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The latest news from academia, regulators
research labs and other things of interest

Thinner, less toxic, corrosion-resistant nanocoatings for metals

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a method for coating metal surfaces with an ultrathin film containing nanoparticles which renders the metal resistant to corrosion and eliminates the use of toxic chromium for this purpose.

Posted: Mar 25th, 2009

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Landmark report addresses regulatory oversight for emerging synthetic biology

The safety of early applications of synthetic biology may be adequately addressed by the existing regulatory framework for biotechnology, especially in contained laboratories and manufacturing facilities. But further advances in this emerging field are likely to create significant challenges for U.S. government oversight.

Posted: Mar 24th, 2009

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Magnetism governs properties of iron-based superconductors

Though a year has passed since the discovery of a new family of high-temperature superconductors, a viable explanation for the iron-based materials? unusual properties remains elusive. But a team of scientists working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology may be close to the answer.

Posted: Mar 24th, 2009

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Making a point: Picoscale stability in a room-temperature AFM

Forget dancing angels, a research team has shown how to detect and monitor the tiny amount of light reflected directly off the needle point of an atomic force microscope probe, and in so doing has demonstrated a 100-fold improvement in the stability of the instrument?s measurements under ambient conditions.

Posted: Mar 24th, 2009

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Flatland physics probes mysteries of superfluidity

If physicists lived in Flatland - the fictional two-dimensional world invented by Edwin Abbott in his 1884 novel - some of their quantum physics experiments would turn out differently (not just thinner) than those in our world. The distinction has taken another step from speculative fiction to real-world puzzle with a paper from the Joint Quantum Institute reporting on a Flatland arrangement of ultracold gas atoms.

Posted: Mar 24th, 2009

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Researchers create nanocarbon catalysts for use in hydrogen storage materials

A team of scientists from Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Uppsala in Sweden, and the Savannah River National Laboratory have identified that carbon nanostructures can be used as catalysts to store and release hydrogen, a finding that may point researchers toward developing the right material for hydrogen storage for use in cars.

Posted: Mar 24th, 2009

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