The gelatinous jaw of a sea worm, which becomes hard or flexible depending on the environment around it, has inspired researchers to develop a new material that can be applied to soft robotics. Despite having the texture of a gel, this compound is endowed with great mechanical resistance and consistency, and is able to adapt to changing environments.
Forget high-speed cameras capturing 100,000 images per second. A research group has developed a camera that can film at a rate equivalent to five trillion images per second, or events as short as 0.2 trillionths of a second. This is faster than has previously been possible.
Explorers planning to settle on Mars might be able to turn the planet's soil into bricks without needing to use an oven or additional ingredients. Instead, they would need to apply pressure to compact the soil--the equivalent of a blow from a hammer.
Lithium-oxygen fuel cells boast energy density levels comparable to fossil fuels and are thus seen as a promising candidate for future transportation-related energy needs. Several roadblocks stand in the way of realizing that vision. An engineering lab has focused on one of those roadblocks -- the loss of battery power, also known as capacity fade.
New research has identified the minimum temperature of a bolt of lightning as it strikes rock. The study discovered that, based on the crystalline material in the sample, the minimum temperature at which the fulgurite formed was roughly 1,700 degrees Celsius.
New surveys with the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Green Bank Telescope (GBT), of the element silicon may mean that the Milky Way is more efficient at mixing its contents than previously thought, thereby masking the telltale signs of chemical aging.
Geckos are well known for effortlessly scrambling up walls and upside down across ceilings. Even in slippery rain forests, the lizards maintain their grip. Now scientists have created a double-sided adhesive that copies this reversible ability to stick and unstick to surfaces even in wet conditions. They say their development could be useful in underwater robotics, sensors and other bionic devices.
A chemistry professor has just found a way to trigger the process of photosynthesis in a synthetic material, turning greenhouse gases into clean air and producing energy all at the same time. The process has great potential for creating a technology that could significantly reduce greenhouse gases linked to climate change, while also creating a clean way to produce energy.
New insight into how forests globally will respond to long-term climate change has been gained by recent research. The new work suggests that climate-change driven increases in rainfall in warm, wet forests are likely to cause increased plant growth. Plant-growth declines are still expected in cooler forests with increased precipitation.
Synthetic rubber and plastics -- used for manufacturing tires, toys and myriad other products -- are produced from butadiene, a molecule traditionally made from petroleum or natural gas. But those humanmade materials could get a lot greener soon, thanks to a team of scientists that has invented a process to make butadiene from renewable sources.
Performing multiple reactions in one shot reduces raw material needs and byproduct waste, a potential step toward a greener chemical industry. Researchers have developed a nanocatalyst that can perform the four reactions needed to produce a compound potentially useful in a variety of pharmaceuticals.
Three years of fracking has not contaminated groundwater in northwestern West Virginia, but accidental spills of wastewater from fracked wells may pose a threat to surface water, according to a new study. The scientists used a broad suite of geochemical and isotopic tracers to sample for contaminants in 112 water wells near shale gas sites, including 20 wells that were sampled both before and after fracking began.
A novel microscopy method allows unprecedented insights into the spatial organization and direct interactions of immune cells within blood and liquid multi-lineage tissues. The assay, called 'Pharmacoscopy,' is able to determine the immunomodulatory properties of drugs within large libraries on immune cells in high resolution and high throughput, enabling new possibilities for drug discovery, particularly in cancer immunotherapy, personalized medicine, and research on signaling pathways of the immune system.
Fuel such as gasoline is made up of hydrocarbons -- a family of molecules consisting entirely of carbon and hydrogen. Pigment and dye, coal and tar are made up of hydrocarbons too. These common, abundant materials, sometimes even associated with waste, are not often thought of as being electronically or magnetically interesting. But now scientists have made a significant find.
A new method that could lead to lithium batteries that are safer, have longer battery life, and are bendable has now been developed, providing new possibilities such as flexible smartphones. His new technique uses ice-templating to control the structure of the solid electrolyte for lithium batteries that are used in portable electronics, electric vehicles, and grid-level energy storage.
Scientists have developed a new method to extract previously hidden information from the X-ray diffraction data that are measured when resolving the three-dimensional (3-D) atomic structures of proteins and other biological molecules.
Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are promising candidates for flexible flat displays. By means of a screening process, it is now possible to identify more quickly lead structures with superior luminescence and charge-transport properties.