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Device zaps oil to make it flow easier

By - March 2, 2015 1 Picture
It's a simple fact that the more fluid an oil is, the easier it is to pump. That's why oil companies typically heat sections of pipeline, to reduce the viscosity of the crude oil traveling within. Generating that heat still requires a fair amount of energy, however, plus the oil's reduced viscosity produces turbulence it its flow. Temple University's Prof. Rongjia Tao has developed what may be a better alternative – a device that electrifies the oil. Read More
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Royal Navy subs provide insights for Arctic science

By - March 1, 2015 1 Picture
The National Oceanography Centre in the UK has used data on the Arctic Ocean gathered by Royal Navy submarines to study the effects of a possible future shrinking of the ice cap. This meeting of oceanography and military intelligence has seen declassified data from the 1990s analyzed to gain insights into how diminished ice cover affects turbulence in arctic waters. Read More
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Eyes inspire more efficient solar cell architecture

By - February 28, 2015 2 Pictures
Solar cells don't at first glance have any relation to a tiny structure in the eye that makes our central vision sharp, but that tiny structure – called the fovea centralis – may be the key to a huge boost in solar cell efficiency. A team of scientists at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light took the underlying mechanisms that guide the fovea and adapted them to silicon as a surface for collecting light in solar cells. Read More
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High-performance flow battery could rival lithium-ions for EVs and grid storage

By - February 27, 2015 2 Pictures
A new redox flow battery developed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) more than doubles the amount of energy that this type of cell can pack in a given volume, approaching the numbers of lithium-ion batteries. If the device reaches mass production, it could find use in fast-charging transportation, portable electronics and grid storage. Read More
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Low-cost air filter could help Beijing breathe easy

By - February 26, 2015 1 Picture
Material scientists at Stanford University have developed a highly effective semitransparent air filter that can collect 99 percent of the very small PM2.5 particles, considered the most harmful to the human respiratory tract. The low-cost filters, which don’t require power to function, could be used to build better protective facemasks, window screens, filtration systems in hospitals, and perhaps even to reduce pollution from cars and industrial smoke stacks. Read More
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Graphene derivative interferes with seemingly invincible cancer stem cells

By - February 25, 2015 2 Pictures
While well known for its unique electromechanical properties, graphene may also prove key in preventing cancer tumor recurrence. A drawback of traditional cancer treatment with radiation and chemotherapy is that the primary developmental source of future tumors is not eradicated. Cancer stem cells, or CSCs, can survive treatment and give rise to recurring tumors, metatasis, and drug resistance after repeated treatments. Researchers from the University of Manchester and the University of Calabria have discovered that graphene oxides targets and neutralize CSCs in a manner that is not yet fully understood. Read More
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Steerable optical nanoantennas light the way for practical lab-on-a-chip devices

By - February 25, 2015 1 Picture
Using unidirectional cubic nanoantennas to direct the output from nanoemitters, researchers at Monash University in Australia have described a method to accurately focus light at the nanoscale. The practical upshot of which is substantial progress towards guided, ultra-narrow beams needed for the new world of nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) and the eventual production of entire lab-on-a-chip devices. Read More
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Check out the big brain on the genetically modified mouse

By - February 25, 2015 1 Picture
Scientists at Duke University have pinpointed a regulator of gene activity that could lend insight into why we're so different from chimpanzees despite having a near-identical genetic makeup (94 per cent of our DNA is the same). When injected into a mouse embryo, the human version of a particular DNA sequence important for brain development caused the embryo to grow a considerably larger brain than other embryos treated with the chimpanzee version. Read More
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