Posts

February 14, 2015

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10:25 AM | Getting 2 for 1: 'Bonus' electrons in germanium nanocrystals can lead to better solar cells
Scientists have discovered that when light hits germanium nanocrystals, the crystals produce 'bonus electrons'. These additional electrons could increase the yield of solar cells and improve the sensitivity of photodetectors.
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7:14 AM | 25 años de 'Pale blue dot'
Hoy se cumplen 25 años desde que la sonda Voyager 1 tomó esta imagen a 6.000 millones de kilómetros de la Tierra.Creo que es un buen momento, siempre lo es, para tomar perspectiva y recordar las inspiradoras palabras de Carl Sagan ante tan distante imagen de nuestro planeta, con un vídeo extraído de la reciente Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey. Que lo disfrutéis ;-)

February 13, 2015

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10:46 PM | Rube Goldberg’s approach to technology was designed to be...
Rube Goldberg’s approach to technology was designed to be amusing. But behind all the ridiculous impracticality was a truth about much of early -20th-century technology: you could see and interact with the workings of it. Twenty-first-century technology is mostly black boxed, its workings invisible and unknowable by most.Our upcoming podcast on technology and obsolescence (due out on iTunes and our website February 18) inspired me to read Nicholas Carr’s The Glass Cage: Automation […]
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10:46 PM | Rube Goldberg’s approach to technology was designed to be...
Rube Goldberg’s approach to technology was designed to be amusing. But behind all the ridiculous impracticality was a truth about much of early -20th-century technology: you could see and interact with the workings of it. Twenty-first-century technology is mostly black boxed, its workings invisible and unknowable by most.Our upcoming podcast on technology and obsolescence (due out on iTunes and our website February 18) inspired me to read Nicholas Carr’s The Glass Cage: Automation […]
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7:57 PM | Quote of the day: "If you dinged yourself badly, it was no disgrace."
A favorite quote of mine from "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain:We considered ourselves a tribe. As such, we had a number of unusual customs, rituals and practices all our own. If you cut yourself in the Work Progress kitchen, tradition called for maximum spillage and dispersion of blood. One squeezed the wound until it ran freely, then hurled great gouts of red spray on the jackets and aprons of comrades. We loved blood in our kitchen. If you dinged yourself badly, it was no disgrace; […]
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6:28 PM | Shape-memory polymer can repeatedly switch shapes without external forces
Although most materials slightly expand when heated, there is a new class of rubber-like material that not only self-stretches upon cooling; it reverts back to its original shape when heated, all without physical manipulation.
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3:02 PM | 'NanoGap' sensor for early detection of bladder and kidney cancer
A new mobile device that allows bladder and kidney cancer to be detected at an early stage. Thanks to this method, it is possible to read from DNA whether their carrier has bladder or kidney cancer.
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2:58 PM | Ground-breaking lung cancer breath test in clinical trial
A clinical trial led by University of Leicester respiratory experts into a potentially ground-breaking 'breath test' to detect lung cancer is set to get underway at the Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.
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2:52 PM | Silver-glass sandwich structure acts as inexpensive color filter
Researchers bypass nanotechnology to create a simple design that can transform silver into any color of the rainbow.
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2:47 PM | Researchers glimpse distortions in atomic structure of materials
Researchers are using a technique they developed to observe minute distortions in the atomic structure of complex materials, shedding light on what causes these distortions and opening the door to studies on how such atomic-scale variations can influence a material's properties.
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2:43 PM | The scent of science
In this month’s Chemistry World, Derek Lowe writes about the memorable smells associated with a career in chemistry, including the fragrantly fruity funk of esters and the suspicious seaside stench of amines. Inspired by Derek’s olfactory adventures, I asked a few of the Chemistry World and Education in Chemistry team to recount their own experiences [...]
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1:34 PM | Nanotechnology pilot production facility planned at Lund University
A production facility for start-ups in the field of nanotechnology may be built in the Science Village in Lund, a world-class research and innovation village that is also home to ESS, the European Spallation Source.
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1:26 PM | Nanopatch Vaccine Technology Company Attracts $25 Million
The Nanopatch seeks to replace traditional needle and syringe methods with a small patch that delivers vaccines painlessly.
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1:17 PM | Toxicity mitigation of nanomaterials used in inks and pigments using novel surface modification strategies (webinar)
Since 2012, the NanoMICEX project has been investigating ways to mitigate the risk and control workers' exposure to nanomaterials used in the inks and pigments industry. The project is nearing completion, and it is keen to share its knowledge with industrial stakeholders, scientists and policy-makers on how it has mitigated risks commonly faced in the sector.
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1:08 PM | Seeing through sparklers
Scientists used a SuperSTEM electron microscope to study why brown colour occurs in diamonds and what happens to heat-treated stones.
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12:55 PM | Nanotechnology in dentistry - applications, hazards, benefits
Interest in the use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) as either nanomedicines or dental materials/devices in clinical dentistry is growing. This new review paper details the ultrafine structure, chemical composition, and reactivity of dental tissues in the context of interactions with ENMs, including the saliva, pellicle layer, and oral biofilm; then describes the applications of ENMs in dentistry in context with beneficial clinical outcomes versus potential risks.
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9:16 AM | Scientists establish the source of the peculiar stability of the structures forming carbon nanotubes
An unusual form of carbon ring structures has been identified for the first time in a family of doughnut-like macrostructures.
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9:07 AM | Frst successful demonstration of the biomedical use of gold nanotubes in human cancer model
Scientists have shown that gold nanotubes have many applications in fighting cancer: internal nanoprobes for high-resolution imaging; drug delivery vehicles; and agents for destroying cancer cells. A new study details the first successful demonstration of the biomedical use of gold nanotubes in a mouse model of human cancer.
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8:40 AM | Structure and Properties of Barium Chloride
Barium chloride (BaCl2) is probably the most common water-soluble salt with barium. It behaves as a simple salt when in aqueous solution, where is exhibits a neutral pH. This chemical was used in the past for both medical and veterinary applications, including for treatment of impaction in horses or rumination problems in cattle; or to [...]
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4:10 AM | Publication of the week, number 64, 13th February 2015
Oxidation is an important process in many facets of chemistry, here is a copper based catalyst mimicking the oxygen activating, Cu based enzyme tyrosinase. The new catalyst system was developed by Lumb etal at the McGill University in Montreal. They use a [CuCH3CN)4]PF6  at 5 mol% activated with various ligands and additives. Studying the aerobic oxidation of octan-1-ol … Continue reading Publication of the week, number 64, 13th February 2015 →
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3:43 AM | Wilder 'Chemistry' from 1880
What was the first mention of "Chemistry" in the journal Science?You might think, given that Science started in 1880, that an author would first refer to 19th-century champions such as Perkin or Wöhler. Perhaps they'd write of new fuels for transportation, electrochemistry, or the advent of large chemical industries such as BASF or DuPont.None of these. On page 4, issue 1, famed comparative anatomist and professor Burt Wilder writes:"A Bit of Summer Work: Notwithstanding the […]
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2:48 AM | Beautiful Chemistry: Hoye's HDDA + Napth Trap
Every so often, a reaction behaves so well that you just publish the crude NMR spectrum.Professor Tom Hoye's HDDA* reaction, first reported in 2012, apparently fits the bill rather well, wouldn't you say?From Org. Lett. 2015, ASAP.Amazing - heat up a heavily conjugated triyne for 2 days, and it just does one thing, reproducibly and immaculately. I wonder whether Hoye and his group have any further tricks up their sleeve to try and control the diastereo  enantioselectivity of that […]

February 12, 2015

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9:31 PM | Nanoscience provides insights into the world's smallest ecosystems
Microbiomes have been slow to yield their secrets. Two researchers explain how nanoscience might help speed up the process.
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9:22 PM | Scientists get first glimpse of a chemical bond being born
Scientists have used an X-ray laser to get the first glimpse of the transition state where two atoms begin to form a weak bond on the way to becoming a molecule.
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9:11 PM | Exotic states materialize with supercomputers
Scientists used supercomputers to find a new class of materials that possess an exotic state of matter known as the quantum spin Hall effect. The researchers propose a new type of transistor made from these materials.
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9:05 PM | Data-storage for eternity
How can we preserve our knowledge today for the next millennia? Researchers have found a way to store information in the form of DNA, preserving it for nearly an eternity.
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8:44 PM | Nano in the Movies
Science and engineering topics appear in many movies – think of the gadgets in the James Bond series. Star Trek, Star Wars, and other long-standing science fiction series, of course, are full of futuristic transportation, infrastructure, devices and weapons.   The word “nanotechnology” was coined in 1974 by Norio Taniguchi1, and it began appearing in […]
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8:00 PM | Epigraph to the 2000 edition of Art Winfree’s Geometry of...
Epigraph to the 2000 edition of Art Winfree’s Geometry of Biological Time, from a Martin Gardner column which was reproduced in chapter 19 of his 1988 work Time travel and other mathematical bewilderments (PDF)
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6:43 PM | The Chemical Compounds Behind the Smell of Flowers
With Valentine’s Day upcoming, part of your Valentine’s plan may well involve sending flowers. These come in an array of different colours, and also have a range of different scents. What are the chemical compounds behind these scents? That’s the question that this graphic tries to answer, with a more detailed discussion of each below. […]
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6:37 PM | Studying tooth enamel nanostructure may lead to less time with the dentist's drill
Atom probe tomography, a powerful atomic-scale microscopy and micro-analysis technique, allowed researchers to make out the enamel's nanoscale composition and structure. This research identified never-before-seen amorphous biominerals and how they contribute to both mechanical hardness and the resistance of enamel to acid dissolution.
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