Chemistry articlesBy color-coding atoms, new cornell electron microscope promises big advance in materials analysis
A new electron microscope recently installed in Cornell's Duffield Hall is enabling scientists for the first time to form images that uniquely identify individual atoms in a crystal and see how those atoms bond to one another. And in living color.
Special coating greatly improves solar cell performance
The energy from sunlight falling on only 9 percent of California's Mojave Desert could power all of the United States' electricity needs if the energy could be efficiently harvested, according to some estimates. Unfortunately, current-generation solar cell technologies are too expensive and inefficient for wide-scale commercial applications.
Researchers discover the structural alphabet of rna
A team of bioinformaticians at the Université de Montréal (UdeM) report in the March 6th edition of Nature the discovery of a structural alphabet that can be used to infer the 3D structure of ribonucleic acid (RNA) from sequence data, providing new tools to understand the role of this important class of cellular regulators.
Researchers discover key for converting waste to electricity
Researchers at the University of Minnesota studying bacteria capable of generating electricity have discovered that riboflavin (commonly known as vitamin B-2) is responsible for much of the energy produced by these organisms.
New material can find a needle in a nuclear waste haystack
Nuclear power has advantages, but, if this method of making power is to be viable long term, discovering new solutions to radioactive waste disposal and other problems are critical. Otherwise nuclear power is unlikely to become mainstream.
Meteorites a rich source for primordial soup
The organic soup that spawned life on Earth may have gotten generous helpings from outer space, according to a new study. Scientists at the Carnegie Institution have discovered concentrations of amino acids in two meteorites that are more than ten times higher than levels previously measured in other similar meteorites. This result suggests that the early solar system was far richer in the organic building blocks of life than scientists had thought, and that fallout from space may have spiked Earth's primordial broth.
Low-cost reusable material could facilitate carbon dioxide capture
Researchers have developed a new, low-cost material for capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants and other generators of the greenhouse gas. Produced with a simple one-step chemical process, the new material has a high capacity for absorbing carbon dioxide – and can be reused many times.
Efficient catalysts for making oxygen for 'artificial photosynthesis'
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Institute for Molecular Science in Japan are trying to mimic part of the complex natural process of photosynthesis with the goal of making non-polluting fuels such as hydrogen, for example, for use in fuel cells. In the March 10, 2008, web release of the journal Inorganic Chemistry containing a Forum on "Making Oxygen," the scientists report they were able to mimic the "water oxidation catalysis" that occurs in natural photosynthesis.
An MIT materials scientist's research on sea snails has helped transform battery technology and may end the era when cell phones die if they're dropped and PDAs must be replaced if they get dunked in the tub.
New crystallization method to ease study of protein structures
Researchers at the Midwest Center for Structural Genomics (MCSG), the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) and the Structural Biology Center (SBC) at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have developed a new technique for crystallizing proteins that will ease experimentation into protein structures.
Fake diamonds help jet engines take the heat
Ohio State University engineers are developing a technology to coat jet engine turbine blades with zirconium dioxide -- commonly called zirconia, the stuff of synthetic diamonds -- to combat high-temperature corrosion.
Chemical engineers discover new way to control particle motion potentially aiding micro- and nano-fluid systems for drug delivery, sensors
A new way to control the motion of fluid particles through tiny channels, potentially aiding the development of micro- and nano-scale technologies such as drug delivery devices, chemical and biological sensors, and components for miniaturized biological "lab-on-a-chip" applications has been discovered by chemical engineers at The University of Texas at Austin.
Scientists uncover a novel mechanism that regulates carbon dioxide fixation in plants
A team of Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) funded scientists at the University of Essex has discovered a new mechanism that slows the process of carbon dioxide fixation in plants.
'Two-faced' particles act like tiny submarines in NC State study
For the first time, researchers at North Carolina State University have demonstrated that microscopic "two-faced" spheres whose halves are physically or chemically different – so-called Janus particles – will move like stealthy submarines when an alternating electrical field is applied to liquid surrounding the particles.
Next generation rubber with self-healing properties
Can torn or ripped rubber be repared by simply being placed back in contact at room temperature? According to Ludwik Leibler's team at the Matière molle et chimie laboratory (CNRS/Ecole supérieure de physique et de chimie industrielles de Paris ), it can.
The future of computing -- carbon nanotubes and superconductors to replace the silicon chip
The silicon chip, which has supplied several decades' worth of remarkable increases in computing power and speed, looks unlikely to be capable of sustaining this pace for more than another decade – in fact, in a plenary talk at the conference, Suman Datta of Pennsylvania State University, USA, gives the conventional silicon chip no longer than four years left to run.
A tangled web: cee researchers unravel the secrets of spider silk's strength
The strength of a biological material like spider silk lies in the specific geometric configuration of structural proteins, which have small clusters of weak hydrogen bonds that work cooperatively to resist force and dissipate energy, researchers in Civil and Environmental Engineering have revealed.
Tiny buckyballs squeeze hydrogen like giant Jupiter
Hydrogen could be a clean, abundant energy source, but it's difficult to store in bulk. In new research, materials scientists at Rice University have made the surprising discovery that tiny carbon capsules called buckyballs are so strong they can hold volumes of hydrogen nearly as dense as those at the center of Jupiter.
Hybrid computer materials may lead to faster, cheaper technology
A modern computer contains two different types of components: magnetic components, which perform memory functions, and semiconductor components, which perform logic operations. A University of Missouri researcher, as part of a multi-university research team, is working to combine these two functions in a single hybrid material. This new material would allow seamless integration of memory and logical functions and is expected to permit the design of devices that operate at much higher speeds and use considerably less power than current electronic devices.
Foldable and stretchable, silicon circuits conform to many shapes
Scientists have developed a new form of stretchable silicon integrated circuit that can wrap around complex shapes such as spheres, body parts and aircraft wings, and can operate during stretching, compressing, folding and other types of extreme mechanical deformations, without a reduction in electrical performance.