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Solar smart window could offer privacy and light control on demand

18-Nov-2016

Smart windows get darker to filter out the sun's rays on bright days, and turn clear on cloudy days to let more light in. This feature can help control indoor temperatures and offers some privacy without resorting to aids such as mini-blinds. Now scientists report a new development in this ...

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What makes penguin feathers ice-proof

26-Feb-2016

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 ...

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Leaf-mimicking device harnesses light to purify water

08-Jan-2016

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

08-Jan-2016

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 ...

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Struggles ahead in China for chemical and pharmaceutical companies

04-Sep-2015

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 ...

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Waste paper could make summer grilling more environmentally friendly

28-Aug-2015

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

19-Aug-2015

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 ...

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The challenge of mining rare-earth materials outside China

31-Jul-2015

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 ...

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Nanoparticle drug reverses Parkinson's-like symptoms in rats

24-Apr-2015

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 ...

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How to make palm oil without destroying forests

09-Mar-2015

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 ...

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