Public Release: 25-Sep-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences UC San Diego researchers explain the mechanism of asexual reproduction in flatworms
Scientists have nailed the biomechanics of a centuries-long puzzle on how freshwater flatworms known as planarians reproduce. The asexual freshwater worms, notoriously difficult to study, tear themselves into two pieces that go on to form two new worms. Researchers are now able to predict where planarian fission occurs based on its anatomy as well as explain how the process happens using a relatively simple mechanical model.
Bourrough Wellcome Fund, National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, Center for Momentum Transport and Flow Organization, Hellman URS Fellowship
Public Release: 21-Sep-2017
Astrobiology Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium
A new paper in the journal Astrobiology suggests NASA and others hunting for proof of Martian biology in the form of 'microfossils' could use the element vanadium in combination with Raman spectroscopy to confirm traces of extraterrestrial life.
ARC International Research Grant, Australian Synchrotron, US Department of Energy, DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
Public Release: 18-Sep-2017
Science DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots'
Biochemical engineers at the Johns Hopkins University have used sequences of DNA molecules to induce shape-changing in water-based gels, demonstrating a new tactic to produce 'soft' robots and "smart" medical devices that do not rely on cumbersome wires, batteries or tethers.
US Army Research Office, US Department of Energy
Public Release: 18-Sep-2017
Agewandte Chemie VCU physicists discover a tri-anion particle with colossal stability
A team in the lab of Puru Jena, Ph.D., a distinguished professor in the Department of Physics in the College of Humanities and Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University, has created the most stable tri-anion particle currently known to science. A tri-anion particle is a combination of atoms that contains three more electrons than protons. This discovery is novel because previously known tri-anion particles were unstable due to their numerical imbalance.
National Natural Science Foundation of China, National Key Research and Development Program of China, US Department of Energy
Public Release: 13-Sep-2017
International Conference on Silicon Carbide and Related Materials New manufacturing process for SiC power devices opens market to more competition
Researchers are rolling out a new manufacturing process and chip design for silicon carbide (SiC) power devices, which can be used to more efficiently regulate power in technologies that use electronics. The process -- called PRESiCE -- was developed to make it easier for companies to enter the SiC marketplace and develop new products.
PowerAmerica, US Department of Energy
Public Release: 13-Sep-2017
Nano Letters Test strips for cancer detection get upgraded with nanoparticle bling
Detecting cancer could be as easy as a home pregnancy test. Current test strip designs are not sensitive enough, but a new design with platinum-coated gold nanoparticles could make cheap and simple test strip detection a reality.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy
Public Release: 7-Sep-2017
Physical Review C The doubly magic nucleus of lead-208 -- it spins, though it shouldn't!
We imagine atomic nuclei to be more or less spherical, chaotic clusters of protons and neutrons. Experiments at the Argonne National Laboratory, inspired by physicists from the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the PAS, are verifying these ideas. Using an astronomical analogy we can say that the majority of nuclei are similar in outline to rocky moons or asteroids of different shapes, but nuclei of lead-208 can resemble planet surrounded by a dense atmosphere.
Polish National Science Center, US Department of Energy -- Office of Science, Office of Nuclear Physics, National Science Foundation, Science and Technology Facilities Council
Public Release: 6-Sep-2017
Genes & Development Molecular map shows how to disable dangerous bioweapon
Duke scientists recently mapped out the complex molecular circuitry that enables Francisella tularensis, the bacterium that causes tularemia, to become virulent. Tularemia is one of the top six bioterrorism agents, alongside anthrax, botulism, plague, smallpox and viral hemorrhagic fever. The new map, published in the journal Genes & Development, reveals a unique characteristic of the bacterium that could become the target of future drug development.
National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, US Department of Energy
Public Release: 5-Sep-2017
Journal of Chemical Physics Rice U. solubility study could impact energy, biology, environment
Rice University chemical engineers have used the most realistic computer model yet devised to simulate the precise atomic and molecular interactions that come into play when water mixes with alkanes, a family of hydrocarbons that includes methane, propane and other refined products.
Robert A. Welch Foundation, Rice University Consortium for Processes in Porous Media, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., US Department of Energy
Public Release: 31-Aug-2017
Science Arizona State University team shines new light on photosynthesis
A team of scientists from ASU's School of Molecular Sciences and Pennsylvania State University has taken us a step closer to unlocking the secrets of photosynthesis, and possibly to cleaner fuels.
Their discovery was recently published online in Science and describes the structure of a reaction center (from a heliobacterium) which preserves the characteristics of the ancestral one, and so provides new insight into the evolution of photosynthesis.
Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences, DOE/Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the U.S. Department of Energy through Grant (DE-SC0010575 to KR, RF, and JHG)
Public Release: 30-Aug-2017
IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica The power of society: Scientists propose new area of study in energy generation
The growth of humanity is limited by our tools. Each era of human development, from caves to the Industrial Revolution to sending Curiosity to Mars, is marked by technological evolution. A collaborative team of scientists believe the next spurt of advancement is upon us, and it will be defined by energy production and consumption and the inherent human involvement. Their proposed methodology of establishing and investigating 'social energy' is published in IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica.
University of Denver, DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory, University of Wyoming, Qingdao Academy of Intelligent Industries, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, National University of Defense Technology -- China
Public Release: 28-Aug-2017
Science Bulletin Perovskite solar cells go single crystal
A recent work developed an innovative approach to self-grow single crystalline CH3NH3PbI3 directly on polycrystalline FTO/TiO2 substrate, with which n-i-p type of perovskite solar cells were fabricated. Highly efficient charge extractions occur at the interface between electron collecting TiO2 and photo-harvesting CH3NH3PbI3. The champion cell possesses a photovoltaic conversion efficiency of 8.78 percent, and there is still substantial room for further improvement, making it promising for the perovskite solar cell applications.
National Key Research and Development Program of China, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Hebei and Guandgong Provinces, Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Committee, US Department of Energy
Public Release: 22-Aug-2017
Nature Communications Methane hydrate is not a smoking gun in the Arctic Ocean
Methane hydrate under the ocean floor was assumed to be very sensitive to increasing ocean temperatures. But a new study in Nature Communications shows that short term warming of the Arctic ocean barely affects it.
Research Council of Norway, NORCRUST, US Department of Energy
Contact: Wei Li Hong email@example.com
CAGE - Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Climate and Environment
Public Release: 17-Aug-2017
Nature Communications Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
What makes quasicrystals so interesting? Their unusual structure. A Cornell lab has joined scientists pursuing this relatively new area of study.
DOE/Office of Science, National Science Foundation, Cornell Center for Materials Research, Weill Institute, Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science
Public Release: 17-Aug-2017
Science Slippery liquid surfaces confuse mussels
Mussels are one of the worst perpetrators of biofouling, or the unwanted accumulation of organisms on underwater structures. A team of scientists from the Wyss Institute and NTU, Singapore has demonstrated that a lubricant-infused surface effectively prevents mussels from sticking by masking the solid surface with a layer of liquid.
Singapore Maritime Institute, US Department of Energy, Office of Naval Research, US Department of Defense, Cluster of Excellence Engineering of Advanced Materials at Erlangen University, and others
Public Release: 15-Aug-2017 Drilling to begin in Great Basin geothermal exploration research project
The University of Nevada, Reno received funding to begin drilling geothermal test wells this fall in the final phase of a multi-year research project to refine exploration strategies and reduce the risks in developing new geothermal systems capable of producing commercial electricity in Nevada's Great Basin.
US Department of Energy, Geothermal Energy Office
Public Release: 15-Aug-2017
Nature Communications 'Organismic learning' mimics some aspects of human thought
A new computing technology called 'organismoids' mimics some aspects of human thought by learning how to forget unimportant memories while retaining more vital ones.
Army Research Office, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Center for Spintronic Materials, Interfaces and Novel Architecture, MARCO, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Office of Naval Research, US Department of Energy
Public Release: 14-Aug-2017
Nature Methods Now showing: Researchers create first 3-D movie of virus in action
Imaging the movement of a virus demonstrates that single-particle X- ray scattering has the potential to shed new light on key molecular processes when paired with powerful new algorithms.
US Department of Energy, National Science Foundation
Public Release: 14-Aug-2017
Nature Chemistry Researchers discover new class of chemical reaction
A new study led by Columbia Engineering professor Michael P. Burke has identified the significance of a new class of chemical reactions -- previously ignored -- involving three molecules that each participate in the breaking and forming of chemical bonds. The reaction of three different molecules is enabled by an 'ephemeral collision complex,' formed from the collision of two molecules, which lives long enough to collide with a third molecule.
DOE/Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Columbia University
Public Release: 11-Aug-2017
Science Advances New ultrathin semiconductor materials exceed some of silicon's 'secret' powers
Chip makers appreciate what most consumers never knew: silicon's virtues include the fact that it 'rusts' in a way that insulates its tiny circuitry. Two new ultrathin materials share that trait and outdo silicon in other ways that make them promising materials for electronics of the future.
Air Force Office of Scientific Research, National Science Foundation, Stanford Initiative for Novel Materials and Processes, DOE/Office of Basic Energy Sciences
Public Release: 9-Aug-2017
Science Advances New analysis casts doubt on predicted decrease in Oklahoma earthquakes
The disposal of wastewater from oil and gas production by injecting it deep into the ground has been linked to a dramatic increase in earthquake activity in Oklahoma since 2009. Injection rates have declined recently because of regulatory actions and market forces, but seismologists say that has not yet significantly reduced the risk of potentially damaging earthquakes.
US Department of Energy
Public Release: 8-Aug-2017
Computational Materials Machine learning could be key to producing stronger, less corrosive metals
Researchers have studied grain boundaries for decades and gained some insight into the types of properties grain boundaries produce, but no one has been able to nail down a universal system to predict if a certain configuration of atoms at grain boundaries will make a material stronger or more pliable. An interdisciplinary team of BYU researchers have cracked the code by juicing a computer with an algorithm that allows it to learn the elusive 'why' behind the boundaries' qualities.
Office of Naval Research, DOE/Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences
Public Release: 8-Aug-2017
Nature Communications Researchers discover potentially harmful nanoparticles produced through burning coal
Environmental scientists led by the Virginia Tech College of Science have discovered that the burning of coal produces incredibly small airborne particles of a highly unusual form of titanium oxide with the potential to be toxic to humans.
Virginia Tech's Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy
The Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.