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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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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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.

Self-doping Key to Room Temp Superconductors

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

A groundbreaking discovery of self-doping in YBCO, a well-known superconductor, challenges the traditional understanding of the mechanism of superconductivity in copper-based high temperature superconductors, which assumes a constant doping level in the copper oxide planes.

Unusual Electron has Exotic Properties

November 20, 2014 7:00 am | by RIKEN

Researchers have shed light on the unusual properties of electrons responsible for the exotic conduction states on the surface of a class of materials known as topological insulators. The imaging technique promises a more complete understanding of such systems and could aid the development of novel spintronic devices.

Test Measures Animal’s Exposure to Plastic

November 20, 2014 7:00 am | by Wiley

By swabbing oil from a gland located at the end of a seabird’s tail and analyzing the sample with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, researchers have developed a way to measure wildlife’s exposure to plastics.

Toyota, Brookhaven Partner to Advance Vehicle Batteries

November 11, 2014 7:00 am

Future fleets of electric vehicles will require high-capacity batteries that recharge rapidly, degrade slowly and operate safely. Lithium-ion batteries currently lead the charge, but not without significant problems. To probe molecular structures and track the rapid chemical reactions in more promising magnesium batteries, researchers from Toyota have turned to Brookhaven National Laboratory for help.

Study Sheds Light on ‘Split Peaks’ of Alcohol

November 11, 2014 7:00 am | by American Institute of Physics

For scientists probing the electronic structure of materials using a resonant inelastic soft X-ray scattering (RIXS), a persistent question has been how to account for "split peak" spectra seen in some hydrogen-bonded materials. Now, a team of researchers has performed an investigation of several types of liquid alcohols with RIXS and brought new perspective to this long-lasting debate.

Without Smell, Coffee is Horrible

November 11, 2014 6:00 am | by The Conversation, Don Brushett

Most of what we taste we actually smell. The only sensations that we pick up in our mouth are sweet, sour, bitter, umami and salty. Without its smell, coffee would have only a sour or bitter taste, because of the organic acids. Try it with your next cup of coffee– hold your nose as you take your first sip.

Nano GC Tool Detects Dangerous Gases in Breath

November 11, 2014 6:00 am | by Univ. of Texas at Arlington

A Univ. of Texas at Arlington researcher has received a grant to build a handheld device that could analyze a person’s breath to reveal whether certain dangerous gases are present that need more immediate medical attention. The nanoscale gas chromatography tool can separate vapors from a person’s breath, a room or an area, then detects what harmful vapors are present.

Experiments Open Window into Microscopic World

November 11, 2014 6:00 am | by McGill Univ.

Researchers have succeeded in simultaneously observing the reorganizations of atomic positions and electron distribution during the transformation of the “smart material” vanadium dioxide from a semiconductor into a metal– in a time frame a trillion times faster than the blink of an eye.

Recalled Diet Supplements Still Contain Banned Drugs

October 23, 2014 7:00 am | by JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association

The FDA initiates class I drug recalls when products have the reasonable possibility of causing serious adverse health consequences or death. According to a new study, about two-thirds of FDA-recalled dietary supplements analyzed still contained banned drugs at least six months after being recalled.

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