Tech

Inspired by the surface of butterfly wings, researchers have developed a light-activated hydrogen sensor that produces ultra-precise results at room temperature.

The technology can detect hydrogen leaks well before they pose safety risks and can measure tiny amounts of the gas on people's breath, for diagnosing gut disorders.

Commercial hydrogen sensors only work at temperatures of 150C or higher, but the prototype developed by researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, is powered by light instead of heat.

Cephalopods' exceptional ability to hide into any background has inspired researchers to replicate their fascinating ability to camouflage in the infrared (IR) and visible spectrum. Recent advances offered a number of physical mechanisms to reproduce the cloaking functionalities of cephalopods. However, most of works focused on either camouflaging in the visible or IR camouflage range only: not dual modes in a single device structure that can readily switch between the visible and IR mode according to a suitable situation.

Shape, color, and gloss.

Those are an object's three most salient visual features. Currently, 3D printers can reproduce shape and color reasonably well. Gloss, however, remains a challenge. That's because 3D printing hardware isn't designed to deal with the different viscosities of the varnishes that lend surfaces a glossy or matte look.

Nucleation is a ubiquitous phenomenon that governs the formation of both droplets and bubbles in systems used for condensation, desalination, water splitting, crystal growth, and many other important industrial processes. Now, for the first time, a new microscopy technique developed at MIT and elsewhere allows the process to be observed directly in detail, which could facilitate the design of improved, more efficient surfaces for a variety of such processes.

In recent times, "electrochemical conversion (e-chemical)" technology-which converts carbon dioxide to high-value-added compounds using renewable electricity-has gained research attention as a carbon capture utilization (CCU) technology. This green carbon resource technology employs electrochemical reactions using carbon dioxide and water as the only feedstock chemical to synthesize various compounds, instead of conventional fossil fuels. Electrochemical CO2 conversion can produce value-added important molecules in a petrochemical industry such as carbon monoxide and ethylene.

Dropping a cell phone can sometimes cause superficial cracks to appear. But other times, the device can stop working altogether because fractures develop in the material that stores data. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Applied Polymer Materials have made an environmentally friendly, gelatin-based film that can repair itself multiple times and still maintain the electronic signals needed to access a device's data. The material could be used someday in smart electronics and health-monitoring devices.

New class of living plant-based sensor interfaces wild-type plants with engineered optical nanosensors, able to detect arsenic levels as low as 0.2 parts per billion

Arsenic is a heavy metal highly toxic to humans and the ecosystem - inorganic arsenic in rice is estimated by some to lead to 50,000 premature deaths a year

A Machine Learning Solution for Designing Materials with Desired Optical Properties
Berkeley Lab researchers' method can also quickly calculate optical properties of most materials
By Julie Chao

Researchers from Skoltech and the University of Texas at Austin have presented a proof-of-concept for a wearable sensor that can track healing in sores, ulcers, and other kinds of chronic skin wounds, even without the need to remove the bandages. The paper was published in the journal ACS Sensors.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- When you press the dimpled circles on a fountain drink lid, they become either convex or concave. Materials or structures that have two stable states demonstrate a concept called bistability.

A Purdue team has demonstrated that a patterned sheet of these domes will form an energy-storing skin: strong enough to perform mechanical tasks, and even programmable to store and process data like a mechanical computer.

Expansion microscopy (ExM) enables the imaging of cells and their components with a spatial resolution far below 200 nanometres. For this purpose, the proteins of the sample under investigation are cross-linked into a swellable polymer. Once the interactions between the molecules have been destroyed, the samples can be expanded many times over with water. This allows detailed insights into their structures.

Autonomous systems are affecting virtually all aspects of society, so future designs must be guided by a broad range of societal stakeholders. That's according to a new report led by scientists in the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin.

December 2, 2020 -- The first U.S. Executive Order of the 2017 travel ban targeting individuals from Muslim majority countries may be associated with preterm births for women from those countries residing in the U.S., according to a new study conducted at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. The research also showed that structurally xenophobic and racist policies in the U.S. may have a harmful effect on early life indicators of life-long health outcomes. The findings are published on line in the journal Social Science and Medicine.

As we move away from fossil fuels and shift to renewable energy to tackle climate change, the need for new ways to capture and store energy becomes increasingly important.

Lancaster University researchers studying a crystalline material have discovered it has properties that allow it to capture energy from the sun. The energy can be stored for several months at room temperature, and it can be released on demand in the form of heat.

The tree of life describes the evolution of life and seeks to define the relationships between species. Likewise, the tree of cell types aims to organize cells in the brain into groups and describe their relationships to each other.