Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Supervolcanoes: A key to America's electric future?

Researchers show that lake sediments preserved within ancient supervolcanoes can host large lithium-rich clay deposits. A domestic source of lithium would help meet the rising demand for this valuable metal, which is critical for modern technology.

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Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced 'wonder' material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind, the research group has developed a cleaner and more environmentally friendly method to isolate graphene using carbon dioxide in the form of carbonic acid as the electrolyte solution.

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Lithium-air batteries: Mystery about proposed battery material clarified

A compound called lithium iodide (LiI) has been considered a leading material for lithium-air batteries, which could deliver more energy per pound compared to today's leading batteries. A new study helps explain previous, conflicting findings about the material's usefulness for this task.

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Spray-on electric rainbows: Making safer electrochromic inks

A flick of a switch, and electrochromic films change their colors. Now they can be applied more safely and more commonly thanks to an innovative chemical process that makes them water soluble. They can be sprayed and printed, instead of being confined behind safety implements to handle volatile solvents and their toxic fumes.

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Boron nitride foam soaks up carbon dioxide

Researchers have created a reusable hexagonal-boron nitride foam that soaks up more than three times its weight in carbon dioxide.

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Smart fabric neutralizes nerve gas

A groundbreaking development has the potential to thwart chemical warfare agents: smart textiles with the ability to rapidly detect and neutralize nerve gas.

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Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

With their remarkable electrical and optical properties, along with biocompatibility, photostability and chemical stability, gold nanoclusters are gaining a foothold in a number of research areas, particularly in biosensing and biolabeling. An international research team has now shown that the fluorescence is an intrinsic property of the gold nanoparticles themselves. The researchers used Au20, gold nanoparticles with a tetrahedral structure.

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Candy cane supercapacitor could enable fast charging of mobile phones

Supercapacitors promise recharging of phones and other devices in seconds and minutes as opposed to hours for batteries. But current technologies are not usually flexible, have insufficient capacities, and for many their performance quickly degrades with charging cycles. Researchers have found a way to improve all three problems in one stroke.

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Antifreeze to improve airplanes, ice cream and organ transplants

The design of airplane wings and storing organs for transplant could both become safer and more effective, thanks to a synthetic antifreeze which prevents the growth of ice crystals.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Chemists use electrochemistry to amp up drug manufacturing

Give your medicine a jolt. By using -- electrochemistry -- a technique that combines electricity and chemistry, future pharmaceuticals -- including many of the top prescribed medications in the United States -- soon may be easily scaled up to be manufactured in a more sustainable way.

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Engineers charge ahead on zinc-air batteries

Researchers have found a solution for one of the biggest stumbling blocks preventing zinc-air batteries from overtaking conventional lithium-ion batteries as the power source of choice in electronic devices.

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New method for the 3D printing of living tissues

Scientists have developed a new method to 3D-print laboratory- grown cells to form living structures. The approach could revolutionize regenerative medicine, enabling the production of complex tissues and cartilage that would potentially support, repair or augment diseased and damaged areas of the body.

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Two-faced 2-D material: flat sandwich of sulfur, molybdenum and selenium

Mterials scientists replace all the atoms on top of a three-layer, two-dimensional crystal to make a transition-metal dichalcogenide with sulfur, molybdenum and selenium. The new material has unique electronic properties that may make it a suitable catalyst.

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Single molecules can work as reproducible transistors -- at room temperature

Researchers have now reproducibly demonstrated current blockade -- the ability to switch a device from the insulating to the conducting state where charge is added and removed one electron at a time -- using atomically precise molecular clusters at room temperature. The study shows that single molecules can function as reproducible circuit elements such as transistors or diodes that can easily operate at room temperature.

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New class of chemical reaction discovered

A new study has identified the significance of a new class of chemical reactions -- previously ignored -- involving three molecules that each participate in the breaking and forming of chemical bonds.

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Researchers obtain decacene, the largest acene synthesized ever

A research collaboration prepared stable decacene precursors by solution chemistry, while physicists used these precursors to prepare decacene on a gold surface under ultra-high vacuum, in order to stabilize this extremely reactive compound.

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Plastic films incorporating N-halamines could sanitize food production facilities

Specially designed plastic films can prevent bacterial contamination in the food and biomedical industries, according to new research.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Sweet! Sugar-coated probe yields better acid test

When our cells' acid-alkaline balance goes wrong, it can go wrong in a big way -- think cancer and cystic fibrosis. New fluorescent probes make it easier to detect pH and sweetened the deal by adding sugar to his acid-sensitive probes, making them much friendlier to living tissue.

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Material-independent nanocoating antimicrobial spray extends the shelf life of produce

Scientists have developed a sprayable nanocoating technique using plant-derived polyphenol that can be applied to any surface. This new nanocoating process can be completed in seconds to form nanometer-thick films, allowing for the coating of commodity goods, such as shoe insoles and fruits, in a controlled fashion.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Gold stabilized in very rare oxidation state +II

A team of chemists has been able to isolate and analyze gold in the very rare oxidation state +II. This provides the missing links in the homologous series of the coinage metal ions copper(+II), silver(+II), gold(+II), and in the 'relativistic' triad of platinum(+II), gold(+II), and mercury(+II).

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Controlled manipulation of carbon nanostructures

Researchers around the world are looking at how they can manipulate the properties of carbon nanostructures to customize them for specific purposes; the idea is to make the promising mini-format materials commercially viable. A research team has now managed to selectively influence the properties of hybrid systems consisting of carbon nanostructures and a dye.

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IV and cellular fluids power flexible batteries

Researchers have engineered bendable batteries that can run on body-inspired liquids such as normal IV saline solution and cell-culture medium. The authors designed alternatives to lithium-ion batteries by focusing on the mechanical-stress demands of wearable electronics such as smartwatches and the safety requirements of implantable electronics.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A battery-inspired strategy for carbon fixation

Scientists working toward the elusive lithium-air battery discovered an unexpected approach to capturing and storing carbon dioxide away from the atmosphere. Using a design intended for a lithium-CO2 battery, researchers have developed a way to isolate solid carbon dust from gaseous carbon dioxide, with the potential to also separate out oxygen gas through the same method.

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Assembling nanomachines in bacteria

Researchers have used X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy to resolve the assembly of the export gate apparatus in Salmonella. The new details of this nanomachine are expected to clarify how bacteria infect eukaryotic cells and present new molecular targets for drug discovery.

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Power-to-liquid: 200 liters of fuel from solar power and the air's carbon dioxide

Production of fuels from regenerative electric power is a component of the energy turnaround. The first 200 l of synthetic fuel have now been produced from solar energy and the air's carbon dioxide under the SOLETAIR project. The mobile chemical pilot plant that can be used decentrally produces gasoline, diesel, and kerosene from regenerative hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

New microscope technique reveals internal structure of live embryos

A new way to produce 3-D images of live embryos in cattle has now been developed, report scientists, adding that the technique could help determine embryo viability before in vitro fertilization in humans.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Record for fastest light pulse set

A research team has demonstrated a 53-attosecond X-ray flash, opening the door to shoot slow-motion video of electrons and atoms in living cells.

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From greenhouse gas to 3-D surface-microporous graphene

Tiny dents in the surface of graphene greatly enhances its potential as a supercapacitor. Even better, it can be made from carbon dioxide in a novel approach. The process uses a heat-releasing reaction to dig micropores into 3-D graphene and could be a useful supercapacitor material.

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Benefits of advanced wood-burning stoves greater than thought

Advanced wood-burning stoves designed for use in the developing world can reduce air pollution more than anticipated, because gaseous emissions from traditional wood stoves form more particulate matter in the atmosphere than researchers previously thought.

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New approach makes it easier to find novel drugs

Scientists have created a new way of screening compounds that is more sensitive than existing methods, opening up the possibility of finding new drugs for many diseases.

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Gold specks raise hopes for better cancer treatments

A tiny medical device containing gold specks could boost the effects of cancer medication and reduce its harm, research suggests.

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Nanocrystalline LEDs: Red, green, yellow, blue …

The color of the light emitted by an LED can be tuned by altering the size of their semiconductor crystals. Researchers have now found a clever and economical way of doing just that, which lends itself to industrial-scale production.

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Real greenhouse gas footprints of reservoirs revealed

When hydropower reservoirs traps organic matter, it leads to higher local greenhouse gas emissions. But the emissions are not increased but displaced. A new tool calculates the real greenhouse gas footprints of reservoirs.

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New, more sensitive sensor for evaluating drug safety

A new technique for evaluating drug safety is designed to be affordable and can detect stress on cells at earlier stages than conventional methods. It is the first with a fluorescent sensor that turns on when proteins begin to clump together -- an early sign of a process that occurs in Alzheimer's and other diseases.

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Dual-surface graphene electrode splits water into hydrogen and oxygen

Scientists have turned laser-induced graphene into a two-sided electrocatalyst that efficiently splits water into oxygen and hydrogen.

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Man versus (synthesis) machine

Who is the better experimentalist, a human or a robot? When it comes to exploring synthetic and crystallization conditions for inorganic gigantic molecules, actively learning machines are clearly ahead, as recently demonstrated.

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Simultaneous design and nanomanufacturing speeds up fabrication

By using concurrent design and nanomanufacturing, researchers produce inexpensive material surfaces for use in ultra-thin solar cells that can absorb more light.

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Lightweight catalyst for artificial photosynthesis

Nanochemistry meets macrostructures: Scientists report the synthesis of a macroscopic aerogel from carbonitride nanomaterials which is an excellent catalyst for the water-splitting reaction under visible-light irradiation. The study adds new opportunities to the material properties of melamine-derived carbonitrides.

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Materials governed by light

A researcher has developed and characterized hybrid materials that respond differently to light, and which have the potential for use in highly different areas ranging from optics to biomedicine. One of the types of materials obtained are inorganic, channeled structures that have incorporated into them fluorescent organic dyes in a structure that firstly offers the dye stability and secondly gives the system rigidity, thus increasing its photophysical properties.

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Carbon conversion

New carbon dioxide experiments may lead to artificial, renewable fuels, outlines new research. In chemical reactions performed in the lab, a research team has identified a new additive that helps selectively convert carbon dioxide into fuels containing multiple carbon atoms -— a step toward ultimately making renewable liquid fuels that are not derived from coal or oil.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Heat-conducting plastic could lead to lighter electronics, cars

Advanced plastics could usher in lighter, cheaper, more energy-efficient product components, including those used in vehicles, LEDs and computers -- if only they were better at dissipating heat.

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Catalysts efficiently and rapidly remove BPA from water

Chemists have developed an approach that quickly and cheaply removes more than 99 percent of bisphenol A (BPA) from water. BPA, a ubiquitous and dangerous chemical used in the manufacturing of many plastics, is found in water sources around the world. Concerns over BPA's health effects prompted manufacturers to start making BPA-free products like baby bottles and water bottles starting in 2010. Ironically, many BPA replacements also have similar toxicity to BPA itself.

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Cicada wings may inspire new surface technologies

Researchers are looking to insects -- specifically cicadas -- for insight into the design of artificial surfaces with de-icing, self-cleaning and anti-fogging abilities.

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The nitty-gritty behind how onions make you cry

Adding onions to a recipe can make a meal taste rich and savory, but cutting up the onion can be brutal.  Onions release a compound called lachrymatory factor (LF), which makes the eyes sting and water. Scientists know that a certain enzyme causes this irritating compound to form but precisely how it helps LF form in the onion remained an open question. Now, one group reports that they have the answer.

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Research and design for carbon quantum dots catalysts

A new study that provides a new approach for the rational design of carbon quantum dots (CQD) modified catalysts with potential applications in energy and environmental areas. The study discusses the introduction of CQDs into Bi2WO6 photocatalyst and the demonstration of its good photocatalytic performance in pollutant degradation and hydrogen evolution.

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Clarifiying complex chemical processes with quantum computers

Science and the IT industry have high hopes for quantum computing, but descriptions of possible applications tend to be vague. Researchers have now come up with a concrete example that demonstrates what quantum computers will actually be able to achieve in the future.

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Riding the wave: Controlling high frequency sound waves

Researchers have pioneered a new technique to control high frequency sound waves, commonly found within everyday devices such as mobile phones.

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New theory of polymer length provides improved estimates of DNA, RNA size

Researchers have developed various formulas for calculating distance between the ends of a curved polymer. However, these formulas have typically failed to consider the stretchiness of the molecule. In a new study, scientists have derived a formula to determine the end-to-end distance of a semiflexible polymer, including DNA or RNA, while taking into account how much the polymer stretches.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Magnetized viruses attack harmful bacteria

Antibacterial phages combined with magnetic nanoparticle clusters effectively kill infectious bacteria found in water treatment systems. A weak magnetic field draws the clusters into biofilms that protect the bacteria and break them up so the phages can reach them.

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Technique enables printable and rewritable color images

A chemical process that allows color images to be printed on specially coated paper and then erased so that different images can be printed on the same paper has been developed.

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