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A rare feat: Material protects against both biological and chemical threats

Versatile fabric is effective against virus that causes COVID-19

12-Oct-2021

A Northwestern University research team has developed a versatile composite fabric that can deactivate both biological threats, such as the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and chemical threats, such as those used in chemical warfare. A material that is effective against both classes of ...

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Using yeast to create alternative petrochemical processes

Integrating cellular engineering with cell-free biosynthesis could lead to efficient ways to power the earth

30-Aug-2021

As climate change continues to do more damage to our planet, scientists are working to find more efficient and cleaner ways to power the earth. One appealing alternative to common petrochemical processes that generate significant greenhouse gases and other waste products could come from ...

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Engineers create double layer of borophene for first time

New material maintains borophene’s electronic properties, offers new advantages

30-Aug-2021

For the first time, Northwestern University engineers have created a double layer of atomically flat borophene, a feat that defies the natural tendency of boron to form non-planar clusters beyond the single-atomic-layer limit. Although known for its promising electronic properties, borophene — a ...

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New 'Swiss Army knife' cleans up water pollution

First used to soak up oil in water, new sponge sequesters excess phosphate from water

02-Jun-2021

Phosphate pollution in rivers, lakes and other waterways has reached dangerous levels, causing algae blooms that starve fish and aquatic plants of oxygen. Meanwhile, farmers worldwide are coming to terms with a dwindling reserve of phosphate fertilizers that feed half the world's food ...

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Scientists stabilize atomically thin boron for practical use

Borophane is stable outside a vacuum, opening possibilities for real-world applications

15-Mar-2021

Northwestern University researchers have, for the first time, created borophane -- atomically thin boron that is stable at standard temperatures and air pressures. Researchers have long been excited by the promise of borophene -- a single-atom-thick sheet of boron -- because of its strength, ...

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Smart sponge could clean up oil spills

Highly porous sponge selectively soaks up oil, sparing water and wildlife

02-Jun-2020

A Northwestern University-led team has developed a highly porous smart sponge that selectively soaks up oil in water. With an ability to absorb more than 30 times its weight in oil, the sponge could be used to inexpensively and efficiently clean up oil spills without harming marine life. After ...

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Accelerating chemical reactions without direct contact with a catalyst

05-Feb-2020

A Northwestern University research team has revealed a new approach to conducting chemical reactions -- one that doesn't require direct contact with a catalyst. In typical catalytic reactions, the catalyst - the substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction - and the substrate ...

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Visible light and nanoparticle catalysts produce desirable bioactive molecules

Simple photochemical method takes advantage of quantum mechanics

01-Nov-2019

Northwestern University chemists have used visible light and extremely tiny nanoparticles to quickly and simply make molecules that are of the same class as many lead compounds for drug development. Driven by light, the nanoparticle catalysts perform chemical reactions with very specific chemical ...

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Researchers examine 'living' nanomaterials for first time

New technology gives insight into how nanomaterials form and grow

01-Jul-2019

A new form of electron microscopy allows researchers to examine nanoscale tubular materials while they are "alive" and forming liquids -- a first in the field. Developed by a multidisciplinary team at Northwestern University and the University of Tennessee, the new technique, called variable ...

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Methane-consuming bacteria could be the future of fuel

Discovery illuminates how bacteria turn methane gas into liquid methanol

13-May-2019

Known for their ability to remove methane from the environment and convert it into a usable fuel, methanotrophic bacteria have long fascinated researchers. But how, exactly, these bacteria naturally perform such a complex reaction has been a mystery. Now an interdisciplinary team at Northwestern ...

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