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  • News

    A new kind of spray is loaded with microscopic electronic sensors

    Talk about cloud-connected devices.

    Using tiny 2-D materials, researchers have built microscopic chemical sensors that can be sprayed in an aerosol mist. Spritzes of such minuscule electronic chips, described online July 23 in Nature Nanotechnology, could one day help monitor environmental pollution or diagnose diseases.

    Each sensor comprises a polymer chip about 1 micrometer thick...

    07/23/2018 - 11:00 Technology, Chemistry, Materials
  • Science Visualized

    How a particle accelerator helped recover tarnished 19th century images

    With the aid of a particle accelerator, scientists are bringing back ghosts from the past, revealing portraits hidden underneath the tarnished surface of two roughly 150-year-old silver photographic plates.

    Researchers used an accelerator called a synchrotron to produce strong, but nondamaging beams of X-rays to scan the damaged photographs, called daguerreotypes, and map their chemical...

    07/09/2018 - 07:00 Chemistry, Physics
  • News

    Sunshine is making Deepwater Horizon oil stick around

    Sunlight shapes oil spills’ long-term legacies.

    In the days and weeks after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, sunlight hit the oil slicks on the surface of the water. That triggered chemical reactions that added oxygen to oil molecules that once were just chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. These oxygenated hydrocarbons are still sticking around eight years...

    06/12/2018 - 07:00 Pollution, Chemistry
  • News

    This plastic can be recycled over and over and over again

    There’s a great future in plastics.

    A new kind of plastic can, when exposed to the right chemicals, break down into the same basic building blocks that it came from and be rebuilt again and again. The recyclable material is more durable than previous attempts to create reusable plastics, researchers report inthe April 27 Science.

    Designing plastics that can be easily reused is one...

    04/26/2018 - 15:40 Pollution, Chemistry, Materials
  • Scicurious

    Want to build a dragon? Science is here for you

    No fantasy world is complete without a fire-breathing dragon. SpaceX founder Elon Musk even wants to make a cyborg version a reality, or so he tweeted April 25. But if someone was going to make a dragon happen, how would it get its flame? Nature, it seems, has all the parts a dragon needs to set the world on fire, no flamethrower required. The creature just needs a few chemicals, some microbes...

    04/26/2018 - 12:15 Chemistry, Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    Using laser tweezers, chemists nudged two atoms to bond

    For the first time, researchers have played matchmaker between two specific atoms, joining them together to form a molecule.

    Typically, chemists make molecules by mixing up many constituent atoms, some of which stick to each other to form the desired compounds. In the new, supercontrolled chemical reaction, researchers trapped a single sodium atom in one optical tweezer — a device that...

    04/12/2018 - 14:00 Chemistry, Technology
  • News in Brief

    Toxic chemicals turn a new material from porous to protective

    PHOENIX — A new, breathable material that can also block biological or chemical threats could offer comfortable protection for people working in contaminated environments or dangerous military zones.

    The bottom layer of the material, described April 3 at the Materials Research Society spring meeting, features carbon nanotube pores embedded within a flexible synthetic polymer film. These...

    04/05/2018 - 08:00 Materials, Chemistry
  • News

    Birds get their internal compass from this newly ID’d eye protein

    Birds can sense Earth’s magnetic field, and this uncanny ability may help them fly home from unfamiliar places or navigate migrations that span tens of thousands of kilometers.

    For decades, researchers thought iron-rich cells in birds’ beaks acted as microscopic compasses (SN: 5/19/12, p. 8). But in recent years, scientists have found increasing evidence that certain proteins in birds’...

    04/03/2018 - 07:00 Genetics, Chemistry, Animals
  • News

    How honeybees’ royal jelly might be baby glue, too

    Honeybee royal jelly is food meant to be eaten on the ceiling. And it might also be glue that keeps a royal baby in an upside-down cradle.

    These bees raise their queens in cells that can stay open at the bottom for days. A big blob of royal jelly, abundantly resupplied by worker bees, surrounds the larva at the ceiling. Before the food is deposited in the cell, it receives a last-minute...

    04/02/2018 - 07:00 Animals, Chemistry
  • News

    Toxins from the world’s longest animal can kill cockroaches

    Bootlace worms with spooky-stretchy bodies secrete a family of toxins new to scientists. These compounds might inspire novel ways to attack pests such as cockroaches.

    Tests first identified the toxins in mucus coating a bootlace species that holds the record as the world’s longest animal, says pharmacognosist Ulf Göransson of Uppsala University in Sweden. This champion marine worm (...

    03/30/2018 - 07:00 Animals, Chemistry