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A new self-healing chemistry for plastics

April 15, 2014

Self-healing process (credit:  Kim K. Oehlenschlaeger et al./Advanced Materials)

Scientists at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Evonik Industries have developed a self-healing chemistry that allows for rapid healing of a plastic material using mild heating, restoring its initial molecular structure. It is based on a reversible chemical crosslinking reaction*.

  • The reaction happens at temperatures from 50°C (122°F) to 120°C (248°F).
  • The material can be restored completely in less than 5 minutes, and

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A new solid-state hard drive that uses ultrasound to store more data

February 21, 2013

Acoustic-assisted magnetic recording (credit: Oregon State University)

Electrical engineers at Oregon State University have discovered a new method, called acoustic-assisted magnetic recording, to use high-frequency sound waves to create durable solid state storage that allows for storing more data in a smaller space, using less power.

“We’re near the peak of what we can do with the technology we now use for magnetic storage,” said Pallavi Dhagat, an associate professor in the… read more

A new spin on origins of evolvability: survival of the evolvable

Diversity trumps competition
April 30, 2013

evolvability_heat_map

Scientists have long observed that species seem to have become increasingly capable of evolving in response to changes in the environment.

But computer science researchers now say that the popular explanation of competition to survive in nature may not actually be necessary for evolvability to increase.

In a paper published this week in open-access PLOS ONE, the researchers report that evolvability… read more

A new stem-cell-like treatment target for deadly brain tumors

August 2, 2012

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A study by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers  reveals new insight into why the most common, deadly kind of brain tumor in adults recurs and identifies a potential target for future therapies.

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) currently is considered incurable. Despite responding to initial therapy, the cancer almost always returns.

GBM is a fast-growing, malignant brain tumor that occurred in 15 percent of the… read more

A new supercapacitor for energy storage at high temperatures

September 5, 2013

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Rice University researchers who have developed a supercapacitor that can operate at very high temperatures, using clay as a key ingredient.

The supercapacitor is reliable at temperatures of up to 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit), and could be useful for powering devices for use in extreme environments, such as oil drilling, the military and space, Rice scientist Pulickel Ajayan reported in Nature’s… read more

A new technique to build complex custom-designed DNA scaffolds

May 7, 2015

DNA nanotube assembly-ft

McGill University researchers have devised a new technique to produce long, custom-designed DNA strands to build nanoscale structures to deliver drugs to targets within the body or take electronic miniaturization to a new level.

Researchers have been assembling and experimenting with DNA structures or “DNA origami” for years, as KurzweilAI has reported. But as these applications continue to develop, they require increasingly large and complex strands of… read more

A new tool for precise brain mapping

Optogenetic infrared light precisely illuminates neural pathways in the brain
May 21, 2013

A new tool that could help map and track the interactions between neurons in different areas of the brain is being developed by University of Texas Arlington assistant professor of physics Samarendra Mohanty.

The technology would be useful in the BRAIN (Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) mapping initiative.

This new method, which uses a fiber-optic, two-photon, optogenetic stimulator, has been used on… read more

A new tool to reveal structure of proteins

March 21, 2012

protein

A new solid state NMR method that uses paramagnetic tags to help visualize the shape of protein molecules has been developed by Christopher Jaroniec, associate professor of chemistry at Ohio State University, and colleagues.

The new method could help researchers understand biological molecules involved in causing disease and those performing critical functions in healthy cells.

For roughly a decade, a technique called solid state nuclear magnetic resonance… read more

A New Treatment for Alzheimer’s?

January 16, 2008

A drug commonly used to treat arthritis caused a dramatic and rapid improvement in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, according to physicians in California. However, scientists and others not involved in the work worry that the report, which was based on trials in a few patients and hasn’t been independently confirmed, may offer little more than false hope for Alzheimer’s sufferers and their families.

See also: Jan 10read more

A new tumor-killer

May 23, 2013

saxs_hamlet

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Lund University, Sweden, have bioengineered a novel molecule proven to successfully kill tumor cells.

This molecule is based on a natural protein present in human breast milk, which has been found to have strong and wide-ranging tumor killing properties when bound to certain lipids. Lipids are organic molecules like amino acids and carbohydrates, made up of carbon and… read more

A New Twist on Light Speed

June 27, 2002

Glasgow scientists have measured a single photon’s orbital angular momentum for the first time. The research could lead to speeding up optical communications by allowing each photon sent over fiber optic lines to encode multiple bits as quantum orbital states.

Measuring the Orbital Angular Momentum of a Single Photon, Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 257901 (2002) (June 24, 2002)

A new twist on nanoparticle behavior

September 24, 2008

Drug makers and regulators should consider the effects of nanoparticle size and surface when developing and monitoring therapies using nanoparticles, University College Dublin research suggests.

The researchers found that the “corona” (cloud of proteins and other biomolecules that adheres to a nanoparticle immersed in biological media) changes depending on the size of the nanoparticle and the charge on its surface, which can affect the particles’ therapeutic action in the… read more

A New Type of Atomic Microscope Getting Closer

October 1, 2008

Researchers at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid have created an ultrasmooth mirror that reflects a beam of helium atoms instead of electrons and could provide the same resolution as existing electron microscopes without damaging or destroying delicate biological samples.

A New View of Our Universe: Only One of Many

October 29, 2002

Some cosmologists imagine universes sprouting from one another in an endless geometric progression. Others imagine island universes floating and even colliding in a fifth dimension.

Some cosmologists say the observable universe could be only a small patch in a much vaster ensemble bred endlessly in a chain of big bangs.

A new visualization of the electromagnetic spectrum

May 8, 2015

electromagnetic-infographic-ft

An infographic created by the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven Lab uses ocean creatures and objects to illustrate the extraordinary range of wavelengths (the inverse of frequencies) in the electromagnetic spectrum — from radio waves to gamma rays — and the lab’s role in research at these wavelengths. (The spectrum actually extends beyond the objects shown here.)

Many of these objects, including the 30-meter blue whale or the… read more

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