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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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Is the power grid too big?

Right-sizing the grid could reduce blackout risk, according to new analysis in the journal 'Chaos'

10-04-2014

Some 90 years ago, British polymath J.B.S. Haldane proposed that for every animal there is an optimal size -- one which allows it to make best use of its environment and the physical laws that govern its activities, whether hiding, hunting, hoofing or hibernating. Today, three researchers are ...

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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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Rebar technique strengthens case for graphene

Rice University lab makes hybrid nanotube-graphene material that promises to simplify manufacturing

09-04-2014

Carbon nanotubes are reinforcing bars that make two-dimensional graphene much easier to handle in a new hybrid material grown by researchers at Rice University. The Rice lab of chemist James Tour set nanotubes into graphene in a way that not only mimics how steel rebar is used in concrete but ...

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Organic solar cells more efficient with molecules face-to-face

09-04-2014

New research from North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill reveals that energy is transferred more efficiently inside of complex, three-dimensional organic solar cells when the donor molecules align face-on, rather than edge-on, relative to the acceptor. This finding may aid in the ...

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To bridge LEDs' green gap, scientists think small... really small

Nanostructures half a DNA strand-wide show promise for efficient LEDs

08-04-2014

Nanostructures half the breadth of a DNA strand could improve the efficiency of light emitting diodes (LEDs), especially in the "green gap," a portion of the spectrum where LED efficiency plunges, simulations at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center ...

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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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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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BASF inaugurates California Research Alliance

07-04-2014

Teaming together with universities on the West Coast, BASF Corporation has set up a multidisciplinary research institute with an emphasis on new inorganic materials and their applications, biosciences, and related technologies. The California Research Alliance by BASF (CARA) will bring together ...

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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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