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  • August 12, 2013
  • 01:16 PM

Electron ‘Spin’ Control Promises More Efficient Organic Solar Cells

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

An organic or “plastic” solar cell is a type of a solar cell made with polymers that converts light to electricity using carbon-based molecules. These solar cells have not yet been to match the efficiency of their silicon-based counterparts. Now, researchers at the University of Washington have discovered a synthetic, high-performance polymer that behaves differently from other tested materials and could make inexpensive, highly efficient organic solar cells a reality.... Read more »

Akshay Rao, Philip C. Y. Chow, Simon Gélinas, Cody W. Schlenker, Chang-Zhi Li, Hin-Lap Yip, Alex K.-Y. Jen, David S. Ginger, Richard H. Friend. (2013) The role of spin in the kinetic control of recombination in organic photovoltaics. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature12339  

  • August 12, 2013
  • 07:54 AM

Scientists Make ‘Impossible Material’ … by Accident

by Andrew Bissette in United Academics

Researchers in Uppsala, Sweden accidentally left a reaction running over the weekend and ended up resolving a century-old chemistry problem. Their work has led to the development of a new material, dubbed Upsalite, with remarkable water-binding properties. Upsalite promises to find applications in everything from humidity control at home to chemical manufacturing in industry.... Read more »

  • August 11, 2013
  • 02:32 PM

The day before death: A new archaeological technique gives insight into the day before death

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

The day before the child’s death was not a pleasant one, because it was not a sudden injury that killed the 10-13 year old child who was buried in the medieval town of Ribe in Denmark 800 years ago. The day before death was full of suffering because the child had been given a large dose of mercury in an attempt to cure a severe illness.... Read more »

Birgitte Svennevig. (2013) The day before death: A new archaeological technique gives insight into the day before death. Eurekalert. info:/

  • August 10, 2013
  • 03:44 AM

What Dave Keeling did ahead of his curve

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

Almost an accidental climate scientist, Dave Keeling’s efforts to reconcile incorrect CO2 measurements paved the way to continuously tracking the relentless rise of the greenhouse gas in recent decades. ... Read more »

  • August 9, 2013
  • 05:36 PM

Scientists Create Solar Cells That Mimic Organic Vascular System

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

In a new paper, North Carolina State University researchers Orlin Velev and Hyung-Jun Koo show that creating solar cell devices with channels that mimic organic vascular systems can effectively reinvigorate solar cells whose performance deteriorates due to degradation by the sun’s ultraviolet rays.... Read more »

  • August 8, 2013
  • 06:02 PM

Scientists Boost Plastic Solar Cell Performance by Introducing Some Chaos

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A plastic solar cell—a type of flexible solar cell made with polymers—is a relatively new design that currently suffers from a lack of efficiency compared to its major competitors, conventional cells made of silicon. To increase performance, scientists are looking for new materials that will enhance the flow of electricity through the solar cell. Several groups expected to achieve good results by redesigning pliant polymers of plastic into orderly, silicon-like crystals, but the flow of electricity did not improve.... Read more »

  • August 7, 2013
  • 03:36 PM

Brookhaven Lab Scientists Discover Anomalous Behavior of High-Temperature Superconductors

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Superconductivity is a phenomenon of exactly zero electrical resistance and expulsion of magnetic fields occurring in certain materials when cooled to a temperature of hundreds of degrees below zero. Warmed beyond those frigid conditions, the materials cross a critical temperature threshold and the superconductivity breaks down. But high-temperature superconductors (HTS)—warmer, but still subzero—may have untapped potential because their underlying mechanism remains a mystery. Unlocking that unknown HTS source and engineering new superconductor configurations could drive that critical temperature high enough to revolutionize energy technology.... Read more »

J. Wu,O. Pelleg, G. Logvenov, A.T. Bollinger, Y-J. Sun, G.S. Boebinger, M. Vanević, Z. Radović, I. Božović. (2013) Anomalous independence of interface superconductivity from carrier density. Nature Materials. DOI: 10.1038/nmat3719  

  • August 7, 2013
  • 07:35 AM

What Comes First: The Signal or the Response?

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Jewel wasps show us how new communication systems may have come to be. Photo by M.E. Clark at Wikimedia Commons.Finding and attracting a mate is tricky business for most species. It can be quite helpful then to have a species-specific signal that is sent and received by members of your own species, but not perceived as well by predators. Chemical signals (those we perceive through smell and taste) are among the most diverse and specific signals produced in the animal kingdom, so they make good candidates for these species-specific mating signals. Sex pheromones are chemical compounds released by an animal that attract animals of the same species but opposite sex. They are often so specific that other species can’t smell them at all, which makes them useful as a secret communication line for just that species. But this specificity raises an intriguing question: What develops first: the ability to make the pheromone or the ability to perceive it? This week I tell the story of how jewel wasps shed light on this chicken-or-the-egg problem at Accumulating Glitches. Check it out here. And to learn more, check these out: 1. Lassance, J., & Löfstedt, C. (2013). Chemical communication: A jewel sheds light on signal evolution Current Biology, 29 (3) DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.03.0552. Niehuis, O., Buellesbach, J., Gibson, J.D., Pothmann, D., Hanner, C., Mutti, N.S., Judson, A.K., Gadau, J., Ruther, J., & Schmitt, T. (2013). Behavioural and genetic analyses of Nasonia shed light on the evolution of sex pheromones Nature, 494, 345-348 DOI: 10.1038/nature11838 ... Read more »

Niehuis, O., Buellesbach, J., Gibson, J.D., Pothmann, D., Hanner, C., Mutti, N.S., Judson, A.K., Gadau, J., Ruther, J., & Schmitt, T. (2013) Behavioural and genetic analyses of Nasonia shed light on the evolution of sex pheromones. Nature, 345-348. DOI: 10.1038/nature11838  

  • August 6, 2013
  • 01:33 PM

Scientists at CU-Boulder Develop New Hydrogen Production Method

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed what they say is a radically new technique that uses the power of sunlight to efficiently split water into its components of hydrogen and oxygen, paving the way for the broad use of hydrogen as a clean, green fuel.... Read more »

Muhich CL, Evanko BW, Weston KC, Lichty P, Liang X, Martinek J, Musgrave CB, & Weimer AW. (2013) Efficient generation of H2 by splitting water with an isothermal redox cycle. Science (New York, N.Y.), 341(6145), 540-2. PMID: 23908235  

  • August 6, 2013
  • 09:24 AM

New Graphene Supercapacitor ‘Almost Ready for Commercial Development’

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Monash University researchers have brought next generation energy storage closer with an engineering first—a graphene-based device that is compact, yet lasts as long as a conventional battery.... Read more »

  • August 2, 2013
  • 10:53 AM

New ‘Electronic Ink’ Technology Can Make Solar Cell Prices Plummet

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Researchers in the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, have discovered a novel method for producing “electronic ink” using nonthermal plasma.... Read more »

  • August 2, 2013
  • 05:50 AM

Sensors for Rapid Detection of Proteins Developed

by Geetanjali Yadav in United Academics

Could you ever imagine that one day testing a protein in your tiny sample would be so easy, just like performing a pregnancy strip test at home. Yes, this is made possible by a group of chemists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). They have developed a new method for multiple protein analysis that is, in principle, capable of identifying hundreds or even thousands of different proteins.... Read more »

Rosman C, Prasad J, Neiser A, Henkel A, Edgar J, & Sönnichsen C. (2013) Multiplexed Plasmon Sensor for Rapid Label-Free Analyte Detection. Nano letters. PMID: 23789876  

  • July 30, 2013
  • 09:54 AM

Simple PV Cell Successfully Stores 5% of Solar Energy in Hydrogen

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Using a simple solar cell and a photo anode made of a metal oxide bismuth vanadate, scientists at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands have successfully stored nearly five percent of solar energy chemically in the form of hydrogen.... Read more »

  • July 30, 2013
  • 07:36 AM

Transformative antibody technology in cancer research

by Sally Church in Pharma Strategy Blog

Recently, I came across an exciting new development in a Nature publication and couldn’t resist teasing my Twitter followers with…

... Read more »

  • July 26, 2013
  • 07:17 PM

New Microbe Strain Makes Diesel Fuel from Greenhouse Gas

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A possible way to harvest and use atmospheric carbon dioxide to make high performance diesel fuel has been proposed by a team of scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI).... Read more »

Müller J, Maceachran D, Burd H, Sathitsuksanoh N, Bi C, Yeh YC, Lee TS, Hillson NJ, Chhabra SR, Singer SW.... (2013) Engineering of Ralstonia eutropha H16 for Autotrophic and Heterotrophic Production of Methyl Ketones. Applied and environmental microbiology, 79(14), 4433-9. PMID: 23686271  

  • July 25, 2013
  • 07:20 AM

Google celebrates Rosalind Franklin, British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer

by GrrlScientist in GrrlScientist

Today's Google Doodle honours pioneering British biophysicist and x-ray crystallographer, Rosalind Franklin... Read more »

Bernal John Desmond. (1958) Dr. Rosalind E. Franklin. Nature, 182(4629), 154-154. DOI: 10.1038/182154a0  

Glynn J. (2008) Rosalind Franklin: 50 years on. Notes and Records of the Royal Society, 62(2), 253-255. DOI: 10.1098/rsnr.2007.0052  

Finch J. T., & Klug A. (1959) Structure of Poliomyelitis Virus. Nature, 183(4677), 1709-1714. DOI: 10.1038/1831709a0  

Creager Angela N. H., & Morgan Gregory J. (2008) After the Double Helix. Isis, 99(2), 239-272. DOI: 10.1086/588626  

  • July 23, 2013
  • 01:15 PM

Record-Thin Light-Absorber Created at Stanford

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Researchers at Stanford have created a record-thin, record-efficient light-absorbing material. According to the results of the study published in the current online edition of the journal Nano Letters, this nanosize structure, thousands of times thinner than an ordinary sheet of paper, could significantly lower the costs and improve the efficiency of solar cells.... Read more »

  • July 22, 2013
  • 12:16 PM

Efficient Thermoelectric Cell for Waste Heat Recovery Developed

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

A team of researchers at the Monash University under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Center of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) has developed an ionic liquid-based thermoelectrochemical cell that converts heat (temperature differences) directly into electrical energy.... Read more »

  • July 17, 2013
  • 02:13 PM

Irish Researchers Develop Cheap Materials for Hydrogen Production

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Researchers at CRANN, Ireland’s first purpose-built research institute whose purpose is to perform nanoscience research, based at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), have developed a new method of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.... Read more »

  • July 17, 2013
  • 07:47 AM

Scientists solve a 14,000-year-old ocean mystery

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

At the end of the last Ice Age, as the world began to warm, a swath of the North Pacific Ocean came to life. During a brief pulse of biological productivity 14,000 years ago, this stretch of the sea teemed with phytoplankton, amoeba-like foraminifera and other tiny creatures, who thrived in large numbers until the productivity ended—as mysteriously as it began—just a few hundred years later.
(further reading on TK's page)... Read more »

WHOI Media Relations Office. (2013) Scientists solve a 14,000-year-old ocean mystery. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1873  

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