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Preview: EurekAlert! - Chemistry, Physics and Materials Sciences

EurekAlert! - Chemistry, Physics and Materials Sciences



The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.



Last Build Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:18:01 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.
 



Single-photon detector can count to 4

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Duke University) Engineers have shown that a widely used method of detecting single photons can also count the presence of at least four photons at a time. The researchers say this discovery will unlock new capabilities in physics labs working in quantum information science around the world, while providing easier paths to developing quantum-based technologies.



UTA leads Texas universities for NAI Fellows

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Texas at Arlington) The election of Dereje Agonafer, Jenkins Garrett Professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Arlington, to the National Academy of Inventors brings the number of NAI Fellows at UTA to 12. This marks the highest number of NAI Fellows at any university in Texas.



Journal of Biomedical Optics and Neurophotonics to become fully open-access journals

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(SPIE--International Society for Optics and Photonics) Two journals published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, will become fully open access in January 2019, the society has announced. Both the Journal of Biomedical Optics and Neurophotonics will transition beginning with submissions received as of July 2018.



What does hair loss have to teach us about cancer metastasis?

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Medical University of South Carolina) Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina have identified a signaling pathway regulating cell migration and metastasis. Unexpected hair loss in a preclinical model helped them to identify the pathway. When cells within the skin that maintain hair follicles migrate too often, hair follicle maintenance is disrupted. Researchers speculated that this pathway might also play a role in cancer cell migration. Indeed, they showed that disrupting this pathway in preclinical models increased metastasis.



New report: NASA should develop US strategy for international space station beyond 2024

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) Although NASA has made progress toward the overall space exploration science priorities recommended in a 2011 decadal survey by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the space agency should raise the priority of scientific research that addresses the risks and unknowns of human space exploration.



Error-free into the quantum computer age

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Swansea University) A study led by physicists at Swansea University in Wales, carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.



Space station research explorer on NASA.gov launches phase one

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Johnson Space Center) Researchers, prospective partners, media professionals, students, and space enthusiasts now have more space station science at their fingertips with Space Station Research Explorer on NASA.gov (SSRE on NASA.gov). The new information exploration tool enables researchers, practiced and amateur alike, to stay up-to-date with the science being conducted aboard the International Space Station.



Graphene in zero G promises success in space

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Graphene Flagship) In a successful collaboration between the Graphene Flagship and the European Space Agency, experiments testing graphene for two different space-related applications have shown extremely promising results. Based on these results, the Flagship are continuing to develop graphene devices for use in space.



Heavy-petroleum fuels raising vanadium emissions

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Duke University) Human emissions of the potentially harmful trace metal vanadium into Earth's atmosphere have spiked sharply since the start of the 21st century due in large part to industry's growing use of heavy oils, tar sands, bitumen and petroleum coke for energy, a new Duke study finds. These emissions now exceed those from all natural sources combined. Growing evidence suggests exposure to vanadium-rich aerosols can impair respiratory functions and exacerbate conditions such as asthma or COPD.



A new theory to describe widely used material

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Linköping University) LiU researcher Klas Tybrandt has put forward a theoretical model that explains the coupling between ions and electrons in the widely used conducting polymer PEDOT:PSS. The model has profound implications for applications in printed electronics, energy storage in paper, and bioelectronics.



TWAS honors high-level science

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(TWAS) As 2017 comes to a close, TWAS has named the winners of some its most prestigious prizes. One is a geoscientist whose works supports awareness of geological hazards in the Andes. Others focus on health, medicinal plants and novel theories of human economic behavior.



Quantum memory with record-breaking capacity based on laser-cooled atoms

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Faculty of Physics University of Warsaw) The emerging domain of parallelized quantum information processing opens up new possibilities for precise measurements, communication and imaging. Precise control of multiple stored photons allows efficient handling of this subtle information in large amounts. In the Quantum Memories Laboratory at Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw a group of laser-cooled atoms has been used as a memory which can store simultaneously up to 665 quantum states of light. The experimental results have been published in a prestigious Nature Communications journal.



3-D nanoscale imaging made possible

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(De Gruyter Open) In a research article '3D Nano-scale Imaging by Plasmonic Brownian Microscopy' published today in Nanophotonics, the team around Prof. Xiang Zhang from the University of California in Berkeley demonstrate a method for meeting this challenge with stunning properties.



More electronic materials opened up with new metal-organic framework

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Warwick) More materials for electronic applications could be identified, thanks to the discovery of a new metal-organic framework (MOF) that displays electrical semiconduction with a record high photoresponsivity, by a global research collaboration involving the University of Warwick.



Real-time observation of collective quantum modes

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(ETH Zurich) When symmetries in quantum systems are spontaneously broken, the collective excitation modes change in characteristic ways. Researchers at ETH have now directly observed such Goldstone and Higgs modes for the first time.



A chip for environmental and health monitoring

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Erlangen-Nuremberg) Sensors for incorporation in inexpensive measuring devices or virtual personal support systems are increasingly in demand in the environmental, safety, and health-monitoring fields. To date, however, progress has been hampered because the cost-effective manufacturing processes necessary for mass production are lacking. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) with international partners from Israel and Germany have set about changing this in a project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.



Russian scientists developed a new technology of energy generation from bituminous coal

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Ural Federal University) A team from Ural Federal University (UrFU) developed a new efficient technology of electrical power generation from bituminous coal. The results of the study were published in International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.



Record high photoconductivity for new metal-organic framework material

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Surrey) An international team of scientists, from the University of Surrey, University of São Paulo (Brazil), the University of Warwick and the University of Grenoble-Alpes (France), has created a new metal-organic framework (MOF) that has shown record-high photo-conductivity levels for a material of its type.



Distinct human mutations can alter the effect of medicine

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Copenhagen The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences) About one third of all medicine binds to the same type of receptor in the human body. An estimated 3 percent of the population have receptors of this type that are so genetically different that they are predisposed to altered, ineffective or adverse responses to medicine, a new study from the University of Copenhagen and the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge shows.



Scientists describe the structure of a prospective luminesce substance

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Siberian Federal University) A physicist from Siberian Federal University (SFU) and Kirensky Institute of Physics Federal Research Center KSC SB RAS (IF) described the structure and properties of a new substance obtained by his Chinese colleagues. These are layered crystals of rare earth metal hydroxides Ln2(OH)4SO4 (Ln=Eu-Lu, Y) that may acts as eco-friendly sources of phosphors (substances that transform different energies into emission of light) for panels, screens, and other electronic devices. The discovery was reported by Chemistry: A European Journal.



Research points to second chance for rejected antibiotic candidate

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Leeds) An antibiotic candidate compound shelved in the 1970s in favour of more worthwhile drugs could be worth a second look, new research has found.



Superradiance of an ensemble of nuclei excited by a free electron laser

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(RIKEN) A collaboration of scientists has succeeded in verifying a basic prediction of the quantum-mechanical behavior of resonant systems. In the study published in Nature Physics, they were able to carefully follow, one x-ray at a time, the decay of nuclei in a perfect crystal after excitation with a flash of x-rays. They observed a dramatic reduction of the time taken to emit the first x-ray as the number of x-rays increased.



Nanoparticles as a solution against antibiotic resistance?

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Friedrich-Schiller-Universitaet Jena) Scientists of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany succeeded in developing an efficient method to treat mucoviscidosis. Crucial are nanoparticles that transport the antibiotics more efficiently to their destination. First of all, the active particles need to have a certain size to be able to reach the deeper airways and not to bounce off somewhere else before. Ultimately, they have to penetrate the thick layer of mucus on the airways as well as the lower layers of the bacteria biofilm.



New technique could make captured carbon more valuable

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(DOE/Idaho National Laboratory) Carbon capture could help coal plants reduce emissions if economic challenges can be overcome. Turning captured carbon into a useable product is one solution. Scientists have developed an efficient process for turning captured carbon dioxide into syngas that can be used to make fuels and chemicals. Results were published Dec. 14 by Green Chemistry. "For the first time it was demonstrated that syngas can be directly produced from captured CO2," the researchers wrote.



Columbia engineers develop floating solar fuels rig for seawater electrolysis

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science) Chemical engineering professor Daniel Esposito has developed a novel photovoltaic-powered electrolysis device that can operate as a stand-alone platform that floats on open water. His floating PV-electrolyzer can be thought of as a 'solar fuels rig' that bears some resemblance to deep-sea oil rigs -- but it would produce hydrogen fuel from sunlight and water instead of extracting petroleum from beneath the sea floor.