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The latest news from academia, regulators
research labs and other things of interest

New mathematics advances the frontier of macromolecular imaging

To see proteins in their native environment, scientists can blast powerful X-rays at tiny volumes of proteins in solution. Resulting 'diffraction patterns' can then be interpreted to reconstruct information about the protein's molecular structure. An emerging technique called fluctuation X-ray scattering could provide more detail than traditional solution scattering.

Posted: Aug 10th, 2015

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New hydrogel stretches and contracts like a heat-driven muscle

Scientists have developed a new hydrogel that works like an artificial muscle - quickly stretching and contracting in response to changing temperature. They have also managed to use the polymer to build an L-shaped object that slowly walks forward as the temperature is repeatedly raised and lowered.

Posted: Aug 10th, 2015

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Camera for the nano-cosmos

Scientists have succeeded in combining two established measurement techniques for the first time: near-field optical microscopy and ultra-fast spectroscopy. Computer-assisted technology developed especially for this purpose combines the advantages of both methods and suppresses unwanted noise. This makes highly precise filming of dynamic processes at the nanometer scale possible.

Posted: Aug 10th, 2015

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A new strategy towards ultra-soft yet dry rubber

A team of polymer physicists and chemists has developed a way to create an ultra-soft dry silicone rubber. This new rubber features tunable softness to match a variety of biological tissues, opening new opportunities in biomedical research and engineering.

Posted: Aug 10th, 2015

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Narrowing the gap between synthetic and natural graphene

Researchers have developed a novel variant on the chemical vapour deposition process which yields high quality material in a scalable manner. This advance should significantly narrow the performance gap between synthetic and natural graphene.

Posted: Aug 8th, 2015

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Copper clusters capture and convert carbon dioxide to make fuel

The chemical reactions that make methanol from carbon dioxide rely on a catalyst to speed up the conversion, and scientists identified a new material that could fill this role. With its unique structure, this catalyst can capture and convert carbon dioxide in a way that ultimately saves energy.

Posted: Aug 7th, 2015

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