ScienceDaily: Matter & Energy News

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ScienceDaily: Matter & Energy News

Inexpensive, simple fabrication method poised to expand microlens applications Semi-liquid metal anode for next-generation batteries Discovery of field-induced pair density wave state in high temperature superconductors Hybrid nanostructure steps up light-harvesting efficiency One step closer to graphene-based topological insulator Algorithm tells robots where nearby humans are headed Construction kit for custom-designed products Bacteria such as E. coli detected in minutes by new tech A homing beacon for chemotherapy drugs An unnatural way to make natural products LED-ing the way: A clean and convenient method to oxidize plastic surfaces for industry An innovative electron microscope overturning common knowledge of 88 years history Learning from nature's bounty: New libraries for drug discovery Novel de-noising method generates sharper photorealistic images faster Behind the magic: Making moving photos a reality Light-powered nano-organisms consume carbon dioxide, create eco-friendly plastics and fuels The mantis shrimp's perfect shield Dashing the dream of ideal 'invisibility' cloaks for stress waves

Inexpensive, simple fabrication method poised to expand microlens applications

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 01:29 PM PDT

A growing number of applications, including smartphone cameras, depend on microlenses to boost performance. A newly developed technology, called laser catapulting, could make it much easier and less expensive to fabricate these miniaturized lenses with customized properties, such as shape or focusing power.

Semi-liquid metal anode for next-generation batteries

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:14 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a semiliquid lithium metal-based anode that represents a new paradigm in battery design. Lithium batteries made using this new electrode type could have a higher capacity and be much safer than typical lithium metal-based batteries that use lithium foil as anode.

Discovery of field-induced pair density wave state in high temperature superconductors

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:14 AM PDT

Superconductors are quantum materials that are perfect transmitters of electricity and electronic information. Presently, cuprates are the best candidate for highest temperature superconductivity at ambient pressure, operating at approximately -120 °C. Improving this involves understanding competing phases, one of which has now been identified.

Hybrid nanostructure steps up light-harvesting efficiency

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:13 AM PDT

Energy is transferred through the structure in a way that boosts its response to light, showing promise for solar cell applications.

One step closer to graphene-based topological insulator

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:13 AM PDT

In 2005, condensed matter physicists considered the fate of graphene at low temperatures. Their work led to the discovery of a new state of matter dubbed a 'topological insulator,' which would usher in a new era of materials science.

Algorithm tells robots where nearby humans are headed

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 11:13 AM PDT

A new tool for predicting a person's movement trajectory may help humans and robots work together in close proximity.

Construction kit for custom-designed products

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 08:01 AM PDT

Microorganisms often assemble natural products similar to product assembly lines. Certain enzymes, non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS), play a key role in this process. Biotechnologists have now succeeded in changing these enzymes so that entirely new natural products, or even libraries of natural products, can be produced by microorganisms.

Bacteria such as E. coli detected in minutes by new tech

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 08:01 AM PDT

Scientists have discovered that healthy bacteria cells and cells inhibited by antibiotics or UV light show completely different electric reactions. These findings could lead to the development of medical devices which can rapidly detect live bacterial cells, evaluate the effects of antibiotics on bacteria colonies, or reveal antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

A homing beacon for chemotherapy drugs

Posted: 12 Jun 2019 05:44 AM PDT

Killing tumor cells while sparing their normal counterparts is a central challenge of cancer chemotherapy. If scientists could put a 'homing beacon' in tumors, they could attract these medicines and reduce side effects caused by the drugs acting on healthy cells. Now, researchers have made a hydrogel that, when injected near tumors in mice, recruits drugs to shrink the tumor with fewer side effects. They report their results in ACS Central Science.

An unnatural way to make natural products

Posted: 11 Jun 2019 12:56 PM PDT

Researchers have developed an innovative new process for synthesizing isoprenoids, which are chemical compounds used in countless pharmaceutical and consumer products.

LED-ing the way: A clean and convenient method to oxidize plastic surfaces for industry

Posted: 11 Jun 2019 12:56 PM PDT

A research team has used chlorine dioxide to oxidize polypropylene. Under LED irradiation, ClO2* radicals attacked the methyl groups of polypropylene, converting them to carboxylic acid. The C-H bond-breaking was selective to the side chain. The oxidized surface could be stained with cationic dyes. Surface oxidation of plastics is industrially important, but existing methods are polluting or poorly controlled. This clean, convenient process could produce functionalized plastics for medical or printing uses.

An innovative electron microscope overturning common knowledge of 88 years history

Posted: 11 Jun 2019 12:56 PM PDT

In conventional electron microscopes, performing atomic-resolution observations of magnetic materials is particularly difficult because high magnetic fields are inevitably exerted on samples inside the magnetic objective lens. Newly developed magnetic objective-lens system provides a magnetic-field-free environment at the sample position. This enables direct, atom-resolved imaging of magnetic materials such as silicon steels. This novel electron microscope is expected to be extensively used for the research and development of advanced magnetic materials.

Learning from nature's bounty: New libraries for drug discovery

Posted: 11 Jun 2019 12:56 PM PDT

Natural products make some of our most potent medicines, among which macrocycles with their large carbon-rich ring systems are one class. Their size and complexity has made it difficult to emulate on Nature's success in the laboratory. By completing a complex molecular synthesis of these compounds attached to a unique identifying DNA strand, Chemists have built a rich collection of natural product-like macrocycles that can be mined for new medicines.

Novel de-noising method generates sharper photorealistic images faster

Posted: 11 Jun 2019 12:55 PM PDT

A global team of computer scientists has developed an innovative method for producing higher-quality images and scene designs in much less time by using a deep-learning-based approach that considerably cuts the noise in images.

Behind the magic: Making moving photos a reality

Posted: 11 Jun 2019 12:16 PM PDT

Researchers have figured out how to take a person from a 2D photo or a work of art and make them run, walk or jump out of the frame. The system also allows users to view the animation in three dimensions using augmented reality tools.

Light-powered nano-organisms consume carbon dioxide, create eco-friendly plastics and fuels

Posted: 11 Jun 2019 05:19 AM PDT

Researchers have developed nanobio-hybrid organisms capable of using airborne carbon dioxide and nitrogen to produce a variety of plastics and fuels, a promising first step toward low-cost carbon sequestration and eco-friendly manufacturing for chemicals.

The mantis shrimp's perfect shield

Posted: 10 Jun 2019 11:20 AM PDT

The shield-like tail segment, or telson, of the smasher mantis shrimp is a multiscale structure with ridges on the outside and a structure shaped like a spiral staircase on the inside. It's inspiring a new class of lightweight, impact-resistant materials for helmets, cars, and more

Dashing the dream of ideal 'invisibility' cloaks for stress waves

Posted: 07 Jun 2019 04:37 PM PDT

Some have dreamt of the perfect cloak to make buildings impervious to stress waves caused by bombs, earthquakes or other calamities. Sorry, researchers are now dashing the dream. But there's still hope. They also say it's possible to make imperfect, real-world cloaks that will actually do some good by adding significant partial protection against some common earthquake waves.

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