Posts

April 21, 2015

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11:28 AM | Opinion polls – don’t overhype them!
As the election campaign continues (with just over two weeks to go before polling), the media continually report the latest opinion polls, which mostly show Labour and the Conservatives at both around 33-34%. Conclusions and predictions are being made on the basis of these results, but do they actually mean anything? An opinion poll is … Continue reading Opinion polls – don’t overhype them! →
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9:47 AM | Nanoelectronics on the 'computer test bench'
Thanks to a special computer program, researchers are able to simulate electronic nanocomponents and help materials science and industry in the development and production process.
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9:41 AM | Scientists explain skin fusion at a molecular level
Scientists explain skin fusion at a molecular level and pinpoint the specific molecules that do the job.
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9:08 AM | Nanobubbles dilemma solved after more than twenty years
Researchers explain that the constant angle of curvature is the reason that nanobubbles are stable.
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8:54 AM | Better battery imaging paves way for renewable energy future
In a move that could improve the energy storage of everything from portable electronics to electric microgrids, researchers have developed a novel X-ray imaging technique to visualize and study the electrochemical reactions in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries containing a new type of material, iron fluoride.
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8:40 AM | Real-time tunable plasmon laser
Plasmon lasers are promising nanoscale coherent sources of optical fields because they support ultra-small sizes and show ultra-fast dynamics. They can make possible single-molecule biodetectors, photonic circuits and high-speed optical communication systems. In new work, researchers have found a way to integrate liquid gain materials with gold nanoparticle arrays to achieve nanoscale plasmon lasing that can be tuned dynamical, reversibly, and in real time.
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7:49 AM | Antifreeze and Engine Maintenance
Recently the automotive market has been inundated with many different products, and it’s important to be familiar with good practices to maintain a good working engine. Under normal circumstances, the best way to protect the engine is to choose a high quality coolant from a reputable manufacturer and follow simple “golden rules” to maintain adequate [...]
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5:28 AM | Toxic chemicals
I’ve been following with interest the blog posts and comments that have recently sprung up since the “Food Babe” gave her recent interview to some American Newspaper. Actually from her picture she looks quite tasty, but wait….. is she not just a bag of skin, full of toxic chemicals? Think about all those nasty amino … Continue reading Toxic chemicals →
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2:37 AM | The sin of experimental omissions: the delayed quantum eraser
In January of this year I started a series of posts based on an article in Angew. Chem. Int Ed. 52: 118 – 122, where van Gunsteren mentioned the seven deadly sins of chemists. I commented on the first one (inadequate descriptions of methodology), inspired in part by an example that help up progress on my PhD when an eminent chemist left out a very critical piece of the experimental methodology and I was not smart enough to pick it, but then I got distracted by a series of what I thought […]
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2:16 AM | I’m just dipping a toe back into one of my favourite books of...
I’m just dipping a toe back into one of my favourite books of last year: Hallam Stevens’ Life Out of Sequence: A Data-Driven History of Bioinformatics. Above is its epigraph: this tension between the abstruse language of the humanities and a plain-speaking dissection of praxis makes for a fantastic interdisciplinary couple of hundred pages. My only criticism would be that the author’s conclusions on ‘how the computer changed biology’ get repeated a few times over, […]

April 20, 2015

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8:08 PM | What’s in your library?
For a variety of reasons I’m taking stock of the various books I’ve purchased, appropriated from the group stores, or …Continue reading →
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4:57 PM | Happily ever after: Scientists arrange protein-nanoparticle marriage
New nanobiotechnology method could lead to development of HIV vaccine, targeted cancer treatment.
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4:18 PM | L'argent ne fait pas le bonheur…
LES MANCHETTES SCIENTIFIQUES d’Ariel Fenster C'est ainsi que commence un dicton français, avec en seconde partie… «mais il y contribue». Ce qui est certain c'est que l'argent joue un rôle primordial dans notre vie et cela depuis les temps immémoriaux. […]
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3:28 PM | David Harwell and the STEM panel: no hope
From a random clicking around, I happened upon one of my old bugaboos, Bayer MaterialScience, and a YouTube of flogging of the "STEM crisis" in a December 2013 panel. If you'd like to listen to it, there's over 90 minutes of self-congratulatory hogwash from a variety of people who claim that there is a vast shortage of STEM workers. I was pretty irritated at it, but then I heard this exchange from Dr. David Harwell, an American Chemical Society staff member, asking the panel a pretty darn good […]
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3:27 PM | This week's C&EN
Lots of interesting tidbits in this week's C&EN:Very interesting article about yeast and beer brewing by Matt Davenport. (Don't care what you say, but marijuana beer sounds yucky.) Additionally, a good read by Jyllian Kemsley on the laboratory safety of marijuana extraction. I'll repeat a mantra of mine, speaking as a marijuana non-user: if cannabis is going to be legal, it's the responsibility of chemists to run the home butane hash oil folks out of business. Interesting […]
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2:28 PM | Computer Simulation of Automotive Emission Control Systems
Computer simulation has become an important tool for designing automotive emission control systems. This paper highlights some of the key developments made in modelling of diesel emissions control components and catalysts by Johnson Matthey. The general methodology for model development involves determination of the reaction kinetics using laboratory reactor data, followed by validation of the resulting model against vehicle or engine data. The development of models for diesel oxidation […]
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2:23 PM | Giant magnetic effects induced in hybrid materials
Magnetic property changes by several hundred percent over a narrow temperature range.
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2:08 PM | Quantum model reveals surface structure of water
Scientists have used a new quantum model to reveal the molecular structure of water's liquid surface.
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2:05 PM | Guest Editorial: Applications of Modelling at Johnson Matthey
The theme for this issue of the journal is modelling and its usefulness to Johnson Matthey in a wide range of research and development (R&D) areas. Modelling is one of three core competencies within Johnson Matthey, together with the ability to control materials at the atomic scale, and to characterise materials using state of the... The post Guest Editorial: Applications of Modelling at Johnson Matthey appeared first on Johnson Matthey Technology Review.
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2:00 PM | Researchers establish theoretical framework for graphene physics
Researchers have established a theoretical framework to understand the elastic and electronic properties of graphene.
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12:08 PM | Researchers efficient method of producing metallic nanoparticles
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd has developed a new, cost-efficient method of producing various types of metallic nanoparticles.
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12:05 PM | Researchers succeed in light-controlled molecule switching
Scientists are working on storing and processing information on the level of single molecules to create the smallest possible components that will combine autonomously to form a circuit. As recently reported, the researchers can switch on the current flow through a single molecule for the first time with the help of light.
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9:47 AM | UNL wins $9.6 million NSF grant for nanotechnology research center
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has earned a $9.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support its Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and its nanotechnology research through 2020.
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9:43 AM | Engineers introduce design that mimics nature's camouflage
It can shift from red to green to violet. It can mimic patterns and designs. And it can do all of this in a flash - literally.
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9:03 AM | Fuzzy and Boolean logic gates based on DNA nanotechnology
Research related to molecular logic gates is a fast growing and very active area and molecular devices have become the new frontier in computing. Researchers now have designed and synthesized self-assembled DNA complexes that sense two environmental signals and produce a fluorescent outputs corresponding to the operation of all six Boolean logic gates AND, NAND, OR, NOR, XOR, and XNOR. This study could help improvements in the fields of molecular computation and intelligent drug delivery.

April 19, 2015

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8:53 PM | Flakka in Meme
The latest media hysteria I've seen about Flakka includes a man who believed he was God, had sexual relations with a tree, and assaulted a law enforcement officer.All of these recent Flakka headlines are reminiscent of the MDPV-zombie days of 2010-2013. I figured we could combat some of this recent silliness in media reports with some silliness of our own.Who fed these puppies some Flakka?Here's Johnny! On Flakka. Looking back at the Shining, it makes a little more sense...Wonder if […]
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3:37 PM | “Reynold’s number” (Re) describes the ratio...
High Reynold's number (~3900) from large eddy simulation: no laminar flow http://www6.miami.edu/acfdlab/CFD.html“Reynold’s number” (Re) describes the ratio between forces of inertia and viscosity in discussions of fluid mechanics. Re = (V·d·ρ) / μ As shown in the formula above, Reynold’s number scales this ratio of density (ρ) to viscosity (μ) by speed of flow through (V), and diameter (d) of the fluid container (e.g. a pipe). These factors […]
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2:00 PM | The Romance of Chemistry
We’ve spent the past week looking at Moore’s law, its history, implications, and what it might look like in the future. But today, on the 50th anniversary of the publication of his landmark paper, we want to consider the making of Moore the man. The following excerpt is taken from Moore’s Law: The Life of Gordon Moore, Silicon Valley’s Quiet Revolutionary, due for publication by Basic Books on May 5 and coauthored by Arnold Thackray, CHF’s chancellor and founding […]
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1:31 PM | The Artist’s License – revoked (again)!
Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) wrote a book. David Dobbs (@David_Dobbs) reviewed it in The New York Times. Klaas Verplancke (@klaasics) drew a picture to illustrate the review. Here is that picture. (I use it here without permission, but hope that everyone can be reasonable about my reproduction – please). Now that I have familiarized myself with […]
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1:01 PM | Science Media Centre and e-cigarettes
As I noted in a brief post yesterday, e-cigarette regulation is an important issue on which both the medical establishment and life science researchers have called for caution, yet their voices are not being reflected in media coverage of the issue. I also recapped yesterday on how, as the author of the Cochrane review, Professor Peter Hajek at Queen Mary’s University, London (QMUL) wrote that e-cigarettes were “unlikely to cause harm” with no citation to support the claim, […]
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