Tech

On a 104-degree Friday in July when sunlight bathed campus, doctoral student Dio Placencia sat before a noisy vacuum chamber in the Chemical Sciences Building trying to advance the renewable energy revolution.

As a University of Arizona (UA) professor, Neal R. Armstrong's research group, Placencia conducts research aimed at creating a thin, flexible organic solar cell that could power a tent or keep a car charged between trips to work and back home again.

Nationally, about ten percent of women in the US are recalled for a second mammogram after an abnormality is detected on the first one. However, the use of digital breast tomosynthesis and full-field digital mammography combined may be associated with a substantial decrease in recall rate, according to a study performed at UPMC in Pittsburgh, PA. Some researchers believe that digital breast tomosynthesis depicts the breast tissue in a way which may allow radiologists to identify some tumors which could be missed with standard two-dimensional mammography.

Noninvasive imaging (MRI) may aid physicians in the early diagnosis, staging and treatment of diabetes, according to a study performed at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. This is the first study of its kind to apply noninvasive imaging techniques to diabetes research.

Some engineers want to pack hydrogen into a larger molecule, rather than compressing the gas into a tank. A gas flows easily out of a tank, but getting hydrogen out of a molecule requires a catalyst. Now, researchers reveal new details about one such catalyst. The results are a step toward designing catalysts for use in hydrogen energy applications such as fuel cells.

A 1930s house built in 2008 is about to undergo the first of three energy efficiency upgrades which will ultimately convert an energy inefficient house into a zero carbon home designed to meet the Government's 2016 CO2 targets for all new housing. The results of this research will be relevant to millions of householders across the UK.

Regional nerve blocks, an anesthesia technique available at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, are known to improve pain relief, reduce side effects, and allow patients to go home sooner when compared with general anesthesia. With the introduction of ultrasound guidance, nerve blocks have become more accurate, making the technique available in the treatment of an increasing variety of conditions, including breast cancer surgery.

Researchers the world over are striving to develop organic solar cells that can be produced easily and inexpensively as thin films that could be widely used to generate electricity.

But a major obstacle is coaxing these carbon-based materials to reliably form the proper structure at the nanoscale (tinier than 2-millionths of an inch) to be highly efficient in converting light to electricity. The goal is to develop cells made from low-cost plastics that will transform at least 10 percent of the sunlight that they absorb into usable electricity and can be easily manufactured.

Despite major costs to taxpayers in the U.S. and Canada, government programs that offer rebates to hybrid vehicle buyers are failing to produce environmental benefits, a new UBC study says.

The study finds that hybrid sales have come largely at the expense of small, relatively fuel-efficient, conventional cars, rather than large SUVs, trucks and vans, which produce substantially greater carbon emissions.

Boosting agricultural research in the developing world is the key to ensuring food security for the world's poorest, says Adel el-Beltagy, Chair of the Global Form on Agricultural Research (GFAR), writing in the latest issue of the TWAS Newsletter, published last week.

A team of researchers, led by chemical engineering and materials science professor Michael Tsapatsis in the University of Minnesota's Institute of Technology, have developed a more energy-efficient method of chemical separations that could speed up processes in the petrochemical and biofuels industries. The new discovery is published in Science.

MADISON — Diesel and gasoline fuel sources both bring unique assets and liabilities to powering internal combustion engines. But what if an engine could be programmed to harvest the best properties of both fuel sources at once, on the fly, by blending the fuels within the combustion chamber?

Coupling biological materials with an electrode-based device, Prof. Judith Rishpon of Tel Aviv University's Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology is able to quickly and precisely detect pathogens and pollution in the environment. He can even detect infinitesimally small amounts of disease biomarkers in our blood.

About the size of a stick of gum, the new invention may be applied to a wide range of environments and situations. The aim is for the device to be disposable and cost about $1.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- A well-established physical law describes the transfer of heat between two objects, but some physicists have long predicted that the law should break down when the objects are very close together. Scientists had never been able to confirm, or measure, this breakdown in practice. For the first time, however, MIT researchers have achieved this feat, and determined that the heat transfer can be 1,000 times greater than the law predicts.

Human skin is a phenomenon – small scratches and cuts heal quickly, leaving no trace of a scar after just a few days. It's a different matter with materials, such as metals – if the electroplated layer protecting the metals from corrosion is scratched, rust protection is lost.

When buying a pineapple, the customer often stands helplessly in front of the supermarket shelf – which one is already ripe? If the fruit is eaten immediately it's often still not sweet enough, if it's left too long it has rotten patches. Laboratory tests are too slow and too costly to provide the answers.