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Posts

April 23, 2014

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1:23 PM | Steering chemical reactions with laser pulses
With ultra-short laser pulses, chemical reactions can be controlled; electrons have little mass and are therefore influenced by the laser, whereas the atomic nuclei are much heavier and are hardly affected.
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1:07 PM | PressPac: Avoiding water wars between ‘fracking’ industry and residents
Here’s an item from this week’s PressPac that we thought you’d enjoy. The PressPac features summaries of articles appearing in our peer-reviewed journals and Chemical & Engineering News. To get the entire PressPac in your inbox, email us at newsroom@acs.org.The shale gas boom has transformed the energy landscape in the U.S., but in some drier locations, it could cause conflict among the energy industry, residents and agricultural interests over already-scarce water […]
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12:03 PM | Nanomechanical sensors detect cancer from breath
An array of functionalized membrane-type surface stress sensors distinguishes cancer patients from healthy people through a signature response to breath samples.
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11:56 AM | Disorder on the nanoscale may be responsible for solar-cell efficiency
In the past few years, perovskite solar cells have made large leaps forward in efficiency, recently achieving energy conversion with up to 16 percent efficiency. These simple and promising devices are easy enough to make and are made up of earth abundant materials, but little work has been done to explore their atomic makeup.
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11:51 AM | Gold nanoparticles help target, quantify breast cancer gene segments in a living cell
Purdue University researchers have developed a way to detect and measure cancer levels in a living cell by using gold nanoparticles with tails of synthetic DNA.
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11:45 AM | SanDisk Announces 15 Nanometer Technology, World's Most Advanced NAND Flash Manufacturing Node
The 15nm technology will ramp on both two bits-per-cell (X2) and three bits-per-cell (X3) NAND flash memory architectures with production ramp to begin in the second half of 2014.
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7:02 AM | Researchers make major advances in dye sensitized solar cells
Two groups of researchers have recently advanced the field of solar cells with a cheaper and efficient replacement for platinum and better synthesis of zinc oxide.

April 22, 2014

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11:26 PM | Fishing for sharks – the story of salt
Every year, there are around 75 shark attacks reported worldwide. In the same amount of time, nearly 100 million sharks are killed by humans – often for their fins. Despite these staggering statistics, our society still views sharks as mindless killers, as the barbarous intruders into our highly-populated coastal waters. While it is easy to […]
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10:00 PM | The molecular TIE fighter
Where did the inspiration for the TIE fighters in Star Wars come from? Well, we surely can’t rule out that George Lucas read this Zeitschrift für anorganische und allgemeine Chemie paper from 1953 and was particularly struck by the following … Continue reading →
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9:41 PM | How the job market used to work…
For reasons that will become apparent in a few months (it’s not that exciting), I have spent a lot of today looking at papers associated with the discovery and early structural studies of ferrocene. I have come across wonderful footnotes … Continue reading →
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8:02 PM | Alzheimer’s disease is a growing health problem in many...
Alzheimer’s disease is a growing health problem in many nations, and many in the biosciences now work towards a treatment for the disease. Much like its precise molecular mechanism however, these treatments remain elusive. β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides grab hold of each other to assemble oligomers of various sizes in solution which aggregate into the large fibrils seen in plaques. Difficulties and ambiguities in the molecules’ structures at this level hinder the development of […]
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4:43 PM | PETA science consortium to present hazard testing strategy at nanotoxicology meeting
PETA International Science Consortium will present a non-animal tiered-testing strategy for nanomaterial hazard assessment at the 7th International Nanotoxicology Congress being held in Antalya, Turkey on Apr. 23-26, 2014. The proposed strategy will generate meaningful information on nanomaterial properties and their interaction with biological systems.
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2:48 PM | High-performance, low-cost paper ultracapacitors built with graphene and carbon nanotubes
Future devices based on technology could bridge gap between batteries and conventional capacitors in portable electronics and hybrid electric vehicles.
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1:41 PM | Quantum simulators developed to study inaccessible physical systems
Quantum simulators recreate the behaviour on a microscopic scale of biological and quantum systems and even of particles moving at the speed of light. The exact knowledge of these systems will lead to applications ranging from more efficient photovoltaic cells to more specific drugs. Researchers are working on the design of several of these quantum simulators so they can study the dynamics of complex physical systems.
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12:57 PM | Nanotechnology researchers demonstrate potential of RNA as heat-resistant polymer material for nanoarchitectures
A team of nanotechnology researchers at the University of Kentucky has discovered new methods to build heat resistant nanostructures and arrays using RNA.
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12:49 PM | Nanomaterial outsmarts ions
Ions are an essential tool in chip manufacturing, but these electrically charged atoms can also be used to produce nano-sieves with homogeneously distributed pores. A particularly large number of electrons, however, must be removed from the atoms for this purpose. Such highly charged ions either lose a surprisingly large amount of energy or almost no energy at all as they pass through a membrane that measures merely one nanometer in thickness. This discovery is an important step towards […]
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12:42 PM | Like a hall of mirrors, nanostructures trap photons inside ultrathin solar cells (w/videos)
In the quest to make sun power more competitive, researchers are designing ultrathin solar cells that cut material costs. At the same time they're keeping these thin cells efficient by sculpting their surfaces with photovoltaic nanostructures that behave like a molecular hall of mirrors.
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12:34 PM | Achieving higher solar-cell efficiency with zinc-oxide coating
Engineering researchers have achieved the highest efficiency ever in a 9 millimeter-squared solar cell made of gallium arsenide. After coating the cufflink-sized cells with a thin layer of zinc oxide, the research team reached a conversion efficiency of 14 percent.
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12:28 PM | What is Caustic Soda?
Caustic soda, also known as sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or lye, is a white inorganic metallic base, highly caustic and usually available in granules, flakes or pellets or in ready-made solutions of various strengths. As a strong chemical base, it’s used in multiple industrial applications from the manufacture of paper to detergents. Let’s have a closer [...]
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12:27 PM | Cloaked DNA nanodevices survive pilot mission (w/video)
It's a familiar trope in science fiction: In enemy territory, activate your cloaking device. And real-world viruses use similar tactics to make themselves invisible to the immune system. Now scientists have mimicked these viral tactics to build the first DNA nanodevices that survive the body's immune defenses.
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10:39 AM | My year with the real wonks: how academia enriches journalism
I stepped out of a chemistry lab to receive a shiny doctorate a little more than two years ago. Then, against the...
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10:39 AM | My year with the real wonks: how academia enriches journalism
I stepped out of a chemistry lab to receive a shiny doctorate a little more than two years ago. Then, against the...
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10:32 AM | A novel approach to Density Functional Theory
In the past decades, the Density Functional Theory (DFT) has been very successful in helping chemists and physicists understand the properties of matter at extremely small scales. Although some problems still remain in the standard implementation of DFT, it represents an important theoretical tool which is used on a daily basis. Scientists now propose a variant of the standard DFT which could pave the way towards the simulation of very complex chemical and physical systems at a quantum level.
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10:11 AM | Ion beams as nano shotguns
A bullet fired through a block of wood will slow down. In a similar way, ions are decelerated when they pass through a solid material: the thicker the material, the larger the energy loss will be. However, this picture breaks down in ultra-thin target materials, which only consist of a few layers of atoms.
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10:07 AM | The Chemistry of Caffeine
Like most of us, I start my day with a cup of coffee to kick-off my brain into operation! I am not alone, as I’m joined by over 90% of the world population consuming this psychoactive drug in one way or another! Interestingly, the coffee plant is not the only one with this substance, with [...]
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9:44 AM | A new approach to nanoengineering the materials of the future
Researchers have synthesized a new class of macromolecules that self-assemble into various ordered structures with feature sizes smaller than 10 nanometers. Called 'giant surfactants', these large molecules mimic the structural features of small surfactants but have been transformed into functional molecular nanoparticles by being 'clicked' with polymer chains. The resulting materials are unique because they bridge the gap between small molecule surfactants and traditional block copolymers and […]
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7:02 AM | Grant to investigate how carbon nanotubes in everyday products might affect human health
Researchers at UT Dallas recently received a $459,000, three-year grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, to track how multi-walled carbon nanotubes interact with human cells.
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5:28 AM | Non-enzyme nanotechnology sensor to detect blood sugar
Carbon nanotubes and iron oxide nanoparticles have been used in the production of the sensor. The sensor is non-enzyme type and it has high repeatability, stability and selectivity.
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4:46 AM | High energy Germans
Along with the group at the University of Rostock there appears to be another cluster led by Prof Klapötke etal in Münich investigating what they call “high-energy dense materials (HEDM)” which is the scientific nomenclature for explosive! Well noted is the statement “The challenge is based on the combination of the three main demands 1) performance, […]
Editor's Pick
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4:15 AM | Battle royale, hippo-style
The latest from Huff Post: “Massive Herd of Hippos Faces Off with Hundreds of Crocodiles In Epic Battle Of The Beasts (PHOTOS)” via http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/19/hippos-have-epic-battle-against-crocs_n_5170405.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063 It looks like Zambia’s 140-strong croc crowd claimed victory on this one, but it’s interesting from a behavioral perspective to see how hippos react in the face of loss. We don’t often think […]
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