Tech

Tiny metallic particles produced by University of Adelaide chemistry researchers are bringing new hope for the production of cheap, efficient and clean hydrogen energy.

Led by Associate Professor Greg Metha, Head of Chemistry, the researchers are exploring how the metal nanoparticles act as highly efficient catalysts in using solar radiation to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

A national survey has found that more than one in twenty Australian workers report using alcohol while at work or just before work, and more than one in fifty report taking drugs during or just before work. These findings, published online today in the journal Addiction, have implications for workplace safety.

LOMA LINDA, Calif. — Health disparities between black Americans and the rest of the nation have been well-documented in medical journals. But one study shows that blacks who identify as members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church actually report a better quality of life than the average American. Researchers point to certain lifestyle behaviors as a possible explanation for the difference. The research was conducted at Loma Linda University as part of the Adventist Religion and Health Study (ARHS), a study of nearly 11,000 Adventists, including more than 3,400 black Adventists.

New software allows wireless sensor networks to run at much lower energy, according to researchers writing in the International Journal of Sensor Networks. The technology could improve efficiency for hurricane and other natural disaster warning systems.

They see more than the naked eye and could make traffic safer: miniaturized thermal imaging sensors. But they are difficult to manufacture on a commercial scale. Researchers have now developed a new system. On it, special micro-electromechanical systems can be produced -- with the correct etching technique.

WASHINGTON –- Developed by the Naval Research Laboratory Bioenergy and Biofabrication Section in the Chemistry Division and the Physical Acoustics Branch of the Acoustic Division, the Zero Power Ballast Control (ZPBC) is a technology that relies on microbial energy harvesting developments to enable unsupervised underwater sensing with subsequent surfacing and reporting capabilities.

BADAJOZ, SPAIN—The productivity and health of horticultural crops depends on the ability of the plant cover to intercept light energy. This ability is a function of the amount of leaf area, the architecture of the vegetation cover, and plants' ability to convert light energy. One estimate of a crop's ability to capture light energy is the leaf area index (LAI). Introduced in 1947, the concept of the LAI was defined as the ratio of leaf area to a given unit of land area. Today, understanding LAI is critical for successful crop management.

In a paper published in Nature Photonics, U of T Engineering researchers report a new solar cell that may pave the way to inexpensive coatings that efficiently convert the sun's rays to electricity.

The U of T researchers, led by Professor Ted Sargent, report the first efficient tandem solar cell based on colloidal quantum dots (CQD). "The U of T device is a stack of two light-absorbing layers – one tuned to capture the sun's visible rays, the other engineered to harvest the half of the sun's power that lies in the infrared," said lead author Dr. Xihua Wang.

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- The 25.8 million Americans who have diabetes may soon be free of finger pricks and daily insulin dosing. Mayo Clinic endocrinologists Yogish Kudva, M.B.B.S., and Ananda Basu, M.B.B.S., M.D., are developing an artificial pancreas that will deliver insulin automatically and with an individualized precision never before possible.

Professor Jeremy O'Brien, Director of the University of Bristol's Centre for Quantum Photonics, and his Japanese colleagues have demonstrated a quantum logic gate acting on four particles of light – photons. The researchers believe their device could provide important routes to new quantum technologies, including secure communication, precision measurement, and ultimately a quantum computer—a powerful type of computer that uses quantum bits (qubits) rather than the conventional bits used in today's computers.

Valves, nozzles, pistons, spark plugs and camshafts – the heart of each car is its engine. It is a complex structure with many levels and individual parts and must therefore be assembled in a correspondingly precise way. Parts that are slightly damaged, malformed or assembled the wrong way can cause engine damage. The results would be an angry customer and damage to the reputation of the car manufacturer.

WIMAUMA, FL—When natural ecosystems are replaced by roads, homes, and commercial structures, soil is negatively impacted. Studies have shown that, among other issues, distressed urban soils are often significantly compacted, may have alkaline pH, and may contain low amounts of essential organic matter and nutrients. This altered soil is typically not conducive to healthy plant root growth and establishment, leading to challenges for urban landscapes and home gardens.

In its infancy, when the universe was a few millionths of a second old, the elemental constituents of matter moved freely in a hot, dense soup of quarks and gluons. As the universe expanded, this quark–gluon plasma quickly cooled, and protons and neutrons and other forms of normal matter "froze out": the quarks became bound together by the exchange of gluons, the carriers of the color force.

For most people, listening to the ocean means contemplating the soothing sound of waves breaking gently on a sandy beach.

But for researchers studying everything from whale migration to fisheries populations, and from underwater mapping to guiding robots trying to repair leaking undersea oil wells, listening to the ocean from the other side – underwater – can reveal volumes of valuable data.

WASHINGTON — It will take more than tougher fuel economy standards for U.S. transportation to significantly cut its oil use over the next half century. It will likely require a combination of measures that foster consumer and supplier interest in vehicle fuel economy, alternative fuels, and a more efficient transportation system, says a new report from the National Research Council.