Tech

Porphyrins are organic molecules that appear in the central region ofmacromolecules such as chlorophyll and hemoglobin, and have a metal atomat their center that determines their specific function. The importance of these moleculesin the field of molecular electronics lies in their "ease of transferelectrons from one region to another" explains the responsible of the work at the Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology Research Center (a joint research center of the CSIC, the University of Oviedo and the Government of the Principality of Asturias) Víctor Manuel García.

DARIEN, Ill. – Insomnia is costing the average U.S. worker 11.3 days, or $2,280 in lost productivity every year, according to a study in the September 1 issue of the journal Sleep. As a nation, the total cost is 252.7 days and $63.2 billion.

A new hi-tech £1million-plus non-invasive disease detection facility, developed by the University of Leicester, has been unveiled today (Sept 1st 2011) for use in Leicester Royal Infirmary's A&E department.

It is designed to detect the "sight, smell and feel" of disease without the use of invasive probes, blood tests, or other time-consuming and uncomfortable procedures.

Scientists use three different types of cutting-edge technology in combination under a range of situations. All the methods are non-invasive, and could speed up diagnosis.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- University of Florida researchers may help resolve the public debate over America's future light source of choice: Edison's incandescent bulb or the more energy efficient compact fluorescent lamp.

It could be neither.

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — UC Davis researchers have developed an accurate computer model to test the effects of medications for arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm, before they are used in patients.

The new tool -- described in the Aug. 31 issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine -- will help scientists screen anti-arrhythmia medications early in the drug-development pipeline and eventually guide physicians in prescribing those interventions to patients who could benefit the most.

A new saliva test that can measure the amount of potential carcinogens in a person's DNA could lead to a commercial version that helps determine risks for cancer and other diseases.

Solar or photovoltaic cells represent one of the best possible technologies for providing an absolutely clean and virtually inexhaustible source of energy to power our civilization. However, for this dream to be realized, solar cells need to be made from inexpensive elements using low-cost, less energy-intensive processing chemistry, and they need to efficiently and cost-competitively convert sunlight into electricity. A team of researchers with the U.S.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Adding a pretreatment step would allow producers to get more ethanol from switchgrass harvested in the fall, according to a Purdue University study.

Michael Ladisch, a distinguished professor of agricultural and biological engineering, and Youngmi Kim, a research scientist, compared switchgrass based on growing location, harvest time and whether it was given a pretreatment step. They found that location wasn't important, but the other two factors could significantly increase the amount of ethanol obtained from the feedstock.

Researchers have found a method to overcome the chemical intractability of cellulose, thus allowing it to be converted efficiently into bioethanol. That means there is greater potential of waste plant matter to replace oil as a fuel source.

They identified the molecular mechanism behind an enzyme found in fungi which can degrade the cellulose chains of plant cell walls to release shorter sugars for biofuels.

Thanks to advances in experimental design, physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have achieved a record-low probability of error in quantum information processing with a single quantum bit (qubit)—the first published error rate small enough to meet theoretical requirements for building viable quantum computers.

It's not often that someone can claim that going from a positive to a negative is a step forward, but that's the case for a team of scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and private industry. In a recent paper,* the group significantly extended the reach of their novel microfluidic system for analyzing the chemical components of complex samples. The new work shows how the system, meant to analyze real-world, crude mixtures such as dirt or whole blood, can work for negatively charged components as well as it has in the past for positively charged ones.

Solar power is not all sunshine. It has a dark side—particularly in developing countries, according to a new study by a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, engineering professor.

A study by Chris Cherry, assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering, found that solar power heavily reliant on lead batteries has the potential to release more than 2.4 million tons of lead pollution in China and India.

Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have made a new approach to the problem of safely storing hydrogen for use in cars; molecular scale "veins" of iron permeating grains of magnesium like a network of capillaries. The iron veins may transform magnesium from a promising candidate for hydrogen storage into a real-world winner.

One of the most efficient means of transporting freight is by ship. However, many of the ships sailing today are powered by ageing diesel motors fitted with neither exhaust cleaning equipment nor or modern control systems. Three years ago the University of Birmingham initiated an ambitious trial, converting an old canal barge to use hydrogen fuel. The old diesel motor, drive system and fuel tank were removed and replaced with a high efficiency electric motor, a battery pack for short-term energy supply and a fuel cell with a hydrogen storage system to charge the batteries.

An article in the current issue of Global Change Biology Bioenergy examines the carbon sequestration potential of Miscanthus plantations on commercial farms.