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    Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation

    Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation

    In breast cancer screening, an imaging technique based on nuclear medicine is currently being used as a successful secondary screening tool alongside mammography to improve the accuracy of the diagnosis. Now, a team is hoping to improve this imaging technique.

    Microbes are Metabolic Specialists

    Microbes are Metabolic Specialists

    Scientists can use genetic information to measure if microbes in the environment can perform specific ecological roles. Researchers recently analyzed the genomes of over 6,000 microbial species.

    Even Hard Materials Have Soft Spots

    Even Hard Materials Have Soft Spots

    The Achilles Heel of "metallic glasses" is that while they are strong materials--even stronger than conventional steels--they are also very brittle. The initial failures tend to be localized and catastrophic. This is due to their random amorphous (versus ordered crystalline) atomic structure. Computer simulations revealed that the structure is not completely random, however, and that there are some regions in the structure that are relatively weak. Defects nucleate more easily in these regions, which can lead to failure. This understanding of the mechanical properties has led to a strategy for making the material stronger and less brittle.

    2-D Atoms Do the Twist

    2-D Atoms Do the Twist

    In the study, scientists demonstrated, for the first time, an intrinsically rotating form of motion for the atoms in a crystal. The observations were on collective excitations of a single molecular layer of tungsten diselenide. Whether the rotation is clockwise or counter-clockwise depends on the wave's propagation direction.

    Location, Location, Location... How charge placement can control a self-assembled structure

    Location, Location, Location... How charge placement can control a self-assembled structure

    For years, scientists have formed polymers using the interaction of charges on molecular chains to determine the shape, geometry, and other properties. Now, a team achieved precise and predictable control of molecular chains by positioning charges. Their method leads to particles with reproducible sizes.

    Cracking in Harsh Environments Needs Stress and Corrosion, But Not at the Same Time

    Cracking in Harsh Environments Needs Stress and Corrosion, But Not at the Same Time

    Alloys (metals combining two or more metallic elements) are typically stronger and less susceptible to cracking than pure metals. Yet when alloys are subjected to stress and a harsh chemical environment, the alloy can fail. The reason? Cracks caused by corrosion.

    Simultaneous Clean and Repair

    Simultaneous Clean and Repair

    Scientists have developed a novel and efficient approach to surface cleaning, materials transport, and repair.

    Where Does Salt in the Amazon Air Come From?

    Where Does Salt in the Amazon Air Come From?

    Tiny particles of sodium salt float in the air over the pristine Amazon basin. Why? The only explanation before now has been that winds blow marine particles hundreds of miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean. An international team of scientists used chemical imaging and atmospheric models to prove otherwise.

    Testing the Toughness of Microbial Cell Walls

    Testing the Toughness of Microbial Cell Walls

    Microbial cells contain biological material that can be important for research or industrial use, such as DNA or proteins. Yet, reaching this cellular material can be a challenge.

    How Many Copies Does It Take to Change a Trait?

    How Many Copies Does It Take to Change a Trait?

    New research shows that the number of copies of genes in a poplar tree affects its traits. Scientists developed a group of poplar trees in which different plants have DNA segments that are repeated or deleted.

    Microbial Evolution: Nature Leads, Nurture Supports

    Microbial Evolution: Nature Leads, Nurture Supports

    Based on an extensive study across environments, from mixed conifer forest to high-desert grassland, the team suggests that microbes aren't so different from larger, more complex forms of life. That is, in determining species traits, nature takes the lead, while nurture plays a supporting role.

    Building a Scale to Weigh Superheavy Elements

    Building a Scale to Weigh Superheavy Elements

    Scientists made the first direct, definitive measurement of the weight, also known as the mass number, for two superheavy nuclei.

    Survey Delivers on Dark Energy with Multiple Probes

    Survey Delivers on Dark Energy with Multiple Probes

    The Dark Energy Survey has combined its four primary cosmological probes for the first time in order to constrain the properties of dark energy.

    Crossing the Great Divide Between Model Studies and Applied Reactors in Catalysis

    Crossing the Great Divide Between Model Studies and Applied Reactors in Catalysis

    A team devised a way to bridge the gap between two extremes. Using their approach, they can predict catalyst performance across a wider range of temperatures and pressures.

    Tiny, Sugar-Coated Sheets Selectively Target Pathogens

    Tiny, Sugar-Coated Sheets Selectively Target Pathogens

    Researchers developed molecular flypaper that recognizes and traps viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.

    Getting Metal Under Graphite's Skin

    Getting Metal Under Graphite's Skin

    Some metals need to be protected from the atmosphere. Exposure leads to damage that ruins their unique properties. Controllably forming metal islands just under the surface of graphite protects the metals. This allows these metals to take on new roles in ultrafast quantum computers. It also means new roles in magnetic, catalytic, or plasmonic materials.

    Atomically Packed Boundaries Resist Cracking

    Atomically Packed Boundaries Resist Cracking

    Scientists devised specialized X-ray mapping techniques. They determined that boundaries associated with regions where atoms are closely packed together most readily resist cracking. This analysis revealed that when a crack encounters such a boundary, it's deflected to a less direct path and crack growth is slowed.

    End-run Spreads Lithium Throughout Battery Electrodes

    End-run Spreads Lithium Throughout Battery Electrodes

    Scientists used chemically sensitive X-ray microscopy to map lithium transport during battery operation.

    Knowledgebase Is Power for Nuclear Reactor Developers

    Knowledgebase Is Power for Nuclear Reactor Developers

    Six new nuclear reactor technologies are planned to commercially deploy between 2030 and 2040. ORNL's Weiju Ren heads a project managing structural materials information. This conversation explores challenges and opportunities in sharing nuclear materials knowledge internationally.

    Excited Atoms Rush Independently to New Positions

    Excited Atoms Rush Independently to New Positions

    How atoms react to a sudden burst of light shows scientists how the larger material might act in sensors, data storage devices, and more.

    Chaos Ensues When Lasers and Plasma Meet

    Chaos Ensues When Lasers and Plasma Meet

    Warp+PXR dramatically improves the accuracy of the simulations compared to those typically used in plasma research. Now, researchers can simulate lasers' interactions with plasma with much higher precision.

    This Superconductor Does Not Take Light Lightly

    This Superconductor Does Not Take Light Lightly

    Superconductors are materials that show no resistance to electrical current when cooled. Recently, scientists discovered a new superconducting material. Now, scientists have found that when exposed to low-energy ultraviolet light, the material acts as a superconductor at higher temperatures.

    Nuclear Physics Detector Tech Used in Cancer Treatment Monitoring System

    Nuclear Physics Detector Tech Used in Cancer Treatment Monitoring System

    The OARtrac(r) system includes technologies that are based on a novel application of scintillating material in fiber form. Doctors can insert these scintillating fibers into the human body via a catheter to monitor the radiation that cancer patients receive in a range of hard-to-reach areas.

    Machine Learning Helps Create Detailed, Efficient Models of Water

    Machine Learning Helps Create Detailed, Efficient Models of Water

    A team devised a way to better model water's properties. They developed a machine-learning workflow that offers accurate and computationally efficient models.

    Cultivating the Assembly Landscape

    Cultivating the Assembly Landscape

    For the first time, a team determined and predictably manipulated the energy landscape of a material assembled from proteins. Designing materials that easily and reliably morph on command could benefit water filtration, sensing applications, and adaptive devices.