Tech

Scientists are reporting refinement of a new test that promises to help assure the safety of supplies of heparin, the blood thinner taken by millions of people worldwide each year to prevent blood clots. The test can quickly and economically detect adulterants, including the substance responsible for hundreds of illnesses and deaths among patients taking heparin in 2008. The report appears in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry.

Cambridge, Mass. – September 21, 2011 – After a rain, the cupped leaf of a pitcher plant becomes a virtually frictionless surface. Sweet-smelling and elegant, the carnivore attracts ants, spiders, and even little frogs. One by one, they slide to their doom.

Adopting the plant's slick strategy, a group of applied scientists at Harvard have created a material that repels just about any type of liquid, including blood and oil, and does so even under harsh conditions like high pressure and freezing temperatures.

Scientists at Cambridge University have shown an amazing degree of control over the most fundamental aspect of an electronic circuit, how electrons move from one place to another.

Researchers from the University's Cavendish Laboratory have moved an individual electron along a wire, batting it back and forth over sixty times, rather like the ball in a game of ping-pong. The research findings, published today (22 September) in the journal Nature, may have applications in quantum computing, transferring a quantum 'bit' between processor and memory, for example.

A new "smart" window system has the unprecedented ability to inexpensively change from summer to winter modes, darkening to save air conditioning costs on scorching days and returning to crystal clarity in the winter to capture free heat from the sun, scientists are reporting. Their study appears in the journal ACS Nano.

Anyone who has watched one of the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation television shows knows that PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) is a technology used to amplify the tiniest samples of DNA into forensic evidence that can identify perpetrators or victims of a crime. Microbiologists also use PCR to uncover the identity of microbes in samples taken from a wide range of sources for a wide range of purposes. However, for microbial analysis, the use of PCR technology can pose problems. Now, researchers with the U.S.

BINGHAMTON, NY – The Civil War — already considered the deadliest conflict in American history — in fact took a toll far more severe than previously estimated. That's what a new analysis of census data by Binghamton University historian J. David Hacker reveals.

Hacker says the war's dead numbered about 750,000, an estimate that's 20 percent higher than the commonly cited figure of 620,000. His findings will be published in December in the journal Civil War History.

High-performance flexible and lightweight solar cells, say, on plastic foils, have excellent potential to lower the manufacturing costs through roll-to-roll processing and the so called "balance-of-system" cost, thus enabling affordable solar electricity in the near future. Thus far, however, flexible solar cells on polymer films have been lacking behind in performance compared to rigid cells, primarily because polymer films require much lower temperatures during deposition of the absorber layer, generally resulting in much lower efficiencies.

Record-breaking team

New hybrid carbon material, which combines both graphene and SWNTs, Graphene Nanoribbons encapsulated into Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (GNR@SWNTs) have been discovered by researchers from Aalto University (Finland) and Umea University.

Carbon nanotubes and graphene materials have attracted enormous interest from a broad range of specialists.

Researchers at the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) and the Northern Ireland Semiconductor Research Centre (NISRC) at Queen's University Belfast have devised a way to eliminate the need for motors in space borne radiometers by incorporating liquid crystals in their Frequency Selective Surface (FSS) antenna arrays.

CORVALLIS, Ore. –More than 60 percent of the energy produced by cars, machines, and industry around the world is lost as waste heat – an age-old problem - but researchers have found a new way to make "thermoelectric" materials for use in technology that could potentially save vast amounts of energy.

And it's based on a device found everywhere from kitchens to dorm rooms: a microwave oven.

Human devices, from light bulbs to iPods, send information using electrons. Human bodies and all other living things, on the other hand, send signals and perform work using ions or protons.

Materials scientists at the University of Washington have built a novel transistor that uses protons, creating a key piece for devices that can communicate directly with living things. The study is published online this week in the interdisciplinary journal Nature Communications.

A scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is exploring how rangeland ecologists could use high-resolution digital panoramas to track landscape changes.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) hydraulic engineer Mary Nichols uses a digital camera to create a single high-resolution landscape panorama that users can zoom in on to study individual plants, animals or specific features in the landscape.

September 20th, 2011,Shenzhen, China – Beijing Genomics Institute reported that they have achieved optimization RNA-Seq (Quantification) library construction with total RNA inputs as low as 100 ng. This breakthrough enables the application of RNA-Seq (Quantification) technology to experimental designs utilizing samples derived from small numbers of cells, such as those widely used in pharmaceutical research, cancer research, and immunology.

A grain of salt or two may be all that microbial electrolysis cells need to produce hydrogen from wastewater or organic byproducts, without adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere or using grid electricity, according to Penn State engineers.

"This system could produce hydrogen anyplace that there is wastewater near sea water," said Bruce E. Logan, Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering. "It uses no grid electricity and is completely carbon neutral. It is an inexhaustible source of energy."

Daejeon, the Republic of Korea, August 8, 2011—Can a flexible LED conformably placed on the human heart, situated on the corrugated surface of the human brain, or rolled upon the blood vessels, diagnose or even treat various diseases? These things might be a reality in the near future.

The team of Professor Keon Jae Lee (Department of Materials Science and Engineering, KAIST) has developed a new concept: a biocompatible, flexible Gallium Nitride (GaN) LED that can detect prostate cancer.