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Nanoparticles from dietary supplement drinks likely to reach environment, say scientists

Nanoparticles are becoming ubiquitous in food packaging, personal care products and are even being added to food directly. But the health and environmental effects of these tiny additives have remained largely unknown. A new study now suggests that nanomaterials in food and drinks could interfere with digestive cells and lead to the release of the potentially harmful substances to the environment.

Posted: Jun 18th, 2014

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Hydrogen production - Collecting light with artificial moth eyes

All over the world researchers are investigating solar cells which imitate plant photosynthesis, using sunlight and water to create synthetic fuels such as hydrogen. Empa researchers have developed such a photoelectrochemical cell, recreating a moth's eye to drastically increase its light collecting efficiency. The cell is made of cheap raw materials - iron and tungsten oxide.

Posted: Jun 18th, 2014

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A new model for quantum noise

New research updates one of the most fundamental concepts in the physics of quantum electronic devices - the standard tunnelling model.

Posted: Jun 18th, 2014

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Quantum biology: Algae evolved to switch quantum coherence on and off

Scientists have discovered how algae that survive in very low levels of light are able to switch on and off a weird quantum phenomenon that occurs during photosynthesis. The function in the algae of this quantum effect, known as coherence, remains a mystery, but it is thought it could help them harvest energy from the sun much more efficiently. Working out its role in a living organism could lead to technological advances, such as better organic solar cells and quantum-based electronic devices.

Posted: Jun 17th, 2014

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2D Electronic-vibrational spectroscopy technique provides unprecedented look into photochemical reactions

By combining the advantages of two well-established spectroscopy technologies - 2D-electronic and 2D-infrared - two-dimensional electronic-vibrational spectroscopy (2D-EV) is the first that can be used to simultaneously monitor electronic and molecular dynamics on a femtosecond time-scale. The results show how the coupling of electronic states and nuclear vibrations affect the outcome of photochemical reactions.

Posted: Jun 17th, 2014

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Swell new sensors

Researchers make novel, high sensitivity optical sensors that swell when exposed to a target gas - potential industrial, security, environmental, and medical applications.

Posted: Jun 17th, 2014

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