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Nanotechnology helps to test antibiotic treatment in minutes

Researchers have built a matchbox-sized device that can test for the presence of bacteria in a couple of minutes, instead of up to several weeks. A nano-lever vibrates in the presence of bacterial activity, while a laser reads the vibration and translates it into an electrical signal that can be easily read - the absence of a signal signifies the absence of bacteria.

Posted: Jun 30th, 2013

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NIST seeks proposals to establish new Center of Excellence on Advanced Materials Research

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced a competition to create an Advanced Materials Center of Excellence to foster interdisciplinary collaborations between NIST researchers and scientists and engineers from academia and industry. The new center will focus on accelerating the discovery and development of advanced materials through innovations in measurement science and in new modeling, simulation, data and informatics tools.

Posted: Jun 29th, 2013

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Physicists tease out twisted torques of DNA

Using an instrument called an angular optical trap, researchers have reported direct measurements of the torque generated by the motor protein, E. coli RNA polymerase, as it traverses supercoiled DNA. Their technique may be used to examine the broader impacts of torque and DNA supercoiling associated with other motor proteins, and lend new insights into the gene transcription process.

Posted: Jun 27th, 2013

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New low-cost, transparent electrodes

Indium tin oxide has become a standard material in light-emitting diodes, flat panel plasma displays, electronic ink and other applications, but it is rare and expensive. Now, researchers from Arizona State University report creating a sturdy, transparent, and indium-free electrode from silver and titanium dioxide.

Posted: Jun 27th, 2013

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Improving measurements by reducing quantum noise

The principle of interferometry is often used in high precision measurements: A beam is split in two parts, which then interfere, yielding intricat interference patterns, from which very precise data can be obtained. Usually, this is done with photons or small massive particles such as electrons or neutrons. At the Vienna University of Technology, an interferometer has now been built which instead uses Bose-Einstein-condensates, consisting of hundreds of atoms.

Posted: Jun 27th, 2013

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Watching solar cells grow

For the first time, researchers have managed to observe growth of high-efficiency chalcopyrite thin film solar cells in real time and to study the formation and degradation of defects that compromise efficiency.

Posted: Jun 27th, 2013

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