Posts

September 15, 2014

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9:08 AM | Smart polymers: Complex matter where simplicity matters
Physicists unveil the microscopic mechanism behind the puzzling co-non-solvency effect that leads to smart polymer collapse in a mixture of good solvents.
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8:49 AM | Magnetic nanoparticle biospleen device for sepsis therapy
Novel dialysis-like therapeutic device inspired by the spleen quickly filters bacteria, fungi and toxins.
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7:32 AM | Wie man mit einem Quantenpunkt einzelne Photonen erzeugt
Einzelne Photonen in einem Quantenpunkt erzeugen und seine Information zerstörungsfrei auslesen: Diese Technologie eröffnet neue Wege in der Quanteninformationsverarbeitung und -übertragung, die für künftige Computeranwendungen wegweisend sein können.
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6:40 AM | Novel varistor embedded ceramic transistor hybrid devices
New work demonstrates that varistors and transistors are inherently coupled devices. These hybrid devices can simultaneously be used in the same electronic circuit as a varistor to protect the circuit elements against overshoot of prescribed voltage supply and as a transistor for signal amplification and electronic switch.
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6:22 AM | Using microwaves to optimize platinum-nickel nanoalloys for catalytic water treatment
The adoption of a newly developed, facile synthesis method in catalyst designs may permit the rapid screening of nanoalloys for water contaminants. Given the compositional dynamics of this technique, a series of nanoalloys with different surface compositions can be quickly synthesized using a single starting solution and the optimal metal ratio experimentally determined to find the best catalytic reactivity for degrading the pollutant.

September 14, 2014

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8:43 PM | Presentation of results: precedence to applications or to fundamental science?
The question I am now posing involves how scientific papers should be presented where the author faces a dilemma. On one hand, the author wants to show something that might lead to more widespread use, but on the other hand, the information might have more general use. The first point is obviously desirable if in fact the use proposed makes sense, but even if it does not it might still make sense while reporting to funding agencies. The second point involves the dissemination of knowledge, and […]
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4:36 PM | CDK: Element and Isotope information
When reading files the format in one way or another has implicit information you may need for some algorithms. Element and isotope information is a key example. Typically, the element symbol is provided in the file, but not the mass number or isotope implied. You would need to read the format specification what properties are implicitly meant. The idea here is that information about elements and isotopes is pretty standardized by other organizations such as the IUPAC. Such default element and […]
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4:11 PM | Nanoscale study sheds new light on why batteries go bad
A comprehensive look at how tiny particles in a lithium ion battery electrode behave shows that rapid-charging the battery and using it to do high-power, rapidly draining work may not be as damaging as researchers had thought - and that the benefits of slow draining and charging may have been overestimated. The results challenge the prevailing view that 'supercharging' batteries is always harder on battery electrodes than charging at slower rates.
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7:50 AM | Tramadol; a natural product or not?
Last year a multi-national group discussed the isolation of tramadol from the roots of  the African peach or pincushion tree. This compound is a synthetic analgesic, which was first made and marketed in the 1970’s by a German company, is now used worldwide for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. The isolation procedure and measurements of the […]
Editor's Pick
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6:30 AM | NATO workshop to seek nanotechnology to aid biological and chemical defense
NATO organizes a workshop to improve the detection and decontamination of biological and chemical agents.
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1:49 AM | Takeesha and Steve: The Inability to Prove Homelessness for Housing
This post is part of a collaborative narrative series composed of my writing and Chris Arnade’s photos exploring issues of addiction, poverty, prostitution and urban anthropology in Hunts... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

September 13, 2014

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3:44 PM | A dose of dark chocolate a day will keep the doctor away!
Since we are talking about chocolate, this is a very serious matter and needs to be treated with care. I’m not talking about the processed dark chocolate with copious amounts of sugar in it, but the dark chocolate with at least 50% cacao within it, which has been manufactured in a way such that the flavonol concentration inside it is not depleted.Flavonol content depends on the processing of the cacao beans and raw cocoa. Within dark chocolate there is a 50-85% cocoa content, however […]
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3:42 PM | The shadow of a disease - detecting tumor markers by their scattered light
In future, some diseases might be diagnosed earlier and treated more effectively. Researchers have developed an optical method that makes individual proteins, such as the proteins characteristic of some cancers, visible.
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3:30 PM | Decoding 'sweet codes' that determine protein fates at atomic resolution
Researchers have developed a methodology for quantitatively describing the dynamic behaviors of complicated sugar chains in solution at atomic resolution by combining a sophisticated NMR spectroscopic approach with an ingenious molecular dynamics simulation technique.
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10:22 AM | CDK 1.5.8, Zenodo, GitHub, and DOIs
Screenshot from John blog post.John released CDK 1.5.8, which has a few nice goodies, like a new renderer. The full changelog is available. Interesting aspect of this release is, that it uses one ZENODO to make the release citable with a DOI. And that is relevant because it simplifies (making it a lot cheaper!) to track the impact of it, e.g. with #altmetrics. And that matters too, because no one really has a clue on how to decide which scientist is better than another, and which scientist […]

September 12, 2014

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8:38 PM | Naturejobs falls for the "PhDs have lower unemployment!" fallacy
Via Twitter, yet another alternative careers essay, this one from Annalise Smith, a graduate student at the University of Miami on the Naturejobs website:...A Nature article published in 2011 contends that the academic positions for science PhD holders are decreasing and sectors outside of academia are unable to compensate. Yet the unemployment rate for PhD graduates in the life sciences remains at a low of 1.5%, much lower than the national unemployment rate in the United States. So are […]
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6:24 PM | David Snyder pled no contest to all charges in UC Davis explosives case
Former University of California, Davis postdoctoral che […]Related Posts:Hearing scheduled for David Snyder in UC Davis explosives…Trial postponed in UC Davis explosives caseHearing postponed for #DavidSnyder in UC Davis explosives…More details emerge on UC Davis explosives caseExplosives case continued for former UC Davis chemist David…
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1:04 PM | New family of materials for energy-efficient information storage and processing
This article briefly reviews a new family of multiferroic materials - hexagonal rare earth ferrites - that have been demonstrated ferroelectric and ferromagnetic simultaneously by experiments.
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12:25 PM | Understanding hydrogen uptake by a single palladium nanoparticle
Researchers have determined for the first time the mechanism by which nanometer-sized particles of palladium take up hydrogen. Because the properties of nanoparticles change greatly with their size, choosing the right types of nanoparticle allows you to fine-tune the properties of materials.
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10:43 AM | Finding Love … With a Little Help from Chemistry
Finding the one person to spend the rest of our life with is no easy task! Some romantics may say their true love is written in the stars, but it may be written in your genetic code instead! Or at least that’s what two companies (Instant Chemistry and SingldOut) want to make us believe as [...]
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9:27 AM | Aligned carbon nanotube/graphene sandwiches for high-rate lithium-sulfur batteries
Researchers consider the rational combination of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene into three-dimensional hybrids an effective route to amplify the inherent physical properties at the macroscale. By in situ nitrogen doping and structural hybridization of carbon nanotubes and graphene, researchers have now successfully fabricated nitrogen-doped aligned carbon nanotube/graphene sandwiches. In this work, aligned CNTs and graphene layers were anchored to each other, constructing a sandwich-like […]
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8:40 AM | The Scottish Independence Referendum: final thoughts
Having posted twice on this topic already (on research funding and on general issues), as well as re-blogging Angela’s post, here are some final thoughts in advance of the referendum on Thursday. I’m expecting the media buildup to be almost unbearable, so after today I’ll be avoiding it as much as possible! The first point, […]
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7:58 AM | Mass producing super-thin films that can 'squeeze' electricity
The EU project PIEZOVOLUME focused on speeding the production of piezoelectric film material. The research team worked to develop high-volume production tools and methods that are expected to help make the high-tech devices and systems of the future faster, lighter and more efficient.
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7:51 AM | Moving silicon atoms in graphene with atomic precision (w/video)
An international collaboration of research teams has shown how an electron beam can move silicon atoms through the graphene lattice without causing damage. The research combines advanced electron microscopy with demanding computer simulations.
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6:30 AM | Liposome research meets nanotechnology to improve cancer treatment
In the race to find more effective ways to treat cancer, Boise State University biophysicist Daniel Fologea is working outside the rules of general mathematics that say one plus one equals two. In his world, one plus one adds up to a whole lot more.
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6:27 AM | Fluid mechanics suggests alternative to quantum orthodoxy
New math explains dynamics of fluid systems that mimic many peculiarities of quantum mechanics.
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6:12 AM | Physicists find a new way to push electrons around
Discovery might ultimately lead to new, more energy-efficient transistors and microchips.
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6:06 AM | A solution for tunable dyes
Modifying a common organic dye molecule results in tunable optical characteristics that can be changed by exposure to different chemical reagents and solvents.
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6:02 AM | Magnetism intensified by nanoscale defects
Electron microscopy reveals how certain nanoscale crystal defects can dramatically intensify ferromagnetism in metal alloys.
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5:58 AM | An optical cage for atoms
A microstructured optical fiber trap provides a tool for measuring atomic properties at the quantum limit.
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