Wednesday , June 28 2017



MIT Study Shows Tiny Plankton Have a Big Effect on the Ocean’s Carbon Storage

New research from MIT and Bristol University reveal that microscopic, mixotrophic organisms may have a large impact on the ocean’s food web and the global carbon cycle. How do you find your food? Most animal species, whether they rummage through a refrigerator or stalk prey in the wild, obtain nutrients by consuming living organisms. Plants, for the most part, adopt ... Read More »

Scientists Propose a New Method to Probe the Evolutionary History of the Universe

New research from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics suggests that oscillating heavy particles generated “clocks” in the primordial universe that could be used to determine what produced the initial conditions that gave rise to the universe. How did the universe begin? And what came before the Big Bang? Cosmologists have asked these questions ever since discovering that our universe is ... Read More »

Graphene Oxide Layers Deform Evenly Under Gentle Strain

(Credit: Ajayan Research Group/Rice University) New research from Rice University reveals that graphene oxide layers deform evenly under gentle strain and that the mechanical properties of the material change depending on the rate of strain. The same slip-and-stick mechanism that leads to earthquakes is at work on the molecular level in nanoscale materials, where it determines the shear plasticity of ... Read More »

Voltage-Controlled Switchable Material Could Enable New Memory Chips

This diagram shows how an electrical voltage can be used to modify the oxygen concentration, and therefore the phase and structure, of strontium cobaltites. Pumping oxygen in and out transforms the material from the brownmillerite form (left) to the perovskite form (right). A new thin-film material whose phase and electrical properties can be switched between metallic and semiconducting could lead ... Read More »

Neuroscientists Identify a Protein That Allows Brain Cells to Dampen Their Sensitivity

MIT neuroscientists discovered that the protein CPG2 connects the cytoskeleton (represented by the scaffold of the bridge) and the endocytic machinery (represented by the cars) during the reabsorption of glutamate receptors. Each “car” on the “bridge” carries a vesicle containing glutamate receptors. Image: Mark Steele In a newly published study, neuroscientists from MIT identify a protein that allows brain cells ... Read More »

New Device Harnesses the Energy of Small Bending Motions

This diagram illustrates the principle behind the proposed energy-harvesting system. Two metal electrodes made of lithium-alloyed silicon form a sandwich around a layer of electrolyte, a polymer that ions (charged atoms) can move across. When the sandwich is bent, unequal stresses cause lithium ions to migrate across the electrolyte, producing a compensating electron current that can be harnessed by an ... Read More »

Engineers Develop New Lightweight Metal from Carbide Nanoparticles

At left, a deformed sample of pure metal; at right, the strong new metal made of magnesium with silicon carbide nanoparticles. Each central micropillar is about 4 micrometers across. Using magnesium infused with dense silicon carbide nanoparticles, engineers from UCLA have developed an exceptionally strong and lightweight metal that could be used for airplanes, cars, mobile electronics and more. A ... Read More »

Researchers Improve Bulk Metallic Glass Nanostructures

Image courtesy of Advanced Materials, from the paper “Guided Evolution of Bulk Metallic Glass Nanostructures: A Platform for Designing Three-Dimensional Electrocatalytic Surfaces.” Scientists from Yale University have figured out a way to refine bulk metallic glasses to improve their electrochemical performance. Results of the research, based in the lab of chemical and environmental engineering professor André D. Taylor, are published ... Read More »

Scientists Develop a New Class of Superhydrophobic Nanomaterials

A scanning electron microscope image of a new superhydrophobic material shows the rough surface of functionalized alumina nanoparticles. Scientists at Rice University and the University of Swansea led the creation of the environmentally friendly material. Credit: University of Swansea Scientists at Rice University have developed a new class of superhydrophobic nanomaterials that might simplify the process of protecting surfaces from ... Read More »

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Reveals Apollo 16 Booster Rocket Impact Site

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter views the Apollo 16 S-IVB impact site on the moon. After decades of uncertainty, the Apollo 16 S-IVB impact site on the lunar surface has been identified. S-IVBs were portions of the Saturn V rockets that brought astronauts to the moon. The site was identified in imagery from the high-resolution LROC Narrow Angle Camera aboard NASA’s ... Read More »