Friday, July 28, 2017

Broadband light sources with liquid core

Research scientists were successful in producing broadband laser light in the mid-infrared range with the help of liquid-filled optical fibers. With these fibers, they also provided experimental proof of a new dynamics of hybrid solitons -- a new type of temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting from the unique characteristics of the liquid core.

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New and novel paradigm for advancing research on beneficial microbes

While beneficial microbes are increasingly used in agriculture, environmental stressors such as heat can quickly kill or render them useless in the field; and discovering new and better treatments is slow due to the large microbial diversity in soils. Researchers now propose using ecological theory and practice to improve the process of microbial technology development.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

New method promises easier nanoscale manufacturing

A new way to precisely pattern nanomaterials has been revealed by researchers, who say that it could open a new path to the next generation of everyday electronic devices.

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New chemical structures built on unreactive bonds

Organic chemists have transformed strong carbon fluorine bonds into crowded quaternary carbon centers with cobalt catalyzed Grignard chemistry.

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Heavy metals in water meet their match

A high school student's project removes more than 99 percent of heavy metal toxins from water. A new article demonstrates its potential for water remediation in developing nations around the world.

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High-speed FM-AFM and simulation reveal atomistic dissolution processes of calcite in water

A high-speed frequency modulation AFM (FM-AFM) has been developed, which researchers say enables atomic-resolution imaging in liquid at ~1 s/frame.

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Seeing more with PET scans: New chemistry for medical imaging

Researchers have found a surprisingly versatile workaround to create chemical compounds that could prove useful for medical imaging and drug development.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Turning dirty tinfoil into biofuel catalyst

A researcher has discovered a way to convert dirty aluminium foil into a biofuel catalyst, which could help to solve global waste and energy problems.

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New membranes help reduce carbon dioxide emission

Scientists are developing membranes for an efficient separation of gasses, to use for the production of oxygen or hydrogen, for example.

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Chatting coordinates heterogeneity in bacteria

Bacterial populations can, under certain conditions, react in a coordinated manner to chemical messages produced by a minority of their members, as a new theoretical study carried out by biophysicists shows.

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Getting closer to porous, light-responsive materials

Researchers have developed a light-responsive crystalline material that overcomes challenges faced in previous studies.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Carbon nanotubes turn electrical current into light-emitting quasi-particles

Light-matter quasi-partic­les can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes, report scientists. Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers, they add.

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Could spraying particles into marine clouds help cool the planet?

A first test of humans' ability to modify clouds would help explain the behavior of clouds and aerosols, while also testing a possible future climate emergency measure.

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Allowable 'carbon budget' most likely overestimated

While most climate scientists, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, implicitly define 'pre-industrial' to be in the late 1800s, a true non-industrially influenced baseline is probably further in the past, according to an international team of researchers who are concerned because it affects the available carbon budget for meeting the 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warming limit agreed to in the Paris Conference of 2015.

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Fungi that evolved to eat wood offer new biomass conversion tool

Twenty years ago, a microbiologist and colleagues discovered a unique system that some microorganisms use to digest and recycle wood. Three orders of 'brown rot fungi' have now been identified that can break down biomass, but details of the mechanism were not known. Now, using several complementary research tools, these researchers report new details of an unexpected mechanism at work, one that surprisingly does not involve enzymes, the usual accelerators of chemical reactions.

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Could 'cocktail geoengineering' save the climate?

Geoengineering is a catch-all term that refers to various theoretical ideas for altering Earth's energy balance to combat climate change. New research from an international team of atmospheric scientists investigates for the first time the possibility of using a 'cocktail' of geoengineering tools to reduce changes in both temperature and precipitation caused by atmospheric greenhouse gases.

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Making polymer chemistry 'click'

A research team has developed a faster and easier way to make a class of sulfur-containing plastics that will lower the cost of large-scale production.

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From battery waste to electrochemical sensor

Multiplex detection of antioxidants, food additives and preservatives in food samples is possible using our newly developed graphite-based nanocomposite electrochemical sensor from used alkaline battery. The chemical sensor not only leads to shorter analysis time but also is a greener chemistry innovation.

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Chemical route towards electronic devices in graphene

Essential electronic components, such as diodes and tunnel barriers, can be incorporated in single graphene wires (nanoribbons) with atomic precision. The goal is to create graphene-based electronic devices with extremely fast operational speeds.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

High-temperature superconductivity in B-doped Q-carbon

Researchers have significantly increased the temperature at which carbon-based materials act as superconductors, using a novel, boron-doped Q-carbon material.

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Writing with the electron beam: Now in silver

For the first time an international team realized direct writing of silver nanostructures using an electron beam applied to a substrate. Silver nanostructures have the potential to concentrate visible light at the nanoscale. Potential applications include sensor design to detect extremely small traces of specific molecules, as well as devices for optical information processing.

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Multitasking monolayers

Two-dimensional materials that can multitask. That is the result of a new process that naturally produces patterned monolayers that can act as a base for creating a wide variety of novel materials with dual optical, magnetic, catalytic or sensing capabilities.

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Algae cultivation technique could advance biofuels

Washington State University researchers have developed a way to grow algae more efficiently -- in days instead of weeks -- and make the algae more viable for several industries, including biofuels.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Name that scotch: Colorimetric recognition of aldehydes and ketones

Vodka tastes different from brandy, and connoisseurs can distinguish among different brands of whiskeys. The flavors of spirits result from a complex bouquet of volatile compounds. New colorimetric sensor arrays on disposable test-strips read by hand-held devices allow for their rapid, inexpensive, and sensitive identification by their chemical 'fingerprints'. They are based on novel sensor arrays that detect and differentiate among a diverse range of aldehydes and ketones.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

High-tech sensing illuminates concrete stress testing

Using the principles of light, scientists have discovered a new way to measure the strength of modern forms of concrete -- giving industry a better way to understand when it could fracture.

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Kaleidoscope of colors reveals complex biological processes

Researchers have developed a technique that uses the vibration of chemical bonds to produce specific colors that allow them to simultaneously observe, in cells and tissues, as many as 24 interacting molecules -- each with a distinct color.

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Sparkling springs aid quest for underground heat energy sources

Studies of naturally carbonated mineral water have given scientists insight on how to locate hot water springs -- potential sources of sustainable geothermal energy.

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Holographic imaging could be used to detect signs of life in space

Engineers say a method called digital holographic microscopy could be used to detect living microbes in space.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

3-D imaging of surface chemistry in confinement

An optical imaging tool has been developed to visualize surface chemistry in real time. Researchers imaged the interfacial chemistry in the microscopically confined geometry of a simple glass micro-capillary. The glass is covered with hydroxyl (-OH) groups that can lose a proton -- a much-studied chemical reaction that is important in geology, chemistry and technology. A 100-micron long capillary displayed a remarkable spread in surface OH bond dissociation constant of a factor of a billion.

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Molecular 'pulleys' improve battery performance

Scientists have reported a molecular pulley binder for high-capacity silicon anodes of lithium ion batteries.

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New report on cell-permeable nanobodies

Scientists have managed to introduce tiny antibodies into living cells. In a new article, the researchers report on the synthesis and applications for these nanobodies.

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Novel 3-d printing process strengthens parts by 275 percent

A new way to make 3-D printed parts stronger and immediately useful in real-world applications has been revealed by researchers. They applied the traditional welding concepts to bond the submillimeter layers in a 3-D printed part together, while in a microwave.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The asymmetric synthesis of halogenated compounds from carboxylic acids is world first

Researchers have developed a new reaction to produce chlorinated compounds with high isomeric purity. Such compounds are important building blocks for target molecules. However the molecules come in left- and right-handed versions (enantiomers). They can be produced from carboxylic acids, by replacing an acid with a chlorine; however, conventional methods produce equal mixtures of both isomers, but the new method with a chiral amine catalyst specifically yields the desired isomer.

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Antiaromatic molecule displays record electrical conductance

Researchers demonstrate high electrical conductance for an antiaromatic nickel complex -- an order of magnitude higher than for a similar aromatic complex. Since the conductance is also tunable by electrochemical gating, antiaromatic complexes are promising materials for future electronic devices.

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Fresh role for nitric oxide uncovered

Chemists have uncovered a fresh role for nitric oxide that could send biochemical textbooks back for revision.

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Smart toys without the batteries

A challenge in entertaining young children is keeping their toys powered up. Now, one group reports that they are one step closer to battery-free interactive games.

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Uranium-based compound improves manufacturing of nitrogen products

Scientists have developed a uranium-based complex that can allow nitrogen fixation reactions to take place in ambient conditions. The work overcomes one of the biggest difficulties to building more efficient industrial-scale nitrogen products like ammonia.

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Path to discovering new topological materials

Researchers have found a recipe for discovering new topological materials, which have exotic electronic properties that hold promise for future technologies. Until now, finding these materials has been a matter of trial and error.

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Supramolecular materials with a time switch

Materials that assemble themselves and then simply disappear at the end of their lifetime are quite common in nature. Researchers have now successfully developed supramolecular materials that disintegrate at a predetermined time -- a feature that could be used in numerous applications.

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Simulation reveals universal signature of chaos in ultracold reactions

Researchers have performed the first ever quantum-mechanical simulation of the benchmark ultracold chemical reaction between potassium-rubidium (KRb) and a potassium atom, opening the door to new controlled chemistry experiments and quantum control of chemical reactions that could spark advances in quantum computing and sensing technologies.

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Enhanced oil recovery method developed

A new class of materials which are suitable agents for oil displacing in enhanced oil recovery have been developed.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Climate impacts of super-giant oilfields go up with age, scientists say

Neglecting the changing energy requirements of aging oilfields can lead to an underestimate of their true climate impacts, suggests a new study.

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Space station project seeks to crystalize the means to counteract nerve poisons

The microgravity conditions of the International Space Station (ISS) may hold the key to improving our understanding of how to combat toxic nerve agents such as sarin and VX.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Hundred-year-old law on fluid flow overturned by research

Engineers have dispelled a 100-year-old scientific law used to describe how fluid flows through rocks. The discovery could lead to a range of improvements including advances in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). This is where industrial emissions will be captured by CCS technology, before reaching the atmosphere, and safely stored in rock deep underground.

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Key to speeding up carbon sequestration discovered

The slow part of a chemical reaction that allows carbon to be sequestered in the ocean has now been identified by researchers, who have demonstrated how to speed it up with a common enzyme.

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Fast, cheap method to make supercapacitor electrodes

Researchers have developed a fast, inexpensive method to make electrodes for supercapacitors, with applications in electric cars, wireless telecommunications and high-powered lasers.

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Air pollution: Diesel is now better than gas, emitting fewer carbonaceous particulates

Regulators, take note: a new international study shows that modern diesel passenger cars emit fewer carbonaceous particulates than gasoline-powered vehicles.

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Tiny particles increase in air with ethanol-to-gasoline switch

The concentration of ultrafine particles less than 50 nanometers in diameter rose by one-third in the air of São Paulo, Brazil, when higher ethanol prices induced drivers to switch from ethanol to gasoline, according to a new study. The research team also found when drivers switched back to ethanol because prices had gone down, the concentration of ultrafine particles also went down.

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Studying argon gas trapped in two-dimensional array of tiny 'cages'

For the first time, scientists have trapped a noble gas in a two-dimensional porous structure at room temperature. This achievement will enable detailed studies of individual gas atoms in confinement -- research that could inform the design of new materials for gas separation and nuclear waste remediation.

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New device detects tumor cells in blood

Researchers have patented a portable device that can detect tumor cells in blood. The device counts the number of tumor cells in a blood sample and is a highly effective tool for improving the monitoring, treatment and diagnosis of cancer.

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