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Researcher sheds new light on the mysteries of spider silk

Stanford researcher and her collaborators are the first to measure all of the elastic properties of an intact spider's web, drawing a remarkable picture of the behavior of one of nature's most intriguing structures. The work could lead to new bio-inspired materials that improve upon nature.

Posted: Feb 6th, 2013

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Photo-growth of pores in a polymer gel network

Irradiation with light is an established method for initiating polymerization or crosslinking (curing) in the production of plastics. American researchers are now using light to retroactively increase the size of the pores within a polymer network.

Posted: Feb 6th, 2013

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Blocking infinity in a topological insulator

In bulk, topological insulators (TIs) are good insulators, but on their surface they act as metals, with a twist: the spin and direction of electrons moving across the surface of a TI are locked together. TIs offer unique opportunities to control electric currents and magnetism, and new research by a team of scientists from China and the U.S. points to ways to manipulate their surface states.

Posted: Feb 6th, 2013

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Widely used nanoparticles enter soybean plants from farm soil

Two of the most widely used nanoparticles accumulate in soybeans - second only to corn as a key food crop in the United States - in ways previously shown to have the potential to adversely affect the crop yields and nutritional quality, a new study has found.

Posted: Feb 6th, 2013

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OSHA publishes fact sheet on working safely with nanomaterials

Workers who use nanotechnology in research or production processes may be exposed to nanomaterials through inhalation, skin contact, or ingestion. This fact sheet provides basic information to workers and employers on the most current understanding of potential hazards associated with this rapidly-developing technology and highlights measures to control exposure to nanomaterials in the workplace.

Posted: Feb 6th, 2013

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Does probability come from quantum physics?

Ever since Austrian scientist Erwin Schrodinger put his unfortunate cat in a box, his fellow physicists have been using something called quantum theory to explain and understand the nature of waves and particles. But a new paper makes the case that these quantum fluctuations actually are responsible for the probability of all actions, with far-reaching implications for theories of the universe.

Posted: Feb 6th, 2013

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New modeling approach transforms imaging technologies

Researchers are improving the performance of technologies ranging from medical CT scanners to digital cameras using a system of models to extract specific information from huge collections of data and then reconstructing images like a jigsaw puzzle. The new approach is called model-based iterative reconstruction, or MBIR.

Posted: Feb 6th, 2013

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New findings on the structure of graphite oxides in alcohols

The structure of graphite oxide surprisingly expands when cooled in methanol or ethanol. Also, graphite oxide selectively absorbs methanol from water-methanol mixtures. Two new studies provide knowledge on new properties of oxidized graphite and graphene.

Posted: Feb 5th, 2013

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