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Sensitive detection method may help impede illicit nuclear trafficking

Special algorithm coupled with commercial X-ray scanners may enable detection of small amounts of fissile materials in luggage

17-04-2014

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the greatest danger to nuclear security comes from terrorists acquiring sufficient quantities of plutonium or highly enriched uranium (HEU) to construct a crude nuclear explosive device. The IAEA also notes that most cases of illicit ...

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New materials for hydrogen storage

17-04-2014

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have created new ceramic materials that could be used to store hydrogen safely and efficiently. The researchers have created for the first time compounds made from mixtures of calcium hexaboride, strontium and barium hexaboride. They also have ...

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Repeated self-healing now possible in composite materials

17-04-2014

Internal damage in fiber-reinforced composites, materials used in structures of modern airplanes and automobiles, is difficult to detect and nearly impossible to repair by conventional methods. A small, internal crack can quickly develop into irreversible damage from delamination, a process in ...

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'Problem wells' source of greenhouse gas

16-04-2014

High levels of the greenhouse gas methane were found above shale gas wells at a production point not thought to be an important emissions source, according to a study jointly led by Purdue and Cornell universities. The findings could have implications for the evaluation of the environmental ...

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Tiny particles could help verify goods

15-04-2014

Some 2 to 5 percent of all international trade involves counterfeit goods, according to a 2013 United Nations report. These illicit products — which include electronics, automotive and aircraft parts, pharmaceuticals, and food — can pose safety risks and cost governments and private companies ...

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Glasses strong as steel

15-04-2014

Scientists at Yale University have devised a dramatically faster way of identifying and characterizing complex alloys known as bulk metallic glasses (BMGs), a versatile type of pliable glass that's stronger than steel. Using traditional methods, it usually takes a full day to identify a single ...

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Catching the (invisible) wave

15-04-2014

In a feat that may provide a promising array of applications, from energy efficiency to telecommunications to enhanced imaging, researchers at UC Santa Barbara have created a compound semiconductor of nearly perfect quality with embedded nanostructures containing ordered lines of atoms that can ...

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Sunlight generates hydrogen in new porous silicon

14-04-2014

Porous silicon manufactured in a bottom up procedure using solar energy can be used to generate hydrogen from water, according to a team of Penn State mechanical engineers, who also see applications for batteries, biosensors and optical electronics as outlets for this new material. The surface ...

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Recycling astronaut urine for energy and drinking water

10-04-2014

On the less glamorous side of space exploration, there's the more practical problem of waste — in particular, what to do with astronaut pee. But rather than ejecting it into space, scientists are developing a new technique that can turn this waste burden into a boon by converting it into fuel and ...

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Origin of cold-adapted yeasts that make cold beer

10-04-2014

As one of the most widely consumed and commercially important beverages on the planet, one would expect the experts to know everything there is to know about lager beer. But it was just a few years ago that scientists identified the South American yeast that, hundreds of years ago, somehow ...

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