Posts

October 28, 2014

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1:02 PM | Self-assembly of layered membranes
Recently, scientists used self-assembly under controlled conditions to create a membrane consisting of layers with distinctly different structures. Now, the team utilized small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) to better determine these structures and study how they form. This new information paves the way for design and synthesis of hierarchical structures with biomedical applications.
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1:00 PM | How do Scientists Study Complex Chemical Systems?
Much of our work in the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology lies in the realm of chemistry. That is to say, our work seeks to understand phenomena at the molecular level. For example, we want to know what molecules we can add to the surface of a nanoparticle to control how stable it is and how […]
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11:07 AM | A new cheap and efficient method to improve SERS
Researchers have developed a new method to overcome the problems of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS), an ultra-sensitive analytical technique able to detect chemicals in very low concentration, even up to single molecules, and also to retrieve structural information.
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10:04 AM | Attempting to solve the mystery of why Ag-Rh alloy nanoparticles have a similar property to palladium
Scientists have made the first observation of the electronic structure in silver-rhodium (Ag-Rh) alloy nanoparticles to investigate why the alloy possesses a hydrogen absorbing/storage property like palladium does, given that bulk Ag and Rh do not form an alloy, and that neither element alone is a hydrogen absorbing/storage metal.
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8:46 AM | A nanorobotics platform for nanomanufacturing
The complexity and high cost of the state-of-the-art high-resolution lithographic systems are prompting unconventional routes for nanoscale manufacturing. Inspired by natural nanomachines, synthetic nanorobots have recently demonstrated remarkable performance and functionality. Nanoengineers now have invented a new nano-patterning approach, named , which translates the autonomous movement trajectories of nanomotors, or nanorobots, into controlled surface features that brings a twist to […]
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4:15 AM | Isaiah Berlin, science and the dangers of certainty
Isaiah Berlin (Image: hannaharendt.org)The essence of science is uncertainty. The scientific process gropes, not finds, its way to the truth. And yet there are those who have sought certainty and sacred truth not just in science but in human affairs. In science this illusory search can be a mere annoyance or at worse it can be a recipe for shattered careers and wasted man hours, but in human affairs it can lead to the most horrific tragedies. As Jacob Bronowski poignantly put it in "The Ascent […]
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2:03 AM | Visiting Prison, Things Are Taken
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

October 27, 2014

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6:08 PM | Prostate cancer, kidney disease detected in urine samples on the spot
New device screens for kidney disease, prostate cancer on the spot. The tiny tube is lined with DNA sequences that latch onto disease markers in urine. While healthy samples flow freely, a diseased sample gets clogged and stops short of the mark.
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6:01 PM | Watching the hidden life of materials
Scientists have succeeded in simultaneously observing the reorganizations of atomic positions and electron distribution during the transformation of the 'smart material' vanadium dioxide from a semiconductor into a metal - in a timeframe a trillion times faster than the blink of an eye. This marks the first time experiments have been able to distinguish changes in a material's atomic-lattice structure from the relocation of the electrons in such a blazingly fast process.
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5:48 PM | 'Sticky' ends start synthetic collagen growth
Researchers have delivered a scientific one-two punch with a pair of papers that detail how synthetic collagen fibers self-assemble via their sticky ends.
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3:40 PM | Someone really doesn't like Fazlul Sarkar
For those of you following along at home, Retraction Watch has been covering the story of Wayne State professor Fazlul Sarkar. Thanks to anonymous commenters at PubPeer uncovering some obvious image manipulation issues, he's had a distinguished professor position at the University of Mississippi withdrawn. Because of this, he's subpoenaing PubPeer to make them give up the IP addresses of the commenters so that he can sue them. As laughable as that is, I note this little tidbit […]
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3:17 PM | Any good theories about the airbag recall?
So I have a theory on the airbag recall which came from this NPR story:SHEPARDSON: Right. The issue is the propellant in the airbags, the material that actually explodes the airbag into your face, you know, milliseconds after sensors detect a crash is about to happen or has happened, in some cases is damaged and as a result - and what investigators believe is that's mostly linked to high humidity areas where - so in other words, after being exposed to humidity, they're more likely to have […]
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3:10 PM | A safety letter on TMS-azide
This week's C&EN has a safety letter from the University of Minnesota's Taton group that had an accident with TMS-azide that I've covered here. Don't miss the follow-up by Neal Langerman below: We recently conducted a synthesis of azidotrimethylsilane (TMS-N3) that resulted in an explosion, significant damage to the reaction hood, and injuries to a student researcher. Although it is still not entirely clear what caused the explosion, it seems likely that the reaction and isolation […]
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2:58 PM | Nice try, India
I always enjoy reading Rick Mullin's looks at the fine chemicals industry. He provides a few good chuckles this week when he visited CPhI and talked with India's joint secretary of Commerce & Industry, Sudhanshu Pandey: India’s pharmaceutical industry sees related problems with regulators who take process-oriented, rather than risk-based, approaches in their oversight. “Process is important to ensuring the quality of medicines, but there are some processes where […]
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2:54 PM | This week's C&EN
This week's selection:Pretty awesome story about snake venom research by Celia Henry Arnaud. Was not aware of the term "gain of function" research, but the Feds aren't doing it right now. (story by Andrea Widener.) A PAC for scientists to go into Congress? Very interesting. (article by Jessica Morrison)Carmen Drahl writes on "Pumpkin Spice Flavor" - tasty! Carl Djerassi writes on the Pill, naturally. 
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1:16 PM | Graphene Frontiers Secures Patent for Commercial-Scale Material Production
The advanced materials developer awarded a key patent for a cheaper, faster etch-free transfer of graphene films.
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1:07 PM | Tracking atomic-scale heat-driven decay in leading electric vehicle batteries
Scientists reveal the atomic-scale structural and electronic degradations that plague some rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and make them vulnerable during high-temperature operations.
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12:53 PM | A GPS from the chemistry set
You don't always need GPS, a map or a compass to find the right way. What demands a tremendous amount of computational power from today's navigation computers can also be achieved by taking advantage of the laws of physical chemistry and practicing so-called 'chemical computing'.
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12:48 PM | Single nanodiamonds inside living cells further biomedical research
Nanodiamonds are providing scientists with new possibilities for accurate measurements of processes inside living cells with potential to improve drug delivery and cancer therapeutics.
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11:00 AM | 9103 Picoammeter Actuel Update: Micro Window Display
The Problem: Using Actuel to control and measure current with the 9103 Picoammeter takes up valuable screen real estate: Actuel is RBD’s Windows application for controlling the 9103 USB Picoammeter. It also provides features like measuring, recording, and graphing current. Although the … Continue reading → The post 9103 Picoammeter Actuel Update: Micro Window Display appeared first on RBD TechSpot.
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10:51 AM | Atom-width nanotechnology sensor could provide unprecedented insights into brain structure and function
New technology enables monitoring and stimulation of neurons using optical and electronic methods simultaneously.
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10:02 AM | Researcher develop economical process for micro energy harvesting
The trend toward energy self-sufficient probes and ever smaller mobile electronics systems continues unabated. They are used, for example, to monitor the status of the engines on airplanes, or for medical implants. They gather the energy they need for this from their immediate environment - from vibrations, for instance. Researchers have developed a process for the economical production of piezoelectric materials.
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8:38 AM | Direct chemical contrast in STM imaging becomes available with new technique
Researchers have demonstrated a new imaging technique that is a marriage between two powerful methods and it promises simultaneous spatial and elemental information of the samples down to the atomic scale. By combining scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) with synchrotron X-ray microscopy, there is now an instrument (SX-STM) that has the potential to perform all the applications of STM and X-rays in a single setting at the ultimate atomic limit.
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8:25 AM | New nanodevice to improve cancer treatment monitoring
In less than a minute, a miniature device can measure a patient's blood for methotrexate, a commonly used but potentially toxic cancer drug. Just as accurate and ten times less expensive than equipment currently used in hospitals.

October 26, 2014

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9:00 PM | The Moon Re-examined.
Recently, there have been two themes regarding the Moon's origin. Some unexpected but now well-known results from the samples returned by Apollo included: 1. the rocks were remarkably dry, 2. the isotopes of oxygen and some other elements were essentially the same as those of Earth whereas these isotope ratios differ from other samples, such as chondrites, and from Mars, 3. there was considerable anorthosite, which is a feldspathic mineral, present. Earth is the only planet that we know of that […]
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5:26 PM | A breakthrough toward developing DNA-based electrical circuits
Researchers report reproducible and quantitative measurements of electricity flow through long molecules made of four DNA strands, signaling a significant breakthrough towards the development of DNA-based electrical circuits.
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11:36 AM | This Week in Chemistry: Eau De Comet, Tarantula Toxins, & an Iridium +9 Compound
Another week, another batch of chemistry research news to sink your teeth into. This week sees tarantula toxins utilised to help visualise electrical activity in cells, the potential aroma of molecules detected on Comet 67P, and the first experimental evidence for a molecule containing an element in the +9 oxidation state. Links to more detailed articles […]
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10:05 AM | Strained Acetylenes
Spotted fleetingly last week was a publication by Danheiser in JACS detailing the preparation  and reactions of the strained cyclic ynamide: Now this is an unusual compound, just think what you can do with the chemistry of arynes. Of course it is not as stable as the aromatic variant which makes its synthesis and chemistry all the […]

October 25, 2014

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10:15 PM | El diccionario del diablo define: Suplicar
Pulsa aquí para votarSuplicar: Pedir algo con insistencia proporcional al convencimiento de que no se lo darán.____________Fuente: "El Diccionario del diablo". Ambrose Bierce. Ed Galaxia Gutemberg. ISBN: 84-8109-359-9Puedes recordar otras definiciones del Diccionario del diablo desde este enlace. ;-)
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3:35 PM | One-third semester update
Almost unbelievably we are a third of the way through the Autumn Semester. Here’s a record of some of the highlights so far. I’ve been teaching my Forensics Arson module for 3 weeks now, and last week we had our now traditional arson demonstration from John Caulton. This year the weather held, and the students […]
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