14-01-2013   -   Physics

Mon 14 Jan 2013 New material harvests energy from water vapour. MIT engineers have created a new polymer film that can generate electricity by drawing on a ubiquitous source: water vapor. The power generated could drive robotic limbs or generate enough electricity to power micro- and nanoelectronic devices, such as environmental sensors. The new film is made from an interlocking network of two different polymers. One of the polymers, polypyrrole, forms a hard but flexible matrix that provides structural support. The other polymer, polyol-borate, is a soft gel that swells when it absorbs water. The film harvests energy found in the water gradient between dry and water-rich environments. When the 20-micrometer-thick film lies on a surface that contains even a small amount of moisture, the bottom layer absorbs evaporated water, forcing the film to curl away from the surface. more

  27-12-2012   -   Chemistry

Wed 26 Dec 2012 pH measurements: How to see the real face of electrochemistry and corrosion. For several decades antimony electrodes have been used to measure the acidity/basicity – and so to determine the pH value. Unfortunately, they allow for measuring pH changes of solutions only at a certain distance from electrodes or corroding metals. New research has developed a method for producing antimony micro-electrodes that allow for measuring pH changes just over the metal surface, at which chemical reactions take place. The new microelectrode is made of a glass capillary filled with liquid antimony. Stretched to reduce the cross section and cut flat, the microelectrode enables carrying out measurements at hard surfaces, in a liquid environment. It is thus suitable for monitoring electrochemical reactions and corrosion processes resulting from interaction between metal and solution or a thin water film.more

  16-12-2012   -   Biology

Sun 16 Dec 2012 New stem cell research, transplant strategies show promise to improve outcomes, reduce complications. New studies illustrate how the use of advanced modeling techniques is optimizing stem cells to treat patients with blood disorders, as well as the potential of enhanced treatment strategies to improve the success rate of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation for these patients. more

  16-12-2012   -   Physics

Thu 13 Dec 2012 2012 Physics on a plane: A group of physicists from Japan have taken to the skies to grow crystals under zero gravity. This is necessary to overcome the limitations of the laboratory in order to examine the peculiar dynamics of helium crystals on a much larger scale than can be achieved with ordinary materials. Their results could help researchers reveal the fundamental physics behind the development of crystals, whilst also unveiling phenomena that are usually hidden by gravity. The helium crystals were grown using high pressures, extremely low temperatures (0.6K/-272°C) and by splashing them with a superfluid – a state of quantum matter which behaves like a fluid but has zero viscosity, meaning it has complete resistance to stress. Superfluids can also flow through extremely tiny gaps without any friction. more

  22-11-2012   -   Energy

Wed 21 Nov 2012 New Research reveals Nanotechnology simplifies hydrogen production for clean energy. In the first-ever experiment of its kind, researchers have demonstrated that clean energy hydrogen can be produced from water splitting by using very small metal particles that are exposed to sunlight. Published results implies that the use of gold particles smaller than one nano-meter resulted in greater hydrogen production than other co-catalysts tested. more

  01-11-2012   -   ICT

Thu 1 Nov 2012 Titan supercomputer debuts: Computer churns through more than 20,000 trillion calculations each second (20 petaflops). Th Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the USA has just launched a new era of scientific super-computing with Titan, a system that is employing a family of processors called graphic processing units first created for computer gaming. Titan will be 10 times more powerful than ORNL's last world-leading system, Jaguar, while overcoming power and space limitations inherent in the previous generation of high-performance computers. The Cray XK7 system contains 18,688 nodes, with each holding a 16-core AMD Opteron 6274 processor and an NVIDIA Tesla K20 graphics processing unit (GPU) accelerator. Titan also has more than 700 terabytes of memory. The combination of central processing units (CPU), the traditional foundation of high-performance computers, and more recent GPUs will allow Titan to occupy the same space as its Jaguar predecessor while using only marginally more electricity.more

  31-10-2012   -   Agriculture

Wed 31 Oct 2012 Agriculture and food production contribute up to 29 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Feeding the world releases up to 17,000 megatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually, according to a new analysis. But while the emissions "footprint" of food production needs to be reduced, a companion policy brief lays out how climate change will require a complete re-calibration of where specific crops are grown and livestock are raised.more

  14-10-2012   -   Chemistry

Wed 10 Oct 2012 The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2012 was awarded jointly to Robert J., USA, and Brian K. Kobilka, USA “for studies of G-protein–coupled receptors”more

  09-10-2012   -   Physics

Tue 9 Oct 2012 The Nobel Prize in Physics 2012 was awarded jointly to Serge Haroche (Fra) and David Wineland (USA) for "ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring & manipulation of individual quantum systems"more

  09-10-2012   -   Medicine

Mon 8 Oct 2012 The Nobel Prize in Medicine 2012 was awarded jointly to Sir John B. Gurdon (UK) and Shinya Yamanaka (JPN) "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent". more

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