long-held theories.

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Scientists track chemical, structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3D

To help tackle the challenge of finding effective, inexpensive catalysts for fuel cells, scientists have produced dynamic, 3D images that reveal how catalytic nanoparticles evolve as they are processed.

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Keeping electric car design on the right road

Pushing nanoscale battery developments in the right direction can help create a sustainable transport sector, suggests investigators in a new report.

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X-ray spectroscopy reveals details of capacity fading in Li-ion batteries

The improvement of batteries is one of the key factors in increasing the performance of electric vehicles. To this end scientists are employing advanced X-ray spectroscopy of battery electrodes under operating conditions. Recently this has provided new insight in the process responsible for capacity fading of Li-ion batteries.

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Successful synthesis of pure organic molecules that shows metallic conduction under ambient pressure

For the first time in the world, a research team has designed and fabricated single-component organic molecules that are conductive like metal under normal pressure, despite the fact that the molecules contain neither multiple molecules nor metal elements. Because the molecules are completely pure, they are more durable and stable compared to conventional chemically doped organic conductive materials. The new molecules may be applied to solar cell electrodes and touch panels.

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Decoding cement's shape promises greener concrete

Materials scientists develop techniques to control the microscopic shape of cement particles for the bottom-up manufacture of stronger, more durable and more environmentally friendly concrete.

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Machine learning enables predictive modeling of 2-D materials

Scientists have used machine learning tools to create the first atomic-level model that accurately predicts the thermal properties of stanene, a 2-D material made up of a one-atom-thick sheet of tin.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Uncovering the secrets of water and ice as materials

Water is vital to life on Earth and its importance simply can’t be overstated -- it’s also deeply rooted within our conscience that there’s something extremely special about it. Yet, from a scientific point of view, much remains unknown about water and its many solid phases, which display a plethora of unusual properties and so-called anomalies that, while central to water’s chemical and biological importance, are often viewed as controversial.

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Scientific breakthrough reveals unprecedented alternative to battery power storage

Major scientific breakthrough research has discovered new materials offering an alternative to battery power and proven to be between 1,000-10,000 times more powerful than the existing battery alternative - a supercapacitor.

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