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Almost every biological process involves sensing the presence of a certain chemical. Finely tuned over millions of years of evolution, the body’s different receptors are shaped to accept certain target chemicals. When they bind, the receptors tell their host cells to produce nerve impulses, ...
Could be woven into clothes to power wearable medical, communications devices
Scientists have taken a large step toward making a fiber-like energy storage device that can be woven into clothing and power wearable medical monitors, communications equipment or other small electronics. The device is a supercapacitor—a cousin to the battery. This one packs an interconnected ...
New research in phonon scattering sheds more light on graphene as a replacement for silicon
Graphene, a one-atom-thick form of the carbon material graphite, has been hailed as a wonder material — strong, light, nearly transparent, and an excellent conductor of electricity and heat. But a number of practical challenges must be overcome before it can emerge as a replacement for silicon ...
Nanotechnology is advancing tools likened to Star Trek's "tricorder" that perform on-the-spot chemical analysis for a range of applications including medical testing, explosives detection and food safety. Researchers found that when paper used to collect a sample was coated with carbon nanotubes, ...
Engineers invent a process to 'dope' carbon filaments with an additive to improve their electronic performance, paving the way for digital devices that bend.
Engineers would love to create flexible electronic devices, such as e-readers that could be folded to fit into a pocket. One approach they are trying involves designing circuits based on electronic fibers, known as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), instead of rigid silicon chips. But reliability is ...
Plants have many valuable functions: They provide food and fuel, release the oxygen that we breathe, and add beauty to our surroundings. Now, a team of MIT researchers wants to make plants even more useful by augmenting them with nanomaterials that could enhance their energy production and give ...
Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have demonstrated that they can make sensitive chemical analyses of minute samples of nanoparticles by, essentially, roasting them on top of a quartz crystal. The NIST-developed ...
Tests show bundles beat traditional cables for transmitting electricity
On a pound-per-pound basis, carbon nanotube-based fibers invented at Rice University have greater capacity to carry electrical current than copper cables of the same mass, according to new research. While individual nanotubes are capable of transmitting nearly 1,000 times more current than ...
Researchers find the unusual movement of water molecules through carbon nanotubes explains their faster-than-expected travel times
Cars inch forward slowly in traffic jams, but molecules, when jammed up, can move extremely fast. New research by Northwestern University researchers finds that water molecules traveling through tiny carbon nanotube pipes do not flow continuously but rather intermittently, like stop-and-go ...
New approach developed at MIT could generate power from sunlight efficiently and on demand
A new approach to harvesting solar energy, developed by MIT researchers, could improve efficiency by using sunlight to heat a high-temperature material whose infrared radiation would then be collected by a conventional photovoltaic cell. This technique could also make it easier to store the ...