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‘Fracking’ in the dark: Biological fallout of shale-gas production still largely unknown

Eight conservation biologists from various organizations and institutions, including Princeton University, found that shale-gas extraction in the United States has vastly outpaced scientists’ understanding of the industry’s environmental impact. With shale-gas production projected to surge during the next 30 years, determining and minimizing the industry’s effects on nature and wildlife must become a top priority … Continue reading

Carnegie Mellon Chemists Create Nanofibers Using Unprecedented New Method

via Carnegie Mellon University The work offers a promising new way to fabricate materials for drug delivery and tissue engineering applications. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a novel method for creating self-assembled protein/polymer nanostructures that are reminiscent of fibers found in living cells. The work offers a promising new way to fabricate materials … Continue reading

“Wetting” a battery’s appetite for renewable energy storage

The traditional design of sodium-beta batteries, which uses pure molten sodium for a negative electrode, can be inefficient, as the sodium tends to ball up on the surface of the battery’s ceramic electrolyte, as shown on the left. PNNL researchers developed a new negative electrode made of a sodium-cesium alloy that almost completely coats, or … Continue reading

Researchers develop treated surfaces that can actively control how fluids or particles move.

Photo shows a water droplet sitting on a ferrofluid-impregnated surface, which has cloaked the droplet with a very thin layer. Image courtesy of the researchers – Click to see VIDEO Researchers develop treated surfaces that can actively control how fluids or particles move. Researchers at MIT and in Saudi Arabia have developed a new way … Continue reading

Key to Aging Immune System Is Discovered

Molecular tags of DNA damage are highlighted in green in blood-forming stem cells. – via UCSF There’s a good reason people over 60 are not donor candidates for bone marrow transplantation. The immune system ages and weakens with time, making the elderly prone to life-threatening infection and other maladies, and a UC San Francisco research … Continue reading

New catalyst converts carbon dioxide to fuel

Amin Salehi-Khojin, assistant professor of mechanical/industrial engineering.Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services “Our whole purpose is to move from laboratory experiments to real-world applications,” he said. “This is a real breakthrough that can take a waste gas — carbon dioxide — and use inexpensive catalysts to produce another source of energy at large-scale, while making a … Continue reading

Spray-on cells can turn ANYTHING into a solar panel

Scientists from Sheffield have developed low-cost, spray-on solar cells that can be applied to small surfaces (pictured) in a similar way to paint. The cells are made of a material called perovskite, which is cheap to produce and, when used as a spray, produces very little wastevia Daily Mail Online ‘Perovskite cells now have efficiencies … Continue reading

New gadget helps the vision impaired to read graphs

Dr Iain Murray and PhD student Azadeh Nazemi with the digital reading system they developed at Curtin University People who are blind can now read more than just words, such as graphs and graphics, following the development of an affordable digital reading system by Curtin University researchers. Opening up new career paths and educational opportunities … Continue reading

Start-Ups Work on Biotech Drugs for Pets

medicine (Photo credit: taiyofj) Judging by some of the heavy action in the world of biotechnology, one could easily conclude that the industry is going to the dogs. Or cats, maybe. There are start-ups named Nexvet and VetDC, CanFel Therapeutics (as in canine and feline), and even Fetch Pharma. It’s a new example of pack … Continue reading

World’s first man-made photosynthetic ‘leaf’ could produce oxygen for astronauts

via Mother Nature Network Breakthrough technology could make long-distance space travel feasible, clean our air here on Earth, and even combat global warming. To say that an invention has the potential to change the world is often an overstatement, but here’s a case where the phrase seems to fit: Royal College of Art graduate Julian … Continue reading