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Recyclable, sugar-derived foam - a renewable alternative to traditional polyurethanes?

15-Apr-2016

Polyurethanes in products from cushy sofas to stretchy spandex have made sitting, sleeping and walking more comfortable. But once they have served their purpose, most of the non-degradable materials pile up in landfills. Now scientists report a potential way to reduce future waste: a chemically ...

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Host-guest nanowires for efficient water splitting and solar energy storage

05-Feb-2016

California is committed to 33 percent energy from renewable resources by 2020. With that deadline fast approaching, researchers across the state are busy exploring options. Solar energy is attractive but for widespread adoption, it requires transformation into a storable form. Researchers report ...

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Fun with Lego (molecules)

29-Jan-2016

A great childhood pleasure is playing with Legos® and marveling at the variety of structures you can create from a small number of basic elements. Such control and variety of superstructures is a goal of polymer chemists, but it is hard to regulate their specific size and how the pieces fit ...

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Leaf-mimicking device harnesses light to purify water

08-Jan-2016

For years, scientists have been pursuing ways to imitate a leaf's photosynthetic power to make hydrogen fuel from water and sunlight. In a new twist, a team has come up with another kind of device that mimics two of a leaf's processes -- photosynthesis and transpiration -- to harness solar energy ...

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Aluminum nanoparticles could improve electronic displays

08-Jan-2016

Whether showing off family photos on smartphones or watching TV shows on laptops, many people look at liquid crystal displays (LCDs) every day. LCDs are continually being improved, but almost all currently use color technology that fades over time. Now, a team reports that using aluminum ...

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Study finds flame retardant exposure higher in infants than adults

04-Dec-2015

In October, Macy's joined a growing list of major retail stores that have pledged to stop selling furniture containing flame retardants, which research suggests could cause developmental problems. Despite the trend, however, it could take years before widespread exposure declines. And now, a ...

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Graphene could take night-vision technology beyond 'Predator'

06-Nov-2015

Movies such as 1987's "Predator," in which an alien who sees in the infrared hunts down Arnold Schwarzenegger and his team, introduced a generation of sci-fi fans to thermal imaging. Since then, heat-sensing devices have found many real-word applications but have remained relatively expensive and ...

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Waste paper could make summer grilling more environmentally friendly

28-Aug-2015

Summertime is waning, and that means the end of backyard barbecues is almost upon us. That also means an end to dousing charcoal briquettes with lighter fluid. Reducing the use of lighter fluid might not be a bad thing, as many of those products are made from crude oil and emit potentially ...

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Mosquito-repelling chemicals identified in traditional sweetgrass

19-Aug-2015

Native North Americans have long adorned themselves and their homes with fragrant sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata), a native plant used in traditional medicine, to repel biting insects, and mosquitoes in particular. Now, researchers report that they have identified the compounds in sweetgrass that ...

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Glass paint could keep metal roofs and other structures cool even on sunny days

18-Aug-2015

Sunlight can be brutal. It wears down even the strongest structures, including rooftops and naval ships, and it heats up metal slides and bleachers until they're too hot to use. To fend off damage and heat from the sun's harsh rays, scientists have developed a new, environmentally friendly paint ...

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