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Novel technique enables air-stable water droplet networks

15-05-2014

A simple new technique to form interlocking beads of water in ambient conditions could prove valuable for applications in biological sensing, membrane research and harvesting water from fog. Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a method to create ...

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Research combines graphene and painkiller receptor

14-05-2014

Almost every biological process involves sensing the presence of a certain chemical. Finely tuned over millions of years of evolution, the body’s different receptors are shaped to accept certain target chemicals. When they bind, the receptors tell their host cells to produce nerve impulses, ...

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New microscope sees what others can't

12-05-2014

Microscopes don't exactly lie, but their limitations affect the truths they can tell. For example, scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) simply can't see materials that don't conduct electricity very well, and their high energies can actually damage some types of samples. In an effort to extract a ...

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Simple microfluidic devices now have valves

04-04-2014

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have added yet another innovation—miniature valves—to their ever-growing collection of inexpensive, easy-to-manufacture and highly efficient microfluidic devices made from plastic films and double-sided tape. Traditionally, ...

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Ancient whodunit may be solved: The microbes did it!

Methane-producing microbes may be responsible for the largest mass extinction in Earth's history

02-04-2014

Evidence left at the crime scene is abundant and global: Fossil remains show that sometime around 252 million years ago, about 90 percent of all species on Earth were suddenly wiped out — by far the largest of this planet's five known mass extinctions. But pinpointing the culprit has been ...

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Nanotube coating helps shrink mass spectrometers

27-03-2014

Nanotechnology is advancing tools likened to Star Trek's "tricorder" that perform on-the-spot chemical analysis for a range of applications including medical testing, explosives detection and food safety. Researchers found that when paper used to collect a sample was coated with carbon nanotubes, ...

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Cheaper, greener way to make new drugs

25-03-2014

This alternative approach to creating artificial organic molecules, called bioretrosynthesis, was first proposed four years ago by Brian Bachmann, associate professor of chemistry at Vanderbilt University. Now Bachmann and a team of collaborators report that they have succeeded in using the ...

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Lignin breakthroughs serve as GPS for plant research

Biosystems approach offers step-by-step directions for young scientists

13-03-2014

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed the equivalent of GPS directions for future plant scientists to understand how plants adapt to the environment and to improve plants' productivity and biofuel potential. Two articles published in The Plant Cell offer a step-by-step ...

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A shocking diet

Researchers describe microbe that 'eats' electricity

12-03-2014

There have been plenty of fad diets that captured the public's imagination over the years, but Harvard scientists have identified what may be the strangest of them all – sunlight and electricity. Led by Peter Girguis, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences, and Arpita Bose, ...

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Pond-dwelling powerhouse's genome points to its biofuel potential

21-02-2014

Duckweed is a tiny floating plant that's been known to drive people daffy. It's one of the smallest and fastest-growing flowering plants that often becomes a hard-to-control weed in ponds and small lakes. But it's also been exploited to clean contaminated water and as a source to produce ...

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