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ScienceDaily: Top Technology News


New catalyst upgrades greenhouse gas into renewable hydrocarbons
Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat
Self-assembling 3D battery would charge in seconds
Robots grow mini-organs from human stem cells
Emergency contact info helps researchers branch out family tree
Can we get 100 percent of our energy from renewable sources?
Materials scientists develop new forming technology: Processing glass like a polymer
Photosynthesis involves a protein 'piston'
Breakthrough in understanding rare lightning-triggered gamma-rays
Faster test for cannabis quality
Detecting the shape of laser pulses
The ultrafast dance of liquid water
Functional films made of environmentally friendly clay minerals and dyes
New method eliminates guesswork when lenses go freeform
European wind energy generation potential in a 1.5 degree C warmer world
Vast ionized hydrogen cloud in the Whirlpool Galaxy revealed by ultra-sensitive telescope
Cellular valve structure opens up potential novel therapies


New catalyst upgrades greenhouse gas into renewable hydrocarbons



Posted: 17 May 2018 11:36 AM PDT


Engineers have designed a most efficient and stable process for converting climate-warming carbon dioxide into a key chemical building block for plastics -- all powered using renewable electricity.


Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat



Posted: 17 May 2018 11:25 AM PDT


Researchers made the first observations of waves of atomic rearrangements, known as phasons, propagating supersonically through a vibrating crystal lattice -- a discovery that may dramatically improve heat transport in insulators and enable new strategies for heat management in future electronics devices.


Self-assembling 3D battery would charge in seconds



Posted: 17 May 2018 11:25 AM PDT


The world is a big place, but it's gotten smaller with the advent of technologies that put people from across the globe in the palm of one's hand. And as the world has shrunk, it has also demanded that things happen ever faster -- including the time it takes to charge an electronic device.


Robots grow mini-organs from human stem cells



Posted: 17 May 2018 09:33 AM PDT


A robotic system has been developed to automate the production of human mini-organs derived from stem cells. The ability to rapidly, mass produce organoids promises to expand the use of mini-organs in basic research and drug discovery. The system was tested in producing kidney organoids, including models of polycystic kidney disease. The robots were also programmed to analyze the organoids they produced.


Emergency contact info helps researchers branch out family tree



Posted: 17 May 2018 08:39 AM PDT


A collaborative team of researchers from three major academic medical centers in New York City is showing that emergency contact information, which is included in individuals' electronic health records (EHRs), can be used to generate family trees. Those family trees in turn can be used to study heritability in hundreds of medical conditions.


Can we get 100 percent of our energy from renewable sources?



Posted: 17 May 2018 08:38 AM PDT


Some researchers doubted the feasibility of many of the recent scenarios for high shares of renewable energy. Now scientists have hit back with their response to the points raised. They demonstrate that there are no roadblocks on the way to a 100 percent renewable future.


Materials scientists develop new forming technology: Processing glass like a polymer



Posted: 17 May 2018 07:23 AM PDT


Pure quartz glass is highly transparent and resistant to thermal, physical, and chemical impacts. These are optimum prerequisites for use in optics, data technology or medical engineering. For efficient, high-quality machining, however, adequate processes are lacking. Scientists have developed a forming technology to structure quartz glass like a polymer.


Photosynthesis involves a protein 'piston'



Posted: 17 May 2018 07:23 AM PDT


The photosystem I (PSI)-ferrodoxin (Fd) complex is important in electron transfer during photosynthesis, through which plants convert sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water into complex chemicals and oxygen. Scientists have recently crystallized the PSI-Fd complex for the first time. They found that the PSI-Fd complex contained Fd with weak and strong binding states and that Fd binding caused the PSI subunits to reorganize into a structure that facilitated rapid electron transfer.


Breakthrough in understanding rare lightning-triggered gamma-rays



Posted: 17 May 2018 07:22 AM PDT


The Telescope Array detected 10 bursts of downward terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) between 2014 and 2016, more events than have been observed in rest of the world combined. They are the first to detect downward TGFs at the beginning of cloud-to-ground lightning, and to show where they originated inside thunderstorms. The array is by far the only facility capable of documenting the full TGF 'footprint' on the ground.


Faster test for cannabis quality



Posted: 17 May 2018 07:22 AM PDT


Researchers have developed a new method of measuring phytocannabinoids -- the primary bioactive molecules in cannabis -- that will lead to faster, safer and more accurate information for producers, regulators and consumers alike.


Detecting the shape of laser pulses



Posted: 17 May 2018 07:22 AM PDT


Researchers have developed a method to measure the shape of laser pulses in ambient air. Unlike conventional strategies, it is does not require a vacuum environment and can be applied to laser beams of different wavelengths (UV, visible or longer). This patented technique, currently available for technology transfer and commercialization and it is expected to accelerate studies on light-matter interaction.


The ultrafast dance of liquid water



Posted: 17 May 2018 07:22 AM PDT


Typically we consider that water molecules in the liquid state move randomly on ultrafast timescales due to thermal fluctuations. Now, scientists have discovered correlated motion in water dynamics on a sub-100 femtoseconds timescale. This appears as 'caging effects' due to buildup of tetrahedral structures upon supercooling. The results are based on a combination of experimental studies using x-ray lasers and theoretical simulations.


Functional films made of environmentally friendly clay minerals and dyes



Posted: 17 May 2018 05:18 AM PDT


Researchers have created a transparent hybrid film that combines natural clay minerals and dyes into a material that changes color in response to environmental humidity. The color change does not involve breaking chemical bonds; the team uncovered a novel mechanism that makes the process easily reversible, for long-lasting functionality using environmentally friendly materials. Applications include environmental sensors, and state-of-the-art light amplification in displays.


New method eliminates guesswork when lenses go freeform



Posted: 17 May 2018 05:18 AM PDT


Researchers have combined theory and practice in a step-by-step method that eliminates much of the guesswork of using freeform lenses.


European wind energy generation potential in a 1.5 degree C warmer world



Posted: 16 May 2018 07:14 PM PDT


The UK and large parts of northern Europe could become windier if global temperatures reach 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, according to a new study.


Vast ionized hydrogen cloud in the Whirlpool Galaxy revealed by ultra-sensitive telescope



Posted: 16 May 2018 11:46 AM PDT


No one has ever seen what astronomers first observed using a refurbished 75-year-old telescope in the Arizona mountains. What it was turned out to be a massive cloud of ionized hydrogen gas spewed from a nearby galaxy and then essentially 'cooked' by radiation from the galaxy's central black hole.


Cellular valve structure opens up potential novel therapies



Posted: 16 May 2018 10:12 AM PDT


Biochemists have determined the detailed structure of a volume-regulated chloride channel. This cellular valve is activated in response to swelling to prevent the cell from bursting. The protein also plays an important role in the uptake of chemotherapeutics and the release of neurotransmitters after a stroke. The controlled regulation of its activity thus opens up a promising strategy for novel therapies.
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