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Combination of wood fibers and spider silk could rival plastic

Spider web (stock image). Credit: © otaraev74 / Adobe Stock Achieving strength and extensibility at the same time has so far been a great challenge in material engineering: increasing strength has meant losing extensibility and vice versa. Now Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland researchers have succeeded in overcoming this challenge, inspired…

New route to carbon-neutral fuels from carbon dioxide

Cerium oxide (stock image). Credit: © monamakela.com / Adobe Stock If the idea of flying on battery-powered commercial jets makes you nervous, you can relax a little. Researchers have discovered a practical starting point for converting carbon dioxide into sustainable liquid fuels, including fuels for heavier modes of transportation that may prove very difficult to…

The rare molecule weighing in on the birth of planets

Protoplanetary disk illustration (stock image). Credit: © Peter Jurik / Adobe Stock Astronomers using one of the most advanced radio telescopes have discovered a rare molecule in the dust and gas disc around a young star -- and it may provide an answer to one of the conundrums facing astronomers. The star, named HD 163296,…

FDA phase 1 trial shows hydrogel to repair heart is safe...

Heart attack (stock image). Credit: © peterschreiber.media / Adobe Stock Ventrix, a University of California San Diego spin-off company, has successfully conducted a first-in-human, FDA-approved Phase 1 clinical trial of an injectable hydrogel that aims to repair damage and restore cardiac function in heart failure patients who previously suffered a heart attack. The trial is…

Solving the longstanding mystery of how friction leads to static electricity

Static hair (stock image). Credit: © Voyagerix / Adobe Stock Most people have experienced the hair-raising effect of rubbing a balloon on their head or the subtle spark caused by dragging socked feet across the carpet. Although these experiences are common, a detailed understanding of how they occur has eluded scientists for more than 2,500…

Hard as a diamond? Scientists predict new forms of superhard carbon

Natural diamond (stock image). Credit: © Björn Wylezich / Adobe Stock Superhard materials can slice, drill and polish other objects. They also hold potential for creating scratch-resistant coatings that could help keep expensive equipment safe from damage. Now, science is opening the door to the development of new materials with these seductive qualities. Researchers have…

How to simulate softness

Fingers touching marshmallows (stock image). Credit: © leungchopan / Adobe Stock What factors affect how human touch perceives softness, like the feel of pressing your fingertip against a marshmallow, a piece of clay or a rubber ball? By exploring this question in detail, a team of engineers and psychologists at the University of California San…

Reactor turns greenhouse gas into pure liquid fuel

Models of carbon dioxide molecules (stock image). Credit: © Ted Reinhard / Adobe Stock A common greenhouse gas could be repurposed in an efficient and environmentally friendly way with an electrolyzer that uses renewable electricity to produce pure liquid fuels. The catalytic reactor developed by the Rice University lab of chemical and biomolecular engineer Haotian…

Physicists mash quantum and gravity and find time, but not as...

Quantum time abstract concept (stock illustration). Credit: © Stillfx / Adobe Stock A University of Queensland-led international team of researchers say they have discovered "a new kind of quantum time order." UQ physicist Dr Magdalena Zych said the discovery arose from an experiment the team designed to bring together elements of the two big --…

Light-matter interaction without interference

Abstract waves (stock image). Credit: © sanee / Adobe Stock An efficient light-matter interface might constitute the foundation of quantum communication. However, certain structures that are formed during the growth process interfere with the signal. Certain semiconductor structures, so-called quantum dots, might constitute the foundation of quantum communication. They are an efficient interface between matter…

Characterizing the ‘arrow of time’ in open quantum systems

Time concept (stock image). Credit: © Cybrain / Adobe Stock Even in the strange world of open quantum systems, the arrow of time points steadily forward -- most of the time. New experiments conducted at Washington University in St. Louis compare the forward and reverse trajectories of superconducting circuits called qubits, and find that they…

Physicists’ finding could revolutionize information transmission

Information transmission concept (stock image). Credit: © blackboard / Adobe Stock Move aside, electrons; it's time to make way for the trion. A research team led by physicists at the University of California, Riverside, has observed, characterized, and controlled dark trions in a semiconductor -- ultraclean single-layer tungsten diselenide (WSe2) -- a feat that could…

Supercomputer shows ‘Chameleon Theory’ could change how we think about gravity

Andromeda Galaxy (stock image). Credit: © passmil198216 / Adobe Stock Supercomputer simulations of galaxies have shown that Einstein's theory of General Relativity might not be the only way to explain how gravity works or how galaxies form. Physicists at Durham University, UK, simulated the cosmos using an alternative model for gravity -- f(R)-gravity, a so…

Neural nets to simulate molecular motion cast

Brain neural network concept (stock image). Credit: © koya979 / Adobe Stock New work from Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Florida is showing that artificial neural nets can be trained to encode quantum mechanical laws to describe the motions of molecules, supercharging simulations potentially…

Tiny granules can help bring clean and abundant fusion power to...

Beryllium symbol (stock image). Credit: © vchalup / Adobe Stock Beryllium, a hard, silvery metal long used in X-ray machines and spacecraft, is finding a new role in the quest to bring the power that drives the sun and stars to Earth. Beryllium is one of the two main materials used for the wall in…

Ultra-small nanoprobes could be a leap forward in human-machine interfaces

Brain circuits concept (stock image). Credit: © santiago silver / Adobe Stock Machine enhanced humans -- or cyborgs as they are known in science fiction -- could be one step closer to becoming a reality, thanks to new research from the University of Surrey and Harvard University. Researchers have conquered the monumental task of manufacturing…

Physicists use light waves to accelerate supercurrents, enable ultrafast quantum computing

Quantum computing concept (stock image). Credit: © metamorworks / Adobe Stock Jigang Wang patiently explained his latest discovery in quantum control that could lead to superfast computing based on quantum mechanics: He mentioned light-induced superconductivity without energy gap. He brought up forbidden supercurrent quantum beats. And he mentioned terahertz-speed symmetry breaking. Then he backed up…

Pig-Pen effect: Mixing skin oil and ozone can produce a personal...

Bad body odor concept (stock image). Credit: © Ezume Images / Adobe Stock When ozone and skin oils meet, the resulting reaction may help remove ozone from an indoor environment, but it can also produce a personal cloud of pollutants that affects indoor air quality, according to a team of researchers. In a computer model…

How you charge your mobile phone could compromise its battery lifespan

Smartphone with low battery (stock image). Credit: © adiruch na chiangmai / Adobe Stock Researchers at WMG at the University of Warwick have found that use of inductive charging, whilst highly convenient, risks depleting the life of mobile phones using typical LIBs (Lithium-ion batteries) Consumers and manufacturers have ramped up their interest in this convenient…

Bubble of an idea leads to new research on freezing

Frozen soap bubble (stock image). Credit: © kichigin19 / Adobe Stock Scientific inquiry often begins with the "why." Without expecting to do more than answer a question posed by a YouTube video, Virginia Tech researchers may have changed how people think about the process of freezing. Lead Virginia Tech researcher Jonathan Boreyko, an assistant professor…

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