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

From metal to insulator and back again

Metals are compounds that are capable of conducting the flow of electrons that make up an electric current. Other materials, called insulators, are not capable of conducting an electric current. At low temperatures, all materials can be classified as either insulators or metals. New work hones in on the physics underlying the recently discovered fact that some metals stop being metallic under pressure.

Posted: Apr 22nd, 2015

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Quantum 'paparazzi' film photons in the act of pairing up

In the quantum world of light, being distinguishable means staying lonely. Only those photons that are indistinguishable can wind up in a pair, through what is called Hong-Ou-Mandel interference. This subtle quantum effect has been successfully imaged for the first time.

Posted: Apr 22nd, 2015

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Materials scientists putting a new spin on computing memory

As computers continue to shrink, memory has to become smaller, stable and more energy conscious. A group of researchers is trying to do just that with help from a new class of materials, whose magnetism can essentially be controlled by the flick of a switch.

Posted: Apr 22nd, 2015

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Nanoparticle drug reverses Parkinson's-like symptoms in rats

The researchers packaged dopamine in biodegradable nanoparticles that have been used to deliver other therapeutic drugs to the brain. The resulting nanoparticles successfully crossed the blood-brain barrier in rats, released its dopamine payload over several days and reversed the rodents' movement problems without causing side effects.

Posted: Apr 22nd, 2015

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Electron spin brings order to high entropy alloys

Scientists have discovered that electron spin brings a previously unknown degree of order to the high entropy alloy nickel iron chromium cobalt (NiFeCrCo) - and may play a role in giving the alloy its desirable properties.

Posted: Apr 22nd, 2015

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Pseudoparticles travel through photoactive material

Researchers have unveiled an important step in the conversion of light into storable energy: They studied the formation of so-called polarons in zinc oxide. The pseudoparticles travel through the photoactive material until they are converted into electrical or chemical energy at an interface.

Posted: Apr 22nd, 2015

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Low-reflection, nanostructured wings make butterflies nearly invisible

The effect is known from the smart phone: Sun is reflected by the display and hardly anything can be seen. In contrast to this, the glasswing butterfly hardly reflects any light in spite of its transparent wings. As a result, it is difficult for predatory birds to track the butterfly during the flight.

Posted: Apr 22nd, 2015

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