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Batteries made from graphene could power tomorrow's electric cars

Engineering researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute made a sheet of paper from graphene and then zapped the paper with a laser or camera flash to blemish it with countless cracks, pores, and other imperfections. The result is a graphene anode material that can be charged or discharged 10 times faster than conventional graphite anodes used in today's lithium (Li)-ion batteries.

Posted: Aug 20th, 2012

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Scientists examine effects of manufactured nanoparticles on soybean crops

Sunscreens, lotions, and cosmetics contain tiny metal nanoparticles that wash down the drain at the end of the day, or are discharged after manufacturing. Those nanoparticles eventually end up in agricultural soil, which is a cause for concern, according to a group of environmental scientists that recently carried out the first major study of soybeans grown in soil contaminated by two manufactured nanomaterials.

Posted: Aug 20th, 2012

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Scientists shed light on glowing materials

Scientists have broken the limit of light resolution at the nanoscale and delivered a fundamental insight into how light and matter interact, which could lead to the development of enhanced bio-sensors for healthcare and more efficient solar cells and displays.

Posted: Aug 20th, 2012

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Quantum computing - 15=3x5 about half of the time

Computing prime factors may sound like an elementary math problem, but try it with a large number, say one that contains more than 600 digits, and the task becomes enormously challenging and impossibly time-consuming. Now, a group of researchers at UC Santa Barbara has designed and fabricated a quantum processor capable of factoring a composite number - in this case the number 15 - into its constituent prime factors, 3 and 5.

Posted: Aug 19th, 2012

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Photonic-plasmonic microcavity for ultrasensitive protein detection

Measuring proteins in real-time down to fM solution concentration levels, corresponding to only a few thousand of protein molecules, has been demonstrated for the first time using a hybrid photonic-plasmonic Whispering Gallery Mode biosensor. Its unprecedented sensitivity is due to optical trapping of proteins at highly sensitive plasmonic hotspots.

Posted: Aug 19th, 2012

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