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Materials Science - Chemistry - 30.12.2017
A step towards cheap aluminium batteries
A step towards cheap aluminium batteries
The energy transition depends on technologies that allow the inexpensive temporary storage of electricity from renewable sources. A promising new candidate is aluminium batteries, which are made from cheap and abundant raw materials. Scientists from Maksym Kovalenko's research group, which is based at both ETH Zurich and in Empa's Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics , are researching and developing batteries made from abundant raw materials.

Physics - Chemistry - 29.12.2017
"Failure is not an option": A lab visit to Prof. Friedemann Kiefer
Prof. Kiefer, what scientific topic are you working on right now? My group is investigating how lymphatic vessels form and how they are preserved in a functional state. During development, the lymphatic vessel system adopts a characteristic structure and we would like to understand, which molecular mechanisms are responsible for the formation of the prototypic shape of this vessel tree.

Health - Chemistry - 27.12.2017
Which Imperial research papers topped the charts in 2017?
Which Imperial research papers topped the charts in 2017?
Harvesting energy from our movements and a method for determining the composition of cement were two of the most widely downloaded papers in 2017. Spiral - Imperial College London's open access repository - allows academics to make journal articles and other research outputs open access, meeting the requirements of the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Computer Science - Chemistry - 26.12.2017
Five AI breakthroughs that could change the face of science
Five AI breakthroughs that could change the face of science
Following years of research, AI is starting to have an impact on the way science is done, as these five Imperial studies from 2017 show. Barely a week has gone by in 2017 without warnings in the media about how Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics is threatening to make all human workers redundant.

Chemistry - Physics - 26.12.2017
Traces in scrap
Traces in scrap
Last year Empa's inorganic analytics lab was granted the status of "Reference Laboratory" within the scope of the ProSUM project, funded by the EU. Fine-grained samples of shredder waste from scrapped cars, e-waste or mine dumps from all over Europe end up here. Empa chemists find out what is in them, what is worth extracting and what could be dangerous for staff at recycling plants.

Health - Chemistry - 25.12.2017
New hope for stopping an understudied heart disease in its tracks
Biomedical engineering professor Kristyn Masters handles samples in her lab, where she and colleagues identified the early stages of a process that may eventually cause aortic stenosis, a severe narrowing of the aortic valve that reduces blood flow to the body and weakens the heart. (Photo by Stephanie Precourt) The diminutive size of our aortic valve - just shy of a quarter - belies its essential role in pushing oxygen-rich blood from the heart into the aorta, our body's largest vessel, and from there to all other organs.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 23.12.2017
Search engine for «smart wood»
Search engine for «smart wood»
Mark Schubert modifies wood properties with the aid of the enzyme laccase. However, the search for suitable ingredients is complex - a bit like trying to find the key to an unknown lock. Instead of long, expensive series of experiments, Schubert uses artificial intelligence as it gets him to the goal more quickly.

Physics - Chemistry - 21.12.2017
Exploring the phenomenon of superconductivity
Exploring the phenomenon of superconductivity
Using ultracold atoms, researchers at Heidelberg University have found an exotic state of matter where the constituent particles pair up when limited to two dimensions. The findings from the field of quantum physics may hold important clues to intriguing phenomena of superconductivity. Superconductors are materials through which electricity can flow without any resistance once they are cooled below a certain critical temperature.

Physics - Chemistry - 21.12.2017
Exploring the phenomenon of superconductivity
Exploring the phenomenon of superconductivity
Using ultracold atoms, researchers at Heidelberg University have found an exotic state of matter where the constituent particles pair up when limited to two dimensions. The findings from the field of quantum physics may hold important clues to intriguing phenomena of superconductivity. Superconductors are materials through which electricity can flow without any resistance once they are cooled below a certain critical temperature.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 21.12.2017
While earthlings take a break, the Mars rover keeps working
While earthlings take a break, the Mars rover keeps working
While many of us will spend the final days of 2017 taking a break from work, the ChemCam instrument aboard NASA's Mars Curiosity rover will keep busy. Rover continues to "zap” Martian rocks and send data back to Earth over winter break LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Dec. 21, 2017-There's no holiday on Mars.

Health - Chemistry - 19.12.2017
Dengue ’Achilles heel’ insight offers hope for better vaccines
Researchers have new insights into how protective antibodies attack dengue viruses, which could lead to more effective dengue fever vaccines and drug therapies. The University of Queensland and China's ZhuJiang Hospital collaboratively led the study which identified an antibody that binds to, and kills, all four types of dengue virus.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 18.12.2017
Engineers: Bone Marrow Transplant Stem Cells Can 'Swim' Upstream
Engineers: Bone Marrow Transplant Stem Cells Can ’Swim’ Upstream
When a cancer patient receives a bone marrow transplant, time is of the essence. Healthy stem cells, which can restart the production of blood cells and immune system components after a patient's own are compromised, need to make their way from the circulatory system into the bones as quickly as possible.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 18.12.2017
Researchers ID Plant ’Sunscreen’ Protein
For plants, light is great, until it's not. They need the sun's energy to carry out photosynthesis, but too much light damages the chloroplasts in plant cells where light, water, and carbon dioxide are converted into sugar and oxygen. One way plants protect themselves is to dissipate that excess light, a process that also occurs in the chloroplasts.

Chemistry - Physics - 13.12.2017
Less Than Skin Deep: Humans Can Feel Molecular Differences Between Nearly Identical Surfaces
How sensitive is the human sense of touch? Sensitive enough to feel the difference between surfaces that differ by just a single layer of molecules, a team of researchers at the University of California San Diego has shown. "This is the greatest tactile sensitivity that has ever been shown in humans," said Darren Lipomi, a professor of nanoengineering and member of the Center for Wearable Sensors at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, who led the interdisciplinary project with V. S.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 13.12.2017
Even wild mammals have regional dialects
Researchers from Cardiff University's Otter Project have discovered that genetically distinct populations of wild otters from across the UK have their own regional odours for communicating vital information to each other. The findings could have implications for wild mammal conservation efforts. The study, which profiled chemical secretions from the Eurasian otter, suggests that genetically distinct populations of wild mammals have different odour dialects, which may have been driven by geographical separation.

Chemistry - Physics - 12.12.2017
X-Rays Provide Key Insights on Path to Lithium-Rich Battery Electrode
X-Rays Provide Key Insights on Path to Lithium-Rich Battery Electrode
Experiments and modeling at Berkeley Lab help to reveal new details about material that holds promise for driving electric vehicles farther Note: This press release is adapted from the original release by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. View the original release. -By Glennda Chui/SLAC This movie introduces LCLS-II, a future X-ray light source.

Physics - Chemistry - 12.12.2017
Engineers create plants that glow
Engineers create plants that glow
Imagine that instead of switching on a lamp when it gets dark, you could read by the light of a glowing plant on your desk. MIT engineers have taken a critical first step toward making that vision a reality. By embedding specialized nanoparticles into the leaves of a watercress plant, they induced the plants to give off dim light for nearly four hours.

Art and Design - Chemistry - 11.12.2017
Scientists from UCLA, National Gallery of Art pioneer new way to analyze ancient artwork
'Macroscale multimodal chemical imaging' reveals details about second century Egyptian painting Matthew Chin Scientists from UCLA and the National Gallery of Art have used a combination of three advanced imaging techniques to produce a highly detailed analysis of a second century Egyptian painting. They are the first to use the specific combination — which they termed “macroscale multimodal chemical imaging? — to examine an ancient work of art.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 11.12.2017
Reductions in individual plant growth sometimes boost community resilience
ANN ARBOR-In sports, sometimes a player has to take one for the team. The same appears to be true in the plant world, where reduced individual growth can benefit the broader community. The findings from the University of Michigan's Paul Glaum and André Kessler of Cornell University help explain the persistence of some plant communities when theory predicts they should go extinct.

Physics - Chemistry - 09.12.2017
Quantum chains in graphene nanoribbons
Quantum chains in graphene nanoribbons
Empa researchers, together with researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz and other partners, have achieved a breakthrough that could in future be used for precise nanotransistors or - in the distant future - possibly even quantum computers, as the team reports in the current issue of the scientific journal «Nature».
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