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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: Mon, 24 Apr 2017 14:18:01 EDT

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



Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Brown University) Performing multiple reactions in one shot reduces raw material needs and byproduct waste, a potential step toward a greener chemical industry. Brown University researchers have developed a nanocatalyst that can perform the four reactions needed to produce a compound potentially useful in a variety of pharmaceuticals.



Does the microbiome play a role in the effectiveness of colorectal cancer treatment?

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Massachusetts Medical School) A study by UMass Medical School shows that C. elegans, fed a diet of E. coli bacteria, are 100 times more sensitive to the chemotherapy drug floxuridine, commonly used to treat colon cancer, than worms fed different bacteria. These findings suggest that the bacteria residing in your digestive tract may play an important role in your ability to respond to chemotherapy.



West Virginia groundwater not affected by fracking, but surface water is

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Duke University) Three years of fracking has not contaminated groundwater in northwestern West Virginia, but accidental spills of wastewater from fracked wells may pose a threat to surface water, according to a study led by scientists at Duke University. The scientists used a broad suite of geochemical and isotopic tracers to sample for contaminants in 112 water wells near shale gas sites, including 20 wells that were sampled both before and after fracking began.



First-ever direct observation of chiral currents in quantum Hall atomic simulation

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Illinois College of Engineering) Using an atomic quantum simulator, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have achieved the first-ever direct observation of chiral currents in the model topological insulator, the 2-D integer quantum Hall system.



Patients with drug-resistant malaria cured by plant therapy developed at WPI

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Worcester Polytechnic Institute) When the standard malaria medications failed to help 18 critically ill patients, the attending physician in a Congo clinic acted under the 'compassionate use' doctrine and prescribed a not-yet-approved malaria therapy made only from the dried leaves of the Artemisia annua plant. In just five days, all 18 people fully recovered. This small but stunningly successful trial is detailed in a new paper in Phytomedicine by lead author Pamela Weathers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).



Russian scientists create new system of concrete building structures

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University) Professor of the Institute of Civil Engineering of Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) Andrey Ponomarev and a graduate student Alexander Rassokhin developed a new construction technology. Scientists created several types of building blocks based on nanostructured high-strength lightweight concrete, reinforced with skew-angular composite coarse grids.



Nature plants a seed of engineering inspiration

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Institute of Physics) Researchers in South Korea have quantitatively deconstructed what they describe as the 'ingenious mobility strategies' of seeds that self-burrow rotationally into soil. Seeds maneuvered to dig into soil using a coiled appendage, known as an awn, that responds to humidity. The team investigated this awn's burrowing and discovered how the nubile sprouts seem to mimic a drill to bury themselves. Their findings, published in Physics of Fluids, could have dramatic implications for improving agricultural robotics.



Bright future for self-charging batteries

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(McGill University) Who hasn't lived through the frustrating experience of being without a phone after forgetting to recharge it? This could one day be a thing of the past thanks to technology being developed by Hydro-Québec and McGill University.



Graphene withstands high pressure, may aid in desalination

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Used in filtration membranes, ultrathin material could help make desalination more productive.



New approach to improve detection of landfill-related pollution

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(The Optical Society) A method known as laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) offers a cleaner, faster and simpler approach than existing technologies for detecting contaminants in the fluids coming from landfills, known as leachates.



NASA's Cassini, Voyager missions suggest new picture of Sun's interaction with galaxy

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) New data from three NASA missions show that the heliosphere -- the bubble of the sun's magnetic influence that surrounds the inner solar system -- may be much more compact and rounded than previously thought.



A rocky super-earth has been found in the habitable zone of a cool star close to the Sun

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC)) In September 2014 MEarth detected a possible transit in the star named LHS 1140. Using data from MEarth-South and the HARPS spectrograph, a planet was confirmed orbiting around this star with a period of 25 days.



New breakthrough in battery charging technology

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology(UNIST)) A new study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), introduced a new battery charging technology that uses light to charge batteries.



Self-assembled nanostructures can be selectively controlled

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Aalto University) Plasmonic nanoparticles exhibit properties based on their geometries and relative positions. Researchers have now developed an easy way to manipulate the optical properties of plasmonic nanostructures that strongly depend on their spatial arrangement. 'The challenge is to make the structures change their geometry in a controlled way in response to external stimuli. In this study, structures were programmed to modify their shape by altering the pH,' tells Assistant Professor Anton Kuzyk from Aalto University.



Chip-based nanoscopy: Microscopy in HD quality

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Bielefeld University) Physicists at Bielefeld University and the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø have developed a photonic chip that makes it possible to carry out super-resolution light microscopy, also called 'nanoscopy,' with conventional microscopes. In nanoscopy, the position of single fluorescent molecules can be determined with a precision of just a few nano-meters, that is, to a millionth of a millimeter.



From abundant hydrocarbons to rare spin liquids

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Tohoku University) Fuel such as petrol is made up of hydrocarbons -- a family of molecules consisting entirely of carbon and hydrogen. Pigment and dye, coal and tar are made up of hydrocarbons too.



Revealing polymeric fluids behavior at the microscopic scale

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University) OIST researchers develop better tools to characterize polymer solutions using microfluidic platforms, promising improvements in healthcare applications.



Tecnalia develops the first cable-driven robot that prints large-sized components in 3-D

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Elhuyar Fundazioa) Together with the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), Tecnalia has developed the first cable-driven robot that allows large parts and even small buildings to be created in situ. The innovative technology includes the latest advances in the field of robotics, digital manufacturing and 3-D printing.



Clarifying the mechanism for suppressing turbulence through ion mass

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(National Institutes of Natural Sciences) The National Institutes of Natural Sciences National Institute for Fusion Science, in collaborative research with Nagoya University, has clarified through theory and simulation research that turbulence in a plasma confined in the magnetic field is suppressed and the heat and particle losses are reduced in cases with larger ion mass. This research provides a novel understanding for clarifying the 'ion mass effect' which has been a riddle since the beginning of fusion and plasma research.



Reducing down to 1/3 of thermal resistance by WOW technology for 3-D DRAM application

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Tokyo Institute of Technology) Researchers at Tokyo institute of Technology presented a design guide for reducing 30% of thermal resistance for 3-dimensional (3D) stacked devices compared with the conventional ICs using solder bump joint structure.



ELC R&D showcases research linking environmental factors/biological processes to skin and hair aging

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Spectrum) The Estée Lauder Companies Research & Development (R&D) will present six abstracts posters focused on new findings in anti-aging skin and hair research at the 76th Annual Meeting of the Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID), April 26-29, 2017, in Portland, Oregon.



Interdisciplinary studies reveal relationship between solar activity and climate change

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) A Chinese Program examined the impacts of astronomy and earth motion factors on climate change. Solar impacts on earth's climate are most sensitive in polar and tropical Pacific regions and the monsoon activity plays a crucial role in the propagation of solar signal between different latitudes.



Nurse practitioners are not regularly assessing brain health and need standardized assessment tools to regularly conduct critical brain health assessments

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Amplify Public Affairs) WomenAgainstAlzheimer's and the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health are releasing survey findings showing that a significant number of nurse practitioners in women's health do not raise brain health issues with patients and need more education and tools to make brain health assessments a regular occurrence.



Research moves closer to unraveling mystery cause of multiple sclerosis

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Exeter) Ahead of MS Awareness Week, which starts today (Monday, April 24), an international team involving the University of Exeter Medical School and the University of Alberta has discovered a new cellular mechanism -- an underlying defect in brain cells -- that may cause the disease, and a potential hallmark that may be a target for future treatment of the autoimmune disorder.



Caterpillar found to eat shopping bags, suggesting biodegradable solution to plastic pollution

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Cambridge) A common insect larva that eats beeswax has been found to break down chemical bonds in the plastic used for packaging and shopping bags at uniquely high speeds. Scientists say the discovery could lead to a biotechnological approach to the polyethylene waste that chokes oceans and landfills.