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Science


— Science

Nanoparticles found to violate second law of thermodynamics

It may be a little late for April Fool’s, but your skepticism is nonetheless warranted when reading that researchers have shown nanoparticles to disobey a fundamental law of physics which dictates the flow of entropy and heat in, it was believed, any situation. Specifically, researchers from three universities theoretically proposed then demonstrated that a nanoparticle in a state of thermal non-equilibrium does not always behave as larger particles might under the same conditions, with implications for various fields of research. Read More
— Science

Stanford scientists find a new way to turn graphite into diamond

Pressure makes diamonds, but according to recent findings, there may also be a much quicker, hassle-free way. A team of researchers at Stanford University has stumbled upon a new way of turning graphite (the material used for pencil leads) into a diamond-like carbon structure simply by applying hydrogen over a platinum substrate, without the need to apply external pressure of any kind. The discovery could lead to easier and more flexible manufacturing of diamonds used in cutting tools and other industrial devices. Read More
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Scientists watch bioengineered self-healing muscle tissue grow within a mouse

The living skeletal muscle tissue grown by Duke University researchers is 10 times stronger than any previously bioengineered muscles. Not only does it contract as strongly and as rapidly as the real thing but it is also capable of self-healing, both in the lab and after implantation into an animal. This has been proven beyond any doubt through a novel approach that involves peeking at the growing muscle tissue through a glass window in the back of a living mouse. Read More
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Computer simulation casts new light on the ancient Roman Campus Martius mystery

Campus Martius, also known as the Campus of Mars, was built by the Roman Senate just outside the ancient Rome city walls back in 9 BCE. It was built to celebrate the peace brought upon the Roman people as a result of Emperor Agustus’s military conquests. Thanks to a complex computer simulation created by the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts (IDIA) for Indiana University's School of Informatics and Computing, it is now possible to verify if and how solar alignments influenced the positioning of the different objects on site. Read More
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Bacteria brews biofuel with potential to replace high-energy rocket fuel

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the US Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute have engineered a bacterium that could yield a new source of high-energy hydrocarbon fuel for rocketry and other aerospace uses. High-energy, specific-use hydrocarbon fuels such as JP-10 can be extracted from oil, along with more commonly used petroleum fuels, but supplies are limited and prices are high – approaching US$7 per liter. That’s where the new bacterium, engineered by Georgia Tech scientists Stephen Sarria and Pamela Peralta-Yahya, could come in. Read More

Bacteria combined with gold to produce "living material"

Scientists at MIT are developing hybrid materials that are a cross between living bacterial cells and non-living components such as gold nanoparticles or quantum dots. The resulting "living materials" are able to respond to their environment like regular living cells, while also doing things like conducting electricity or emitting light. Read More
— Science

Electric "thinking cap" helps people learn from their mistakes

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has become a widely used technique for reaching into a person's brain and altering the way in which it functions. Vanderbilt psychology Professor Geoffrey Woodman and graduate student Robert Reinhart have just published the results of a new study in the Journal of Neuroscience in which they found that tDCS stimulation of the mediofrontal cortex for a period of minutes can change one's ability to recognize and learn from error for a period of several hours. Read More
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