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

Researchers solve problem filling space - without cubes

Whether packing oranges into a crate, fitting molecules into a human cell or getting data onto a compact disc, wasted space is usually not a good thing. Now, Princeton University chemist Salvatore Torquato and colleagues have solved a conundrum that has baffled mathematical minds since ancient times - how to fill three-dimensional space with multi-sided objects other than cubes without having any gaps.

Posted: Jun 29th, 2011

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Lehigh University leads Department of Defense MURI grant for atomic-scale interphase research

For the next five years, Martin Harmer, director of Lehigh's Center for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, will lead a team of scientists from Lehigh, Carnegie-Mellon, Clemson, Illinois and Kutztown universities to determine how the atomic structure of grain-boundary interphases - interphase complexions - affect the mechanical, electrical and thermal properties of a wide range of strategic engineering materials.

Posted: Jun 29th, 2011

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ACS Podcast: Tiny generator powers wireless device

Imagine a new genre of tiny implantable sensors, airborne and stationary surveillance cameras and sensors and other devices that operate without batteries on energy collected from the motion of a heart beat and have wireless communications capability. And the power plant for those devices is a "nanogenerator" that could even produce energy to charge an iPod from the movements of a person walking down the street.

Posted: Jun 29th, 2011

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Moving microscopic vision into another new dimension

Scientists who pioneered a revolutionary 3-D microscope technique are now describing an extension of that technology into a new dimension that promises sweeping applications in medicine, biological research, and development of new electronic devices. Their reports on so-called 4-D scanning ultrafast electron microscopy, and a related technique, appear in two papers.

Posted: Jun 29th, 2011

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Gold microflowers to enhance signals from molecules

Researchers have to place objects under study on suitable substrates to obtain a strong enhancement of electromagnetic radiation emitted by single molecules. A simple and cheap method to fabricate substrates for SERS spectroscopy has been discovered at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences. A key role in substrate fabrication play spherical gold aggregates - flower-like micrometer-sized spheres.

Posted: Jun 29th, 2011

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Schools play with nanotechnology

Pupils aged 12-14 years old from Kingham-Hill School, Marlborough School, The Oxford Academy, and Oxford High School, took part in the event where they got to learn about the basic science behind applications of nanotechnologies and investigate the properties of nanoscale materials.

Posted: Jun 29th, 2011

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Metal nanoparticle generates new hope for hydrogen energy

Tiny metallic particles produced by University of Adelaide chemistry researchers are bringing new hope for the production of cheap, efficient and clean hydrogen energy. The researchers are exploring how the metal nanoparticles act as highly efficient catalysts in using solar radiation to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Posted: Jun 29th, 2011

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Beyond Darwin: Evolving new functions

A recent Kavli Futures Symposium focused on the progress, and promise, of evolving biological functions in the lab. Now, 3 Symposium participants discuss this remarkable research, and how it's drawing together diverse scientific fields.

Posted: Jun 28th, 2011

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Inkjet printing could change the face of solar energy industry

Engineers at Oregon State University have discovered a way for the first time to create successful "CIGS" solar devices with inkjet printing, in work that reduces raw material waste by 90 percent and will significantly lower the cost of producing solar energy cells with some very promising compounds.

Posted: Jun 28th, 2011

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New method for imaging molecules inside cells

Using a new sample holder, researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have further developed a new method for imaging individual cells. This makes it possible to produce snapshots that not only show the outline of the cell's contours but also the various molecules inside or on the surface of the cell, and exactly where they are located, something which is impossible with a normal microscope.

Posted: Jun 28th, 2011

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