Posts

December 11, 2014

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11:50 AM | Walker's baby steps towards nanorobots (w/video)
A walking molecule, so small that it cannot be observed directly with a microscope, has been recorded taking its first nanometre-sized steps.
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10:55 AM | Scalable growth of high quality bismuth nanowires
Bismuth nanowires have intriguing electronic and energy-harvesting application possibilities. However, fabricating these materials with high quality and in large quantities is challenging. Researchers have now demonstrated a new technique to produce single- crystal nanowires atop arbitrary substrates, including glass, silicon, and metal, when an intermediate layer of vanadium is present.
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10:45 AM | Researchers develop novel chiral nanostructures from helical polymers and metal salts
Scientists describe a novel protocol to obtain different types of nanostructures from a single helical polymer and certain metal salts. An outstanding characteristic of these macromolecules is that their helicity can be tuned by the action of diverse external stimuli such as temperature, polarity or metal ions. Consequently, these polymers act as sensors.
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8:54 AM | A golden thread through the labyrinth of nanomaterials
The LICARA guidelines are geared towards small and medium-sized enterprises from all branches of industry, and help weigh up the pros and cons of nanomaterials and make decisions on their use. The guidelines also do their bit towards efficient communication in the value added chain.
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1:58 AM | Cassowary and constraint programming for bioinformatics
I’ll be posting about some linear optimisation solvers used by computational biologists soon, and not that it’s related to bioinformatics (yet!) but there’s a solver I’d not heard of before called Cassowary (named after the flightless Papua New Guinean bird) which can be used for web design, implemented in a modern version of CCSS (“constraint CSS”) launched in September called GSS (“Grid Style Sheets” vs. the usual “Cascading Style […]

December 10, 2014

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8:14 PM | The Shapes of Snowflakes
In the Northern Hemisphere at least, the idealised vision of Christmas involves snow. Whilst no one snowflake is exactly the same as another, at least on a molecular level, scientists have none-the-less devised a system of classification for the many types of crystals that snow can form. This graphic shows the shapes and names of […]
Editor's Pick
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6:30 PM | Organic electronics could lead to cheap, wearable medical sensors
By switching from silicon to an organic, or carbon-based, design, researchers were able to create a device that could ultimately be thin, cheap and flexible enough to be slapped on like a Band-Aid.
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6:25 PM | National Academies report urges higher salaries and better training for postdoctoral researchers
The National Academies released a report today that advocates for improvements in training and salary for postdoctoral fellows in academia. Although postdoctoral training is necessary to pursue careers in academia, it now frequently is associated with poor pay, indefinite terms and uncertain prospects for career advancement. “The demand for junior research workers has boomed in […]
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6:24 PM | Nanophotonics researchers demonstrate new way to plug 'leaky' light cavities
Engineers have demonstrated a new and more efficient way to trap light, using a phenomenon called bound states in the continuum that was first proposed in the early days of quantum wave mechanics.
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6:18 PM | Nanocrystalline 'high-entropy' alloy is as light as aluminum, as strong as titanium alloys
Scientists have developed a new 'high-entropy' metal alloy that has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than any other existing metal material.
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4:50 PM | Nanoscale infrared spectroscopy as a non-destructive probe of extraterrestrial samples
Researchers describe the successful implementation of imaging techniques that will allow scientists to identify molecules and map their locations to areas smaller than a micron. The team demonstrated the technique with natural samples, including a sample from the Murchison meteorite and a cometary dust grain (Iris) from NASA's Stardust mission.
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4:39 PM | Novel 'electronic skin' for prosthetics, robotics detects pressure from different directions
For the first time, scientists report the development of a stretchable 'electronic skin' closely modeled after our own that can detect not just pressure, but also what direction it's coming from.
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4:33 PM | Theory details how 'hot' monomers affect thin-film formation
Scientists have devised the first detailed model to quantify what they believe was the last unknown characteristic of film formation through deposition by vacuum sublimation and chemical vapor deposition.
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3:24 PM | Case Report - Synthetic Cannabinoid NNEI Related Death
A case of death caused by abuse of a synthetic cannabinoid N-1-naphthalenyl-1-pentyl-1H-indole-3-carboxamideSasaki C, Saito T, Shinozuka T, Irie W, Murakami C, Maeda K, Nakamura N, Oishi M, Nakamura S, Kurihara KForensic Toxicology (2014) DOI 10.1007/S11419-014-0246-5http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11419-014-0246-5This case was reported out of the Department of Legal Medicine, Kitasato University School of Medicine; the Department of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, Tokai […]
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2:22 PM | What is Chloroform?
With the formula CHCl3, chloroform is one of four chloromethanes. Several tons are produced annually of this sweet smelling but hazardous compound, with many industrial applications, from refrigeration to chemical precursors. This compound is also present in natural forms, including from seaweed and fungi, which produce chloroform in the soil. From here, this compound volatises [...]
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1:57 PM | Ultraflat transfer method for graphene surface force balance
The surface force balance (SFB) provides measurements of surface and colloidal forces in liquids such as electrostatic surface forces, van der Waals forces, and solvation forces. Until now, the SFB required mica sheets as the substrate for measurements. This was the only material available in an atomically smooth state over centimeter-scale areas as well as being optically transparent as required for the optical interferometry. By replacing the mica sheets with graphene, electrically conducting […]
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1:10 PM | NASA experiments with self-assembly techniques on the International Space Station
The Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions (InSPACE) series of experiments on the International Space Station explored nanoparticles suspended in Magnetorheolocial (MR) fluids - a type of smart fluid that tends to self-assemble into shapes in the presence of a magnetic field.
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12:30 PM | Gloves for handling pyrophoric reagents
For readers who handle pyrophoric reagents, how do you […]Related Posts:The lab is a splash zoneRemoving gloves and other protective equipmentGloves in the laboratory: To wear or not to wear?Reacting chromium trioxide with ethanolConsequences of poor glove choice
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11:24 AM | Nanotechnology and 3D printing create contact lens with embedded LED
As part of a project demonstrating new 3-D printing techniques, researchers have embedded tiny light-emitting diodes into a standard contact lens, allowing the device to project beams of colored light.
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10:26 AM | 2-DTech and Dyesol Announce Cooperation to Develop Graphene Enhanced Photovoltaic Devices
2-DTech has been awarded a grant worth GBP 98,000 from InnovateUK to carry out research relating to graphene being integrated into solid state dye-sensitised solar cells. As a result, the company is linking up with solar technology specialist Dyesol in order to undertake this new, high profile project.
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9:52 AM | Breakthrough simplifies design of gels for food, cosmetics and biomedicine
Until now, discovery of new gels relied largely on chance discoveries. Now, researchers developed a screening method to accurately predict how peptides could combine to form stable gels.
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9:43 AM | Defects are perfect in laser-induced graphene (w/video)
Researchers have created flexible, patterned sheets of multilayer graphene from a cheap polymer by burning it with a computer-controlled laser. The process works in air at room temperature and eliminates the need for hot furnaces and controlled environments, and it makes graphene that may be suitable for electronics or energy storage.
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8:25 AM | World's first time-controlled molecular self-organization
Development of new material capable of autonomous molecular organization in accordance with preprogramming.

December 09, 2014

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11:48 PM | Fond Farewells
Today marked endings* (of sorts) for two prominent members of the chem-blogging community.First up, Carmen Drahl - intrepid Chemical and Engineering News reporter - announced she was stepping down:Folks- I'm leaving @cenmag 1/2/15, to travel and explore. I can't thank you enough for making this gig an adventure. 1/3— Carmen Drahl (@carmendrahl) December 9, 2014Just a few hours later, Paul Docherty of Totally Synthetic, arguably the blog that gave rise to post-peer-review in synthetic […]
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11:42 PM | Chemicals? Everything is chemicals! Part 26
I found this item in the grocery store today.Introducing the chemical free way to remove dust, dirt, smudges, and fingerprints!Cool! Chemical free, eh? Let's take a closer look at the constituents. So this "chemical free" cleaner is comprised of:An 84% Polyester and 16% Polyamide optical microfiberAn 88% Polyester and 12% Polyamide cleaning microfiberA 100% Polyurethane foam coreA 100% silicone ring bandYeah, those aren't chemicals. Oh wait. They are. Polyester is a chemical. Polyamide is […]
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7:52 PM | The 2013 Survey of Earned Doctorates is out
How did the Ph.D. chemists do? From "TABLE 59. Statistical profile of postgraduation plans of doctorate recipients in physical sciences fields, by sex and field of study: 2013" (PDF)Let's remember this for the future: the modal outcome of a Ph.D. in chemistry in 2013 was a postdoctoral appointment, just like it has been for the past 20 years.I've taken the Excel file and isolated it to just the chemistry Ph.D.s. Plenty of data to chew on.(Year after year, the thing that continues to amaze me is […]
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4:38 PM | A New Low-cost Process to Make Nanocellulose
Scientists from Edinburgh Napier University and Sappi have developed a low cost way to turn wood into a nanomaterial that could be used to build greener cars, thicken foods and even treat wounds.
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4:22 PM | Catalysis at the sub-nanoscale - the gold standard
Precious elements such as platinum work well as catalysts in chemical reactions, but require large amounts of metal and can be expensive. However, computational modeling below the nanoscale level may allow researchers to design more efficient and affordable catalysts from gold.
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4:17 PM | Germanium used for semiconductor milestone
A laboratory at Purdue University provided a critical part of the world's first transistor in 1947 - the purified germanium semiconductor -and now researchers here are on the forefront of a new germanium milestone.
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4:11 PM | Nanoscale resistors for quantum devices
The electrical characteristics of new thin-film chromium oxide resistors can be tuned by controlling the oxygen content.
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