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What makes penguin feathers ice-proof


Humboldt penguins live in places that dip below freezing in the winter, and despite getting wet, their feathers stay sleek and free of ice. Scientists have now figured out what could make that possible. They report that the key is in the microstructure of penguins' feathers. Based on their ...


Leaf-mimicking device harnesses light to purify water


For years, scientists have been pursuing ways to imitate a leaf's photosynthetic power to make hydrogen fuel from water and sunlight. In a new twist, a team has come up with another kind of device that mimics two of a leaf's processes -- photosynthesis and transpiration -- to harness solar energy ...


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Aluminum nanoparticles could improve electronic displays


Whether showing off family photos on smartphones or watching TV shows on laptops, many people look at liquid crystal displays (LCDs) every day. LCDs are continually being improved, but almost all currently use color technology that fades over time. Now, a team reports that using aluminum ...


Struggles ahead in China for chemical and pharmaceutical companies


China's economic downturn plus other factors, including overcapacity and tightening regulations, mean the next two to three years could be challenging for the foreign chemical and pharmaceutical companies located there. To survive in China as it adjusts to a slower pace of growth, businesses will ...


Waste paper could make summer grilling more environmentally friendly


Summertime is waning, and that means the end of backyard barbecues is almost upon us. That also means an end to dousing charcoal briquettes with lighter fluid. Reducing the use of lighter fluid might not be a bad thing, as many of those products are made from crude oil and emit potentially ...


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Mosquito-repelling chemicals identified in traditional sweetgrass


Native North Americans have long adorned themselves and their homes with fragrant sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata), a native plant used in traditional medicine, to repel biting insects, and mosquitoes in particular. Now, researchers report that they have identified the compounds in sweetgrass that ...


The challenge of mining rare-earth materials outside China


Five years ago, the cost of rare-earth materials that are critical for today's electronics went through the roof. An export quota set by China, which mines most of the world's rare earths, caused the price run-up. Though short-lived, the occurrence spurred calls for developing mines outside ...


Nanoparticle drug reverses Parkinson's-like symptoms in rats


As baby boomers age, the number of people diagnosed with Parkinson's disease is expected to increase. Patients who develop this disease usually start experiencing symptoms around age 60 or older. Currently, there's no cure, but scientists are reporting a novel approach that reversed ...


How to make palm oil without destroying forests


The versatility of palm oil has led to its use in not just food products but also in everyday goods from lipstick to laundry detergent. But its utility has resulted in the destruction of Southeast Asian rain forests that are the primary source of the oil. An article in Chemical & Engineering News ...


PNNL Hydrogen Catalysis Team win ACS award


ACS Catalysis and the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Catalysis Science & Technology are announced Morris Bullock, Ph.D., Daniel DuBois, Ph.D., and the Hydrogen Catalysis Team at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have won the 2015 ACS Catalysis Lectureship for the ...


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