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A chameleon-inspired smart skin changes color in the sun

13-Sep-2019

Some creatures, such as chameleons and neon tetra fish, can alter their colors to camouflage themselves, attract a mate or intimidate predators. Scientists have tried to replicate these abilities to make artificial "smart skins," but so far the materials haven't been robust. Now, researchers ...

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Making polyurethane waste degradable gives its components a second life

27-Aug-2019

Polyurethane waste is piling up in landfills, but scientists have a possible solution: They have developed a method to make polyurethane degradable. Once the original product's useful life is over, the polymer can easily be dissolved into ingredients to make new products such as superglue. These ...

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Fungal compound deodorizes skunk smell

29-Jul-2019

Being sprayed by a skunk is no fun for people or their pets, and the strong, stinky secretions can serve as a nasty reminder of the wildlife encounter for days or weeks. Available "de-skunking" formulas often either don't work well or can irritate the skin and eyes. Now, researchers reporting in ...

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'Semi-synthetic' bacteria churn out unnatural proteins

19-Jul-2019

Synthetic biologists seek to create new life with forms and functions not seen in nature. Although scientists are a long way from making a completely artificial life form, they have made semi-synthetic organisms that have an expanded genetic code, allowing them to produce never-before-seen ...

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Expanding the temperature range of lithium-ion batteries

24-Jun-2019

Electric cars struggle with extreme temperatures, mainly because of impacts on the electrolyte solutions in their lithium-ion batteries. Now, researchers have developed new electrolytes containing multiple additives that work better over a wide temperature range. Lithium-ion batteries are widely ...

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3D-printed lithium-ion batteries

18-Oct-2018

Electric vehicles and most electronic devices, such as cell phones and laptop computers, are powered by lithium-ion batteries. Until now, manufacturers have had to design their devices around the size and shape of commercially available batteries. But researchers have developed a new method to 3D ...

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As tellurium demands rise, so do contamination concerns

26-Apr-2018

As technology advances, demands for tellurium, a rare element, are on the rise. Some forms of tellurium are toxic, so as the element finds applications in solar panels, rubber production, electronics and more, researchers are becoming concerned about possible environmental contamination. Now, one ...

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Nanowires could make lithium ion batteries safer

26-Apr-2018

From cell phones and laptops to electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries are the power source that fuels everyday life. But in recent years, they have also drawn attention for catching fire. In an effort to develop a safer battery, scientists report that the addition of nanowires can not only ...

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Dog's nose inspires new gas sensor materials

08-Mar-2018

It is well known that dogs have a better sense of smell than humans. For years, researchers have been trying to develop an artificial detector that is just as good as a canine's nose. Now, one group reports in ACS Nano that they were able to mimic a dog's sniffer with graphene-based ...

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Printable, colorful camouflage with polymers

13-Feb-2018

In nature, colors can serve as a form of communication, but they can also hide animals and plants, camouflaging them from sight. Researchers now report that they have developed polymers that can better mimic nature's color-changing abilities than existing polymers. They say the materials could ...

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