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A new slow-motion method of controlling the synthesis of polymers, which takes inspiration from both trees and Celtic Knots, opens up new possibilities in areas including medical devices, drug delivery, elastics and adhesives.
Trace gases and aerosols are major factors influencing the climate. With the help of highly complex installations, such as MIPAS on board of the ENVISAT satellite, researchers try to better understand the processes in the upper atmosphere. Now, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology presents the most comprehensive overview of sulfur dioxide measurements in the journal of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.
Tropical plants flower at supra-annual irregular intervals. In addition, mass flowering is typical for the tropical forests in Borneo and elsewhere, where hundreds of different plant timber species from the Dipterocarpaceae family flower synchronously. This phenomenon is all the more puzzling because both temperature and day length are relatively constant all year round due to geographical proximity to the equator. Up to now it was supposed that several weeks of drought may trigger mass flowering in Borneo's forests. However, no empirical data and genetic analyses were available.
(Phys.org) —Adventitious changes in cellular DNA can endanger the whole organism, as they may lead to life-threatening illnesses like cancer. Researchers at LMU now report how byproducts of respiration cause mispairing of subunits in the double helix.
A new, streamlined approach to genetic engineering drastically reduces the time and effort needed to insert new genes into bacteria, the workhorses of biotechnology, scientists are reporting. Published in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology, the method paves the way for more rapid development of designer microbes for drug development, environmental cleanup and other activities.
Circular RNAs were recently shown to be abundant in mice and humans where they influence gene expression.
(Phys.org) —If you've been lucky enough to catch all the green lights as you drive down a busy street, you may have been benefiting from intentional synchronization called a "green wave." The green wave concept has been around in the US since the 1920s, but it doesn't always work as it should. When traffic gets backed up for some reason, "green wave breakdown" occurs. In a new paper, physicist Boris Kerner at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Essen, Germany, has modeled and analyzed the causes of green wave breakdown, and the results may lead to better coordinated green waves and more efficient traffic flow.
(Phys.org) —Researchers working to improve durability in fuel cell powered buses, including a team from Simon Fraser University, have discovered links between electrode degradation processes and bus membrane durability.
Scientists and engineers must join together in a major new effort to educate the public and decision makers on a crisis in providing Earth's people with clean water that looms ahead in the 21st century. That's the focus of a comment article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society.
(Phys.org) —Highview Power Storage, a British company that develops energy storage systems for utility companies has received $18 million in funding from several backers to investigate the use of "liquid air" as a means of storing electricity for backup purposes. Liquid air is air that has been chilled to the point of liquefying—when warmed it expands, allowing for the possibility of driving turbines to create electricity.
Many molecules have a right and a left form, just like shoes. In pharmaceuticals, it is important that the correct form of the molecule is used. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have been able to produce the one mirror image by using crystals with special properties. This can have a major impact on the production of pharmaceuticals.
To describe the microscopic properties of matter and its interaction with the external world, quantum mechanics uses wave functions, whose structure and time dependence is governed by the Schrödinger equation. In atoms, electronic wave functions describe - among other things - charge distributions existing on length-scales that are many orders of magnitude removed from our daily experience. In physics laboratories, experimental observations of charge distributions are usually precluded by the fact that the process of taking a measurement changes a wave function and selects one of its many possible realizations. For this reason, physicists usually know the shape of charge distributions through calculations that are shown in textbooks. That is to say, until now. An international team coordinated by researchers from the Max Born Institute has succeeded in building a microscope that allows magnifying the wave function of excited electronic states of the hydrogen atom by a factor of more than twenty-thousand, leading to a situation where the nodal structure of these electronic states can be visualized on a two-dimensional detector.
(Phys.org) —Two SLAC physicists with decades of particle accelerator experience helped a Silicon Valley company design and build X-ray devices that scan cargo containers for nuclear materials and other hazards. A version of this screening system is now in commercial use, and on May 16, the company received national recognition for its successful development from the federal Small Business Administration.
Members of tea party claim the movement springs from and promotes basic American conservative principles such as limited government and fiscal responsibility.
(Phys.org) —Ground-breaking Australian research on the viability of aviation biofuels has today been released, at the culmination of almost three years of work by The University of Queensland, James Cook University, The Boeing Company, Virgin Australia, Mackay Sugar and IOR Energy.
(Phys.org) —Striking a blow at foodborne diseases, the 100K Pathogen Genome Project at the University of California, Davis, today announced that it has sequenced the genomes of its first 10 infectious microorganisms, including strains of Salmonella and Listeria.
(Phys.org) —While unraveling a dramatic case of mind control, biologist David Hughes is taking calls from Hollywood—and gaining new insights into the role behavior plays in spreading disease.
The discovery of potential environmental and human health effects from disposal of millions of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries each year has led scientists to recommend stronger government policies to encourage recovery, recycling and reuse of lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery materials. That's the conclusion of a new paper in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Sony's CEO Kazuo Hirai says the electronics giant's board will discuss a proposal by U.S. hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb to spin off up to 20 percent of its movie, TV and music division.
Will gamers want One? After four years of development, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One entertainment console and touted it as an all-in-one solution for playing games, watching TV and doing everything in between. Microsoft wants the Xbox One to be central to your living room and packed the new Xbox with such features as the ability to change TV channels through voice commands.