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Not all diamonds are forever

Rice University researchers see nanodiamonds created in coal fade away in seconds

28-05-2014

The Rice researchers behind a new study that explains the creation of nanodiamonds in treated coal also show that some microscopic diamonds only last seconds before fading back into less-structured forms of carbon under the impact of an electron beam. The research by Rice chemist Ed Billups and ...

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A new way to make sheets of graphene

28-05-2014

Graphene's promise as a material for new kinds of electronic devices, among other uses, has led researchers around the world to study the material in search of new applications. But one of the biggest limitations to wider use of the strong, lightweight, highly conductive material has been the ...

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Top 12 ways the world can eliminate agriculture's climate footprint

Impact of eating less red meat, more efficient production and use of fertilizer calculated; emissions can be cut while boosting food production globally

28-04-2014

Annual carbon emissions from global agriculture can be reduced by as much as 50 to 90 percent by 2030—the equivalent of removing all the cars in the world—according to a comprehensive new report released by Climate Focus and California Environmental Associates. The study highlights twelve key ...

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Halving hydrogen

First view of nature-inspired catalyst after ripping hydrogen apart provides insights for better, cheaper fuel cells

25-04-2014

Like a hungry diner ripping open a dinner roll, a fuel cell catalyst that converts hydrogen into electricity must tear open a hydrogen molecule. Now researchers have captured a view of such a catalyst holding onto the two halves of its hydrogen feast. The view confirms previous hypotheses and ...

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MRI, on a molecular scale

Researchers develop system that could one day peer into the atomic structure of individual molecules

23-04-2014

For decades, scientists have used techniques like X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMR) to gain invaluable insight into the atomic structure of molecules, but such efforts have long been hampered by the fact that they demand large quantities of a specific molecule and ...

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Trees go high-tech

Process turns cellulose into energy storage devices

09-04-2014

Based on a fundamental chemical discovery by scientists at Oregon State University, it appears that trees may soon play a major role in making high-tech energy storage devices. OSU chemists have found that cellulose – the most abundant organic polymer on Earth and a key component of trees – can ...

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Why food quality will suffer with rising CO2

08-04-2014

For the first time, a field test has demonstrated that elevated levels of carbon dioxide inhibit plants' assimilation of nitrate into proteins, indicating that the nutritional quality of food crops is at risk as climate change intensifies. Findings from this wheat field-test study, led by a UC ...

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How electrodes charge and discharge

Analysis probes reactions in porous battery electrodes for the first time

07-04-2014

The electrochemical reactions inside the porous electrodes of batteries and fuel cells have been described by theorists, but never measured directly. Now, a team at MIT has figured out a way to measure the fundamental charge transfer rate — finding some significant surprises. The study found that ...

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Next generation of 2D materials

07-04-2014

As the properties and applications of graphene continue to be explored in laboratories all over the world, a growing number of researchers are looking beyond the one-atom-thick layer of carbon for alternative materials that exhibit similarly captivating properties. One of these materials is ...

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Tiny power generator runs on spit

07-04-2014

Saliva-powered micro-sized microbial fuel cells can produce minute amounts of energy sufficient to run on-chip applications, according to an international team of engineers. Bruce E. Logan, Evan Pugh Professor and Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering, Penn State, credited the idea to ...

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