Posts

September 16, 2014

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12:53 PM | Meet our guest bloggers – Jen Dougan
My name is Jen Dougan and I am a Field Applications Scientist with an SME, developing diagnostic tools for clinical analysis. My job involves working with our R&D teams and customers in the field to drive and support product and applications development. I recently moved into this position after a PhD and two post-docs (and [...]
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12:30 PM | Nanotechnology engineering advances bone-forming material
Nano-engineers have successfully engineered synthetic materials which encouraged bone formation in sheep.
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12:30 PM | Is combustible dust a concern for research labs?
In last week’s exploding pianos post, the experim […]Related Posts:Unintended consequences: Exploding pianosFriday chemical safety round-upFriday chemical safety round upFriday chemical safety round-upFriday chemical safety round-up
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11:43 AM | Do a postdoc with eNanoMapper
CC-BY-SA from Zherebetskyy @ WP.Details will still have to follow as they are being worked out, but with Cristian Munteanu having accepted an associate professorship, I need a new postdoc to fill his place, and I am reopening the position I had almost a year ago. Do you like to works in a systems biology group (BiGCaT), are pro Open Science, like to work on tools for safe-by-design nanomaterials, and have skills in one or more of bioinformatics, chemoinformatics, statistics, coding, […]
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10:58 AM | New study helps uncover mechanism behind solid-solid phase transitions
Two solids made of the same elements but with different geometric arrangements of the atoms, or crystal phases, can produce materials with different properties. Coal and diamond offer a spectacular example of this effect. Researchers have now found that some crystals have an easier time of making the solid-solid transition, if they take it in two steps.
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10:52 AM | Researchers study nanocrystals by passing them through nanopores
By passing nanoscale spheres and rods through a tiny hole in a membrane, researchers able to measure the electrical properties of those structures' surfaces.
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7:16 AM | Artificial 'squid skin' nanophotonics project yields vivid color display
The quest to create artificial 'squid skin' - camouflaging metamaterials that can 'see' colors and automatically blend into the background - is one step closer to reality, thanks to a breakthrough color-display technology unveiled this week.
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6:02 AM | Nanoparticles in Prosthetics & Bionics
During my time in the Marine Corps I met several people that lost limbs in the war. I made the decision to leave the service to get my degree. Inspired by my fellow soldiers, my ultimate goal is to start a company making prosthetics and bionic limbs, hopefully making their lives a little bit easier. […]
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12:11 AM | This week's C&EN
Lots going on in this week's issue:Surely it means something that Indian pharmaceutical company Piramal is ending its drug discovery efforts in India? How odd. (article by Jean-François Tremblay)Enjoyed reading about Samantha Arnett, Ph.D. bioinorganic chemist and the State Department's Biosecurity Engagement Program's manager. (article by Deirdre Lockwood) (registration required)I found this letter by Martin Feldman of Howard University very interesting and a rather pointed critique of […]

September 15, 2014

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7:33 PM | Happy Birthday to the man with five brains
Today is Murray Gell-Mann's birthday. John Brockman calls him "the man with five brains, each one of which is smarter than yours". We are thankful he is still with us and holding forth on a variety of important problems. Gell-Mann of course is famous as the man who, inspired by a line from a book which he predictably would be the right person to have read, invented quarks. Nobody has observed an isolated quark yet, but there have been plenty of Nobel Prize-winning experiments confirming their […]
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6:21 PM | Elusive quantum transformations found near absolute zero
Researchers measure the quantum fluctuations behind a novel magnetic material's ultra-cold ferromagnetic phase transition.
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6:20 PM | Researchers control surface tension to manipulate liquid metals (w/video)
Researchers have developed a technique for controlling the surface tension of liquid metals by applying very low voltages, opening the door to a new generation of reconfigurable electronic circuits, antennas and other technologies.
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4:42 PM | CSB warns against using methanol in classroom or lab demos
Following up on the flash fire during a “tornado& […]Related Posts:Tornado simulation results in methanol fire, children burnedUsing nitric oxide at high pressurePerforming the ‘rainbow’ flame test demo safelyFormate, hydrogen gas, and nitrous oxideReport released on New York high school fire
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4:40 PM | What's wrong with this picture?
Courtesy of Bubba at In The Pipeline, a truly amusing set of bad chemistry structures behind this fake chemistry teacher.(Surely correcting bad chemistry in Hollywood could be a paying job for someone, right?)Also, a very perceptive comment from him:"If you don't watch TV between 6 and 7pm, then you are entirely missing the public face of pharma."Oh, dear, I'm afraid that's true. 
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3:30 PM | Morning tidbit: 538 on why STEM is TE
Ben Casselman, an economics writer for 538, Nate Silver's data website, has written "an economic guide to picking a college major". Here's a rather lovely paragraph:All STEM fields aren’t the same Politicians love to tout the importance of science, technology, engineering and math majors. But when it comes to earnings, the “S” majors don’t really belong with the “TEM” ones. Engineering majors are nearly all high-paying. So are most computer and math […]
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3:09 PM | Plastics Scorecard v1.0 - I can't wait for v2.0
Being that I've spent my whole career working with plastics, I've had more than my fill of anti-plastic nonsense. But most of it is "harmless" statements about how bad plastic is. Statements such as "every piece of plastic ever made is still in existence" or any of a number of inane statements about "floating island of plastic in the ocean" or statements made by people thinking they are living a plastic-free life. When such statements are made by unprofessional individuals, I seldom get worked […]
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2:58 PM | Biosensors get a boost from graphene partnership
The Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) today announced it is partnering with Graphene Frontiers, LLC, a world leader in the production of graphene for commercial and industrial applications, to develop next generation graphene-based processes, technologies, and techniques that will enable revolutionary innovation in the electronics industry.
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1:33 PM | Novel method for con­trol­lably con­structing pre­cise inter-nanotube junc­tions
The method is facile and easily scal­able, which will allow tailoring the phys­ical prop­er­ties of nan­otube net­works for use in appli­ca­tions ranging from elec­tronic devices to CNT-??reinforced com­posite mate­rials found in every­thing from cars to sports equipment.
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1:05 PM | Acid-free approach leads to strong conductive carbon nanotube threads
The very idea of fibers made of carbon nanotubes is neat, but Rice University scientists are making them neat - literally. The single-walled carbon nanotubes in new fibers line up like a fistful of uncooked spaghetti through a process designed by chemist Angel Martí and his colleagues.
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12:59 PM | Fullerene composites - Scientists come closer to the industrial synthesis of a material harder than diamond
Researchers have developed anew method for the synthesis of an ultrahard material that exceeds diamond in hardness. They describe a method that allows for the synthesis of ultrahard fullerite, a polymer composed of fullerenes, or spherical molecules made of carbon atoms.
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10:38 AM | Supporting primary science
Supporting chemistry education is a key aim for the Royal Society of Chemistry. To make sure this aim covers all ages, we are excited by the work we are now doing to extend that support towards primary (5-11) education.  Chemistry is not often introduced as a seperate discipline at this age range so we have taken the concious decision to support science as a wider subject. We are aiming to work with other organisations, teachers and schools in delivering new resources, materials and […]
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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 […]
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