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E.g., 12/13/2017
E.g., 12/13/2017
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Your search has returned 437 articles:
  • News

    Electric eels provide a zap of inspiration for a new kind of power source

    New power sources bear a shocking resemblance to the electricity-making organs inside electric eels.

    These artificial electric eel organs are made up of water-based polymer mixes called hydrogels. Such soft, flexible battery-like devices, described online October 13 in Nature, could power soft robots or next-gen wearable and implantable tech.

    “It’s a very smart approach” to...

    12/13/2017 - 13:22 Technology, Chemistry, Materials
  • News

    Some high-temperature superconductors might not be so odd after all

    A misfit gang of superconducting materials may be losing their outsider status.

    Certain copper-based compounds superconduct, or transmit electricity without resistance, at unusually high temperatures. It was thought that the standard theory of superconductivity, known as Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer theory, couldn’t explain these oddballs. But new evidence suggests that the standard theory...

    12/08/2017 - 07:00 Condensed Matter, Physics, Materials
  • Science Visualized

    How freezing a soap bubble turns it into a ‘snow globe’

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    Frigid air can transform an ordinary soap bubble into a glittery “snow globe.” No shaking required.

    When a bubble is placed in a freezer set to –20° Celsius, delicate ice crystals swirl gracefully across the soapy film, gradually growing larger until the bubble freezes solid. The phenomenon can also be observed when blowing soap bubbles outside in wintry weather....

    12/05/2017 - 15:00 Physics, Materials
  • News

    New 3-D printed materials harness the power of bacteria

    A new type of 3-D printing ink has a special ingredient: live bacteria.

    Materials made with this “living ink” could help clean up environmental pollution, harvest energy via photosynthesis or help make medical supplies, researchers report online December 1 in Science Advances.

    This study “shows for the first time that 3-D printed bacteria can make useful materials,” says Anne Meyer...

    12/01/2017 - 14:22 Materials, Microbes, Technology
  • News

    This material does weird things under pressure

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    A newly fabricated material does more than just hold up under pressure. Unlike many ordinary objects that shrink when squeezed, the metamaterial — a synthetic structure designed to exhibit properties not typically found in natural materials — expands at higher pressures.

    This counterintuitive material is made up of a grid of hollow 3-D crosses — shaped like six-way...

    11/20/2017 - 09:00 Materials, Technology
  • Science Ticker

    Nobel Prize–winning technique illuminates the fibers that set off battery fires

    Cryo-electron microscopy, an imaging technique that netted three scientists the 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry, has provided the first atomic-level views of dendrites — whiskery lithium fibers that can spread through lithium-ion batteries, making them short-circuit and catch fire. Until now, scientists couldn’t examine dendrites so closely because the only technique for imaging battery...

    10/26/2017 - 14:00 Materials, Technology
  • Teaser

    A new material may one day keep mussels off piers and boat hulls

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    Shellfish stowaways on boat hulls could become castaways, thanks to a superslippery material.

    Crowds of mussels can grab onto ships, piers and other infrastructure. They slow down the boats they commandeer, and they’re expensive to remove. The hitchhikers can even travel to new places and become invasive species (SN: 3/18/17, p. 30). A new lubricant-infused material...

    10/24/2017 - 13:00 Biophysics, Materials, Oceans
  • News in Brief

    Watch this cuttlefish-inspired ‘skin’ morph into a 3-D shape

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    Now you see it, now you don’t.

    Inspired by cephalopods like octopuses and cuttlefish, which change their skin textures for camouflage, researchers fabricated a stretchy material that inflates into various 3-D shapes and flattens back out. These shape-shifting “skins,” described in the Oct. 13 Science, could someday help robots don quick disguises.

    Scientists...

    10/12/2017 - 14:05 Technology, Materials
  • Feature

    Jennifer Dionne harnesses light to illuminate nano landscapes

    Jennifer Dionne, 35Materials scientistStanford University

    To choose her research goals, Jennifer Dionne envisions conversations with hypothetical grandchildren, 50 years down the line. What would she want to tell them she had accomplished? Then, to chart a path to that future, “I work backward to figure out what are the milestones en route,” she says.

    That long-term vision has led the 35-...

    10/04/2017 - 13:52 Physics, Materials
  • Feature

    Chong Liu one-ups plant photosynthesis

    Chong Liu, 30Inorganic chemistUCLA

    For Chong Liu, asking a scientific question is something like placing a bet: You throw all your energy into tackling a big and challenging problem with no guarantee of a reward. As a student, he bet that he could create a contraption that photosynthesizes like a leaf on a tree — but better. For the now 30-year-old chemist, the gamble is paying off.

    “He...

    10/04/2017 - 13:48 Chemistry, Sustainability, Materials