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Artificial 'plants' could fuel the future


Imagine creating artificial plants that make gasoline and natural gas using only sunlight. And imagine using those fuels to heat our homes or run our cars without adding any greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. By combining nanoscience and biology, researchers led by scientists at University of ...


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These microscopic fish are 3-D-printed to do more than swim


Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego used a 3D printing technology they developed to manufacture multipurpose fish-shaped microrobots that swim around efficiently in liquids, are chemically powered by hydrogen peroxide and magnetically controlled. These proof-of-concept ...


Ethylene production via sunlight opens door to future


Here's the future of ethylene production as Dr. Jianping Yu sees it: "We envision some farms in the field that cover many acres. We will have cyanobacteria harvesting sunlight and C02 and then produce ethylene or ethylene derivatives," said Yu, a research scientist in the Photobiology Group at ...


Better batteries inspired by lowly snail shells


Scientists are using biology to improve the properties of lithium ion batteries. Researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) have isolated a peptide, a type of biological molecule, which binds strongly to lithium manganese nickel oxide (LMNO), a material that can be used to ...


Researchers produce two bio-fuels from a single algae


A common algae commercially grown to make fish food holds promise as a source for both biodiesel and jet fuel, according to a new study published in the journal Energy & Fuels. The researchers, led by Greg O'Neil of Western Washington University and Chris Reddy of Woods Hole Oceanographic ...


Novozymes, Cargill continue bio-acrylic acid partnership as BASF exits


BASF has decided to exit the current R&D collaboration with Novozymes and Cargill to develop a bio-based process for producing 3-hydroxypropionic (3-HP) and acrylic acid from renewable raw materials. BASF joined the collaboration with Novozymes and Cargill in 2012 and are now leaving the ...


DNA origami could lead to nano 'transformers' for biomedical applications

Tiny hinges and pistons hint at possible complexity of future nano-robots


If the new nano-machines built at The Ohio State University look familiar, it's because they were designed with full-size mechanical parts such as hinges and pistons in mind. The project is the first to prove that the same basic design principles that apply to typical full-size machine parts can ...


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Figuring out how we get the nitrogen we need

Figuring out how we get the nitrogen we need Caltech chemists image nitrogenase's active site at work


Nitrogen is an essential component of all living systems, playing important roles in everything from proteins and nucleic acids to vitamins. It is the most abundant element in Earth's atmosphere and is literally all around us, but in its gaseous state, N2,, it is inert and useless to most ...


Spinach could lead to alternative energy more powerful than Popeye


Spinach gave Popeye super strength, but it also holds the promise of a different power for a group of scientists: the ability to convert sunlight into a clean, efficient alternative fuel. Purdue University physicists are part of an international group using spinach to study the proteins involved ...


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Simple microfluidic devices now have valves


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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