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Better batteries inspired by lowly snail shells

13-Feb-2015

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 ...

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Researchers produce two bio-fuels from a single algae

30-Jan-2015

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 ...

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

29-Jan-2015

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 ...

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

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

07-Jan-2015

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

30-Oct-2014

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 ...

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Spinach could lead to alternative energy more powerful than Popeye

01-Aug-2014

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

04-Apr-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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Knowing whether food has spoiled without even opening the container

19-Mar-2014

A color-coded smart tag could tell consumers whether a carton of milk has turned sour or a can of green beans has spoiled without opening the containers, according to researchers. The tag, which would appear on the packaging, also could be used to determine if medications and other perishable ...

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Building new drugs just got easier

14-Mar-2014

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed a method for modifying organic molecules that significantly expands the possibilities for developing new pharmaceuticals and improving old ones. "This is a technology that can be applied directly to many medicinally relevant ...

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A faster way to flag bacteria-tainted food — and prevent illness

21-Feb-2014

The regular appearance of food poisoning in the news, including a recent event that led to the recall of more than 33,000 pounds of chicken, drives home the need for better bacterial detection long before meats and produce make it to the dinner table. On the horizon is a new approach for pathogen ...

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