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Core May Hide Most of Earth’s Carbon

December 9, 2014 | by Univ. of Michigan | Comments

As much as two-thirds of Earth's carbon may be hidden in the inner core, making it the planet's largest carbon reservoir, according to a new model that even its backers acknowledge is "provocative and speculative."

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Hidden Details, Objects Seen in 18th Century Paintings

January 22, 2015 9:00 am | by Agencia ID

A multidisciplinary research team has studied two paintings in the side altar of the parish of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Purisima del Rincon, Guanajuato in Mexico, by the artist Hermenegildo Bustos. The paintings contain three overpainted layers with a number of unregistered modifications hidden from view.

Busted: There are Spectroscopy Rules for Rattling Hydrogen

January 22, 2015 9:00 am | by New York Univ.

It has been taken for granted for over 50 years that the type of spectroscopy widely used to study hydrogen inside materials is not subject to any selection rules. In a joint theoretical and experimental study, researchers showed that this near universally held view is incorrect for at least one important class of hydrogen-entrapping compounds by confirming experimentally the validity of the selection rule formulated in 2013.

Drugs, PPCPs May Interact With Pool Water

January 22, 2015 9:00 am | by Purdue Univ.

Chlorination is used primarily to prevent pathogenic microorganisms from growing. Previous research has shown that many constituents of urine including urea, uric acid and amino acids, interact with chlorine to produce potentially hazardous disinfection byproducts in swimming pools. However, chemicals from pharmaceuticals and personal care products, or PPCPs, could also be harmfully interacting with chlorine.

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Atoms Behind Exotic Property Also Sow the Seeds of its Destruction

January 22, 2015 9:00 am | by Brookhaven National Laboratory

The discovery of "topologically protected" electrical conductivity on the surface of some materials whose bulk interior acts as an insulator was among the most sensational advances in the last decade of condensed matter physics. Now, a new atomic-scale study of the surface properties of one of these ferromagnetic topological insulators reveals that these materials may not be what they seemed.

Research Key to Better Electrolyte for Batteries

January 6, 2015 7:00 am | by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The lithium-ion batteries that mobilize our electronic devices need to be improved if they are to power electric vehicles or store electrical energy for the grid. Researchers, looking for a better understanding of liquid electrolytes, found surprising results in the first X-ray absorption spectroscopy study of a model lithium electrolyte.

Human Pollution Seriously Impacts Tree Emissions

January 6, 2015 7:00 am | by Georgia Tech

The southeastern U.S. is a natural laboratory for scientists studying how chemicals emitted by human activities and trees interact with each other and affect air quality and climate. A new study has found that certain emissions from cars and coal-fired power plants promote processes that transform naturally occurring emissions from trees into organic aerosols.

Researchers Study Pathway of Sunlight to Electricity

January 6, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Oregon

Four pulses of laser light on nanoparticle photocells in a spectroscopy experiment have opened a window on how captured sunlight can be converted into electricity. The work, which potentially could inspire devices with improved efficiency in solar energy conversion, was performed on photocells that used lead-sulfide quantum dots as photoactive semiconductor material.

Wheat Gene Helps Chestnuts Resist Blight

January 6, 2015 7:00 am | by Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Researchers have used gas chromatography mass spectrometry to analyze chestnuts from transgenic American chestnut trees— trees that were altered with a wheat gene— and found they had an increased resistance to blight.

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SAM Responsible for Mars Organic Matter Discovery

January 6, 2015 7:00 am | by Goddard Space Flight Center

The team responsible for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on NASA's Curiosity rover made the first definitive detection of organic molecules on Mars using chromatography. Here's a closer look at their work and their equipment.

Chemistry Keeps You Safe During Holiday Travels

December 18, 2014 7:00 am | by The Conversation, Martin Boland

As the holidays draw near, many of us will hop on a plane to visit friends and family– or just get away from it all. Some will be subjected to a swab at the airport to test clothes and baggage for explosives. So how does this process work? The answer is chromatography.

Physicists, Chemists Capture Electrons Moving in Silicon

December 18, 2014 7:00 am | by UC Berkeley

The semiconductor industry is built on the propensity of electrons in silicon to get kicked out of their atomic shells and become free. These mobile electrons are routed and switched though transistors, carrying digital information. An international team of physicists and chemists has taken snapshots of this ephemeral event using attosecond pulses of soft X-ray light lasting only a few billionths of a billionth of a second.

Tech Tracks Underwater Oxygen for Swim Performance, Muscle Repair

December 18, 2014 7:00 am | by SPIE

Swimmers looking to monitor and improve technique, and patients striving to heal injured muscles, now have a new light-based tool to help reach their goals. Researchers have described the first measurements of muscle oxygenation underwater and the development of the enabling technology.

Spectral Signature Lets Researchers ID Seabirds by Poop

December 18, 2014 7:00 am | by British Antarctic Survey

By studying the color of seabird guano in the infrared part of the spectrum, researchers were able to identify and isolate penguin and seabird poo’s unique spectral signature from bare rocks and snow. Applying this to satellite imagery, the team was able to identify all known major colonies of Adelié penguins, and colonies of several species of seabirds.

Cocaine Quadruples Sudden Death Risk

December 18, 2014 7:00 am | by UPV/EHU

Research has linked the increase in sudden cardiovascular death with the recent consumption of cocaine. In people in the 19-49 age bracket, this risk is quadrupled.

Chromatography Aids Climate Change Studies

December 9, 2014 7:00 am | by Thermo Scientific

The chemistry of ice cores can be preserved in samples that are hundreds of thousands of years old and can be analyzed by ion chromatography to reveal the climate of the past and to help predict future responses to continued global warming.

Test Checks Purity of Biotech Products

December 9, 2014 7:00 am | by NIST

Using a new test, scientists have found traces of plant enzymes in batches of supposedly pure, commercially available human blood protein genetically manufactured from plant seeds. Because they are active agents that promote biochemical reactions, enzyme contamination at even low levels could have an outsized effect on measurement reproducibility, and quality control in biomanufacturing.

Technique Key to Next-gen Photonic Chips

December 9, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Southampton

Researchers have developed a new technique to help produce more reliable and robust next generation photonic chips. Photonic chips made from silicon will play a major role in future optical networks for worldwide data traffic. The high refractive index of silicon makes optical structures the size of a fraction of the diameter of a human hair possible.

Spectroscopy Spots Horse Meat

December 9, 2014 7:00 am | by Institute of Food Research on the Norwich Research Park

Scientists have developed a fast, cheap alternative to DNA testing as a means of distinguishing horse meat from beef. Because horses and cattle have different digestive systems, the fat components of the two meats have different fatty acid compositions. The new method looks at differences in the chemical composition of the fat in the meats.

Scientists Get Look at Atom-thin Boundaries

November 20, 2014 7:00 am | by Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Scientists have made the first direct observations of a one-dimensional boundary separating two different, atom-thin materials, enabling studies of long-theorized phenomena at these interfaces.

Component of Blood Cues Predatory Behavior

November 20, 2014 7:00 am | by Linköping Univ.

People find the smell of blood unpleasant, but for predatory animals it means food. When behavioral researchers wanted to find out which substances of blood trigger behavioral reactions, they got some unexpected results. The study found that, for the animals, one particular component of blood odor was just as engaging as the blood odor itself.

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