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Levitating droplets allows to perform 'touchless' chemical reactions

Contact-free experiments without containers or handling that might affect the outcome

26-Jun-2020

Levitation has long been a staple of magic tricks and movies. But in the lab, it's no trick. Scientists can levitate droplets of liquid, though mixing them and observing the reactions has been challenging. The pay-off, however, could be big as it would allow researchers to conduct contact-free ...

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Superworms digest plastic, with help from their bacterial sidekicks

Polystyrene waste to break down with enzymes or bacteria?

02-Jun-2020

Resembling giant mealworms, superworms (Zophobas atratus) are beetle larvae that are often sold in pet stores as feed for reptiles, fish and birds. In addition to their relatively large size (about 2 inches long), these worms have another superpower: They can degrade polystyrene plastic. Now, ...

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New textile could keep you cool in the heat, warm in the cold

Same fabric can perform both functions

17-Apr-2020

Imagine a single garment that could adapt to changing weather conditions, keeping its wearer cool in the heat of midday but warm when an evening storm blows in. In addition to wearing it outdoors, such clothing could also be worn indoors, drastically reducing the need for air conditioning or ...

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Fish scales could make wearable electronics more sustainable

20-Mar-2020

Flexible temporary electronic displays may one day make it possible to sport a glowing tattoo or check a reading, like that of a stopwatch, directly on the skin. In its current form, however, this technology generally depends on plastic. New research in ACS Nano describes a way to make these ...

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Can ionic liquids transform chemistry?

07-Feb-2020

Table salt is a commonplace ingredient in the kitchen, but a different kind of salt is at the forefront of chemistry innovation. Low-temperature molten salts known as ionic liquids are said to be "greener" and safer than traditional solvents. According to an article in Chemical & Engineering ...

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A new 'cool' blue

Inexpensive, durable and more environmentally friendly

17-Jan-2020

Throughout history, people have sought vibrant blue pigments. The Egyptians and Babylonians used lapis lazuli 6,000 years ago. In 1802, a French chemist synthesized cobalt blue. More recently, in 2009 scientists discovered YInMn Blue, otherwise known as "Oregon Blue." But most of these pigments ...

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4D imaging with liquid crystal microlenses

22-Nov-2019

Most images captured by a camera lens are flat and two dimensional. Increasingly, 3D imaging technologies are providing the crucial context of depth for scientific and medical applications. 4D imaging, which adds information on light polarization, could open up even more possibilities, but ...

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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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