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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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Self-assembled superlattices create molecular machines with 'hinges' and 'gears'

08-04-2014

A combined computational and experimental study of self-assembled silver-based structures known as superlattices has revealed an unusual and unexpected behavior: arrays of gear-like molecular-scale machines that rotate in unison when pressure is applied to them. Computational and experimental ...

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Living materials

25-03-2014

Inspired by natural materials such as bone — a matrix of minerals and other substances, including living cells — MIT engineers have coaxed bacterial cells to produce biofilms that can incorporate nonliving materials, such as gold nanoparticles and quantum dots. These "living materials" combine ...

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Potential way to make graphene superconducting

SLAC, Stanford study identifies long-sought path toward engineering materials for super-efficient nanoelectronics

24-03-2014

Scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have discovered a potential way to make graphene – a single layer of carbon atoms with great promise for future electronics – superconducting, a state in which it would carry electricity with 100 ...

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Bionic plants

18-03-2014

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 ...

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Better remote-sensing explosive detectors

The beginning of the end of full-body scanners?

28-02-2014

Standing in a full-body scanner at an airport isn't fun, and the process adds time and stress to a journey. It also raises privacy concerns. Researchers now report in ACS' The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters a more precise and direct method for using that "terahertz" (THz) technology to ...

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New sensor tracks zinc in cells

Shifts in zinc's location could be exploited for early diagnosis of prostate cancer

11-12-2013

Zinc, an essential nutrient, is found in every tissue in the body. The vast majority of the metal ion is tightly bound to proteins, helping them to perform biological reactions. Tiny amounts of zinc, however, are only loosely bound, or "mobile," and thought to be critical for proper function in ...

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Huge grains of copper promote better graphene growth

10-12-2013

To technology insiders, graphene is a certified big deal. The one-atom thick carbon-based material elicits rhapsodic descriptions as the strongest, thinnest material known. It also is light, flexible, and able to conduct electricity as well as copper. Graphene-based electronics promise advances ...

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Nanotube-based sensors can be implanted under the skin for a year

05-11-2013

Nitric oxide (NO) is one of the most important signaling molecules in living cells, carrying messages within the brain and coordinating immune system functions. In many cancerous cells, levels are perturbed, but very little is known about how NO behaves in both healthy and cancerous ...

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New techniques produce cleanest graphene yet

Columbia Engineers develop new device architecture for 2D materials, making electrical contact from the 1D edge

04-11-2013

Columbia Engineering researchers have experimentally demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to electrically contact an atomically thin two-dimensional (2D) material only along its one-dimensional (1D) edge, rather than contacting it from the top, which has been the conventional ...

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