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+ - Researchers Report Largest DNA Origami To Date->

Submitted by MTorrice
MTorrice (2611475) writes "Bioengineers can harness DNA’s remarkable ability to self-assemble to build two- and three-dimensional nanostructures through DNA origami. Until now, researchers using this approach have been limited to building structures that are tens of square nanometers in size. Now a team reports the largest individual DNA origami structures to date, which reach sizes of hundreds of square nanometers. What’s more, they have developed a less expensive way to synthesize the DNA strands needed, overcoming a tremendous obstacle to scaling up the technology."
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+ - Computer's Heat Sink Used To Slash Cost Of Medical Diagnostic Test->

Submitted by MTorrice
MTorrice (2611475) writes "Researchers have harnessed that heat from a computer CPU to run the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify DNA in a blood sample. The team developed software that cycles the temperature of the CPU to drive PCR’s three distinct steps.The method allowed them to detect miniscule amounts of DNA from a pathogenic parasite that causes Chagas disease. They hope their technique will lead to low-cost diagnostic tests in developing countries."
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+ - Leaves Inspire Potentialy Efficient Material For Solar Cells->

Submitted by MTorrice
MTorrice (2611475) writes "A new material that mimics the structure of a leaf helps light-sensitive dyes convert low-energy light into high-energy photons, a process known as upconversion. The leaflike nanopaper protects such dyes from oxygen damage, potentially helping solar cells achieve high efficiencies, the researchers say.

Upconversion allows solar cells to harness a greater range of wavelengths in the solar spectrum. Unfortunately, oxygen interferes in this process. So researchers have been looking for ways to keep air away from these dyes."

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+ - Researchers Print Electronic Memory On Paper->

Submitted by MTorrice
MTorrice (2611475) writes "Electronics printed on paper promise to be cheap, flexible, and recyclable, and could lead to applications such as smart labels on foods and pharmaceuticals or as wearable medical sensors. Many engineers have managed to print transistors and solar cells on paper, but one key component of a smart device has been missing—memory. Now a group of researchers has developed a method that uses ink-jet technology to print resistive random access memory on an ordinary piece of 8.5 by 11 inches paper. The memory is robust: Engineers could bend the device 1,000 times without any loss of performance."
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+ - Tackling Athletes' Brain Trauma Before It Kills->

Submitted by carmendrahl
carmendrahl (2593679) writes "In 2007, pro wrestler Chris (The Canadian Crippler) Benoit killed his son, his wife, and himself. Benoit's autopsy showed he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive, brain-damaging disorder. He's far from the only athlete to be affected. The signatures of the disease have shown up in autopsies of ice hockey players, boxers, and NFL retirees. Researchers want to detect brain trauma while athletes are still alive. They're zeroing in on features like aggregates of the protein tau. Among the diagnostic hopefuls are positron emission tomography (PET) imaging; diffusion tensor imaging, which is a type of MRI; and cerebrospinal fluid sampling."
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+ - Reproducing a Monet Painting with Aluminum Nanostructures->

Submitted by MTorrice
MTorrice (2611475) writes "Plasmonic printing is a recently developed method to create color images using different shapes and sizes of gold or silver nanostructures. It relies on the oscillations of electrons in the metal surfaces and can produce images with a resolution 100 times that of a common desktop printer. Now researchers have expanded the color palette of the technique using tiny aluminum-capped nanopillars. Each pixel consists of four nanopillars; tuning the diameters and arrangement of the pillars produced a palette of more than 300 different colors. Using these pixels, the researchers created a microscale reproduction of Claude Monet’s “Impression, Sunrise.”"
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+ - Long-Lasting Enzyme Chews Up Cocaine->

Submitted by MTorrice
MTorrice (2611475) writes "Despite cocaine’s undeniable destructiveness, there are no antidotes for overdoses or medications to fight addiction that directly neutralize cocaine’s powerful effects. A natural bacterial enzyme, cocaine esterase, could help by chopping up cocaine in the bloodstream. But the enzyme is unstable in the body, losing activity too quickly to be a viable treatment. Now, using computational design, researchers tweaked the enzyme to simultaneously increase stability and catalytic efficiency. Mice injected with the engineered enzyme survive daily lethal doses of cocaine for an average of 94 hours."
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+ - Botched Executions Put Lethal Injections Under New Scrutiny->

Submitted by carmendrahl
carmendrahl (2593679) writes "Lethal injections are typically regarded as far more humane methods for execution compared to predecessors such as hanging and firing squads.

But the truth about the procedure's humane-ness is unclear. Major medical associations have declared involvement of their member physicians in executions to be unethical, so that means that relatively inexperienced people administer the injections. Mounting supply challenges for the lethal drug cocktails involved are forcing execution teams to change procedures on the fly. This and other problems have contributed to recent crises in Oklahoma and Missouri.

As a new story and interactive graphic explains, states are turning to a number of compound cocktails to get around the supply problems."

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+ - Spinning Stretchy Graphene Oxide Yarns

Submitted by ckwu
ckwu (2886397) writes "Chemists report a new process for making carbon fibers from graphene oxide that promises to be a scalable, organic-solvent-free route to new kinds of strong, lightweight materials. They coat a large surface with an aqueous solution of graphene oxide and let the water evaporate, leaving a dried sheet of the nanomaterial. Then by taping down one end of the sheet and attaching an electric screwdriver to the other end (video), they can spin the sheet into a yarn. The fibers are tough and stretchy, elongating 76% before fracturing. Unlike conventional carbon fibers, these graphene oxide fibers can be knotted and knitted, opening up potential applications in energy-storing textiles, novel optical materials, and wearable electronics."

+ - First Transistors Made Entirely Of 2-D Materials->

Submitted by ckwu
ckwu (2886397) writes "Two independent research groups report the first transistors built entirely of two-dimensional electronic materials, making the devices some of the thinnest yet. The transistors, just a few atoms thick and hence transparent, are smaller than their silicon-based counterparts, which would allow for a super-high density of pixels in flexible, next-generation displays. The research teams, one at Argonne National Laboratory and the other at the University of California, Berkeley, used materials such as tungsten diselenide, graphene, and boron nitride to make all three components of a transistor: a semiconductor, a set of electrodes, and an insulating layer. Electrons travel in the devices 70 to 100 times faster than in amorphous silicon. Such a high electron mobility means the transistors switch faster, which dictates a display’s refresh rate and is necessary for high-quality video, especially 3-D video."
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+ - Printing Holograms At Home->

Submitted by ckwu
ckwu (2886397) writes "Holograms are a common security element on banknotes, credit cards, passports, and medicine packaging. Consumers usually can’t make their own holograms, because the images are recorded and printed with costly instruments and complex methods. Now a fast, simple holography technique can produce a hologram within a few seconds and with some common materials. Researchers at Cambridge University used permanent-marker ink coated on plastic as the recording medium. Ultrashort pulses of light from a common Nd:YAG laser engraved the holographic pattern by heating up the ink and vaporizing it. The new technique can record holograms directly on curved surfaces and on any type of material, such as tape or a plastic bottle cap. The researchers envision integrating the technology into desktop printers so that anyone could make holograms at home."
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+ - Sulfur Polymers Could Enable Long-Lasting, High-Capacity Batteries->

Submitted by MTorrice
MTorrice (2611475) writes "Lithium-sulfur batteries promise to store four to five times as much energy as today’s best lithium-ion batteries. But their short lifetimes have stood in the way of their commercialization. Now researchers demonstrate that a sulfur-based polymer could be the solution for lightweight, inexpensive batteries that store large amounts of energy. Battery electrodes made from the material have one of the highest energy-storage capacities ever reported"
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