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    Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells

    Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells

    Scientists designed and connected two different artificial cells to each other to produce molecules called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

    Engineering Living Scaffolds for Building Materials

    Engineering Living Scaffolds for Building Materials

    Bone and mollusk shells are composite systems that combine living cells and inorganic components. This allows them to regenerate and change structure while also being very strong and durable. Borrowing from this amazing complexity, researchers have been exploring a new class of materials called engineered living materials (ELMs).

    Excavating Quantum Information Buried in Noise

    Excavating Quantum Information Buried in Noise

    Researchers developed two new methods to assess and remove error in how scientists measure quantum systems. By reducing quantum "noise" - uncertainty inherent to quantum processes - these new methods improve accuracy and precision.

    How Electrons Move in a Catastrophe

    How Electrons Move in a Catastrophe

    Lanthanum strontium manganite (LSMO) is a widely applicable material, from magnetic tunnel junctions to solid oxide fuel cells. However, when it gets thin, its behavior changes for the worse. The reason why was not known. Now, using two theoretical methods, a team determined what happens.

    When Ions and Molecules Cluster

    When Ions and Molecules Cluster

    How an ion behaves when isolated within an analytical instrument can differ from how it behaves in the environment. Now, Xue-Bin Wang at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory devised a way to bring ions and molecules together in clusters to better discover their properties and predict their behavior.

    Tune in to Tetrahedral Superstructures

    Tune in to Tetrahedral Superstructures

    Shape affects how the particles fit together and, in turn, the resulting material. For the first time, a team observed the self-assembly of nanoparticles with tetrahedral shapes.

    Tracing Interstellar Dust Back to the Solar System's Formation

    Tracing Interstellar Dust Back to the Solar System's Formation

    This study is the first to confirm dust particles pre-dating the formation of our solar system. Further study of these materials will enable a deeper understanding of the processes that formed and have since altered them.

    Investigating Materials that Can Go the Distance in Fusion Reactors

    Investigating Materials that Can Go the Distance in Fusion Reactors

    Future fusion reactors will require materials that can withstand extreme operating conditions, including being bombarded by high-energy neutrons at high temperatures. Scientists recently irradiated titanium diboride (TiB2) in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) to better understand the effects of fusion neutrons on performance.

    Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation

    Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation

    In breast cancer screening, an imaging technique based on nuclear medicine is currently being used as a successful secondary screening tool alongside mammography to improve the accuracy of the diagnosis. Now, a team is hoping to improve this imaging technique.

    Microbes are Metabolic Specialists

    Microbes are Metabolic Specialists

    Scientists can use genetic information to measure if microbes in the environment can perform specific ecological roles. Researchers recently analyzed the genomes of over 6,000 microbial species.

    Even Hard Materials Have Soft Spots

    Even Hard Materials Have Soft Spots

    The Achilles Heel of "metallic glasses" is that while they are strong materials--even stronger than conventional steels--they are also very brittle. The initial failures tend to be localized and catastrophic. This is due to their random amorphous (versus ordered crystalline) atomic structure. Computer simulations revealed that the structure is not completely random, however, and that there are some regions in the structure that are relatively weak. Defects nucleate more easily in these regions, which can lead to failure. This understanding of the mechanical properties has led to a strategy for making the material stronger and less brittle.

    2-D Atoms Do the Twist

    2-D Atoms Do the Twist

    In the study, scientists demonstrated, for the first time, an intrinsically rotating form of motion for the atoms in a crystal. The observations were on collective excitations of a single molecular layer of tungsten diselenide. Whether the rotation is clockwise or counter-clockwise depends on the wave's propagation direction.

    Location, Location, Location... How charge placement can control a self-assembled structure

    Location, Location, Location... How charge placement can control a self-assembled structure

    For years, scientists have formed polymers using the interaction of charges on molecular chains to determine the shape, geometry, and other properties. Now, a team achieved precise and predictable control of molecular chains by positioning charges. Their method leads to particles with reproducible sizes.

    Cracking in Harsh Environments Needs Stress and Corrosion, But Not at the Same Time

    Cracking in Harsh Environments Needs Stress and Corrosion, But Not at the Same Time

    Alloys (metals combining two or more metallic elements) are typically stronger and less susceptible to cracking than pure metals. Yet when alloys are subjected to stress and a harsh chemical environment, the alloy can fail. The reason? Cracks caused by corrosion.

    Simultaneous Clean and Repair

    Simultaneous Clean and Repair

    Scientists have developed a novel and efficient approach to surface cleaning, materials transport, and repair.

    Where Does Salt in the Amazon Air Come From?

    Where Does Salt in the Amazon Air Come From?

    Tiny particles of sodium salt float in the air over the pristine Amazon basin. Why? The only explanation before now has been that winds blow marine particles hundreds of miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean. An international team of scientists used chemical imaging and atmospheric models to prove otherwise.

    Testing the Toughness of Microbial Cell Walls

    Testing the Toughness of Microbial Cell Walls

    Microbial cells contain biological material that can be important for research or industrial use, such as DNA or proteins. Yet, reaching this cellular material can be a challenge.

    How Many Copies Does It Take to Change a Trait?

    How Many Copies Does It Take to Change a Trait?

    New research shows that the number of copies of genes in a poplar tree affects its traits. Scientists developed a group of poplar trees in which different plants have DNA segments that are repeated or deleted.

    Microbial Evolution: Nature Leads, Nurture Supports

    Microbial Evolution: Nature Leads, Nurture Supports

    Based on an extensive study across environments, from mixed conifer forest to high-desert grassland, the team suggests that microbes aren't so different from larger, more complex forms of life. That is, in determining species traits, nature takes the lead, while nurture plays a supporting role.

    Building a Scale to Weigh Superheavy Elements

    Building a Scale to Weigh Superheavy Elements

    Scientists made the first direct, definitive measurement of the weight, also known as the mass number, for two superheavy nuclei.

    Survey Delivers on Dark Energy with Multiple Probes

    Survey Delivers on Dark Energy with Multiple Probes

    The Dark Energy Survey has combined its four primary cosmological probes for the first time in order to constrain the properties of dark energy.

    Crossing the Great Divide Between Model Studies and Applied Reactors in Catalysis

    Crossing the Great Divide Between Model Studies and Applied Reactors in Catalysis

    A team devised a way to bridge the gap between two extremes. Using their approach, they can predict catalyst performance across a wider range of temperatures and pressures.

    Tiny, Sugar-Coated Sheets Selectively Target Pathogens

    Tiny, Sugar-Coated Sheets Selectively Target Pathogens

    Researchers developed molecular flypaper that recognizes and traps viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.

    Getting Metal Under Graphite's Skin

    Getting Metal Under Graphite's Skin

    Some metals need to be protected from the atmosphere. Exposure leads to damage that ruins their unique properties. Controllably forming metal islands just under the surface of graphite protects the metals. This allows these metals to take on new roles in ultrafast quantum computers. It also means new roles in magnetic, catalytic, or plasmonic materials.

    Atomically Packed Boundaries Resist Cracking

    Atomically Packed Boundaries Resist Cracking

    Scientists devised specialized X-ray mapping techniques. They determined that boundaries associated with regions where atoms are closely packed together most readily resist cracking. This analysis revealed that when a crack encounters such a boundary, it's deflected to a less direct path and crack growth is slowed.