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    Changing Colors for Built-in Sunblock

    Changing Colors for Built-in Sunblock

    With an eye to learning from nature's success, scientists characterized the orange-colored protein that protects cyanobacteria from overexposure to sunlight.

    Hotter All the Way: Lithium Wall Contains Plasma Without Cooling It

    Hotter All the Way: Lithium Wall Contains Plasma Without Cooling It

    You may have known lithium from its role in rechargeable batteries, but did you know it may be a vital in fusion reactors? These reactors require walls that don't sputter out metals or overly cool the plasma at the heart of the reaction. Researchers showed that lithium-coated walls can handle heat.

    Supercomputers Predict New Turbulent Interactions in Fusion Plasmas

    Supercomputers Predict New Turbulent Interactions in Fusion Plasmas

    By more completely capturing the dynamics of plasma turbulence across an unprecedented range of spatial and temporal scales, researchers have reproduced experimental levels of heat loss observed experimentally where they previously could not.

    New High-Capability Solid-State Electron Microscope Detector Enables Novel Studies of Materials

    New High-Capability Solid-State Electron Microscope Detector Enables Novel Studies of Materials

    Scientists developed and demonstrated a new type of imaging electron detector. It records an image frame in 1/1000 of a second, and can detect from 1 to 1,000,000 electrons per pixel. This is 1000 times the intensity range and 100 times the speed of conventional electron microscope image sensors.

    Understanding and Predicting Self-Assembly

    Understanding and Predicting Self-Assembly

    Scientists discover a new design rule that controls the way in which polymer building blocks adjoin to form the backbones that run the length of tiny biomimetic sheets.

    Bacteria Hairs Make Excellent Electrical Wires

    Bacteria Hairs Make Excellent Electrical Wires

    Scientists found that the electronic arrangement and small molecular separation distances in electrically insulating, hair-like filaments on the surface of Geobacter bacteria give the structures an electrical conductivity comparable to that of copper.

    Catalyze It! Special Issue Highlights Drive for Discoveries at National Labs

    Catalyze It! Special Issue Highlights Drive for Discoveries at National Labs

    At the national labs, scientists have clarified the principles underlying basic catalysis science and resolved issues for biofuels, emission control, fuel cells, and more; a special issue of ACS Catalysis features the work from 10 labs, including PNNL

    Platinum, Puddles, and Water's True Nature

    Platinum, Puddles, and Water's True Nature

    Scientists made a "stop action movie" of tiny ice crystals melting and eventually wetting a platinum surface using a nanoscale technique they devised; the physics of wetting is crucial to making coatings for fibers or surfaces.

    Small and Powerful: Pushing the Boundaries of Nano-Magnets

    Small and Powerful: Pushing the Boundaries of Nano-Magnets

    Researchers built extremely small, thermally stable magnetic particles with magnetic properties comparable to some rare earth magnets, the strongest permanent magnets ever created. These tiny magnets are as small as 5 nanometers, a million times smaller than an ant.

    Hollow and Filled with Potential

    Hollow and Filled with Potential

    Catalytic nanocages, which are tiny, open structures with reactive surfaces that could boost key chemical processes, are notoriously difficult to synthesize. Scientists recently succeeded in a new approach.

    New Insight on a Familiar Glow

    New Insight on a Familiar Glow

    Invaluable as markers for monitoring photosynthesis and other energy-related processes in living cells, green fluorescent proteins are vital in high-resolution imaging studies. Scientists found that when water is added to the protein's chromophore, the fluorescence is more stable.

    Capturing Molecular Motion with Relativistic Electrons

    Capturing Molecular Motion with Relativistic Electrons

    Scientists aligned nitrogen molecules with a laser pulse; they obtained atomic-resolution images of the subsequent motion of the molecules using femtosecond electron pulses.

    Changing Colors for Built-in Sunblock

    Changing Colors for Built-in Sunblock

    Too much sunlight can harm plants; with an eye to learning from nature's success, scientists found that an orange-colored protein that protects cyanobacteria from overexposure to sunlight shifts to a reddish color that helps dissipate excess energy as heat.

    Don't Touch: How Scientists Study the Reactions Inside Stars

    Don't Touch: How Scientists Study the Reactions Inside Stars

    Nuclear scientists at Texas A&M University devised a method that allows scientists to determine key reaction rates at stellar energies using conventional nuclear reactions.

    Metal Ions First Sneak in, Then Bust Through

    Metal Ions First Sneak in, Then Bust Through

    For the first time, scientists obtained an atomic view of two key processes in batteries as they are charged; this study offers new insights about the underlying principles involved in energy storage.

    Artificial Moth Eyes Enhance Silicon Solar Cells

    Artificial Moth Eyes Enhance Silicon Solar Cells

    Mimicking the texture found on the surfaces of the eyes of moths, scientists have produced nanotextured designs across silicon-based solar cells. The texturing significantly enhanced the light-harvesting and, hence, overall performance of the solar cells.

    Silver Ants Stay Cool in the Saharan Heat

    Silver Ants Stay Cool in the Saharan Heat

    Silver ants can maintain stable body temperatures even while traversing the searing sands of the Sahara desert. Scientists have discovered how the ants regulate their body temperature. The ants' mechanism could be used in technologies to cool buildings and vehicles.

    Janus-Like Nanoparticle Membranes

    Janus-Like Nanoparticle Membranes

    Nanoparticles are known to self-assemble at the air-water interface into large 2D sheets. Researchers discovered that an organic coating on the nanoparticles differs slightly between the two sides of the membrane.

    Using Nanotubes to Create Single Photons for Quantum Communication

    Using Nanotubes to Create Single Photons for Quantum Communication

    Researchers demonstrated a new material, made from tiny carbon tubes, that emits the desired single photons (of interest for data encryption) at room temperature.

    Problem Turned Into Performance for Solar Cells

    Problem Turned Into Performance for Solar Cells

    Researchers designed solar cells with large crystals of perovskite and a specially tailored material sandwiched between the grains, and the result is a more efficient solar cell.

    New Microwave Synthesis Technique Produces More-Affordable Hydrogen

    New Microwave Synthesis Technique Produces More-Affordable Hydrogen

    Scientists create a molybdenum-based material that could be a low-cost alternative to platinum for splitting water to make hydrogen fuel.

    Rare Meets Common: Reacting Protactinium with Ubiquitous Water Explains an Elemental Oddity

    Rare Meets Common: Reacting Protactinium with Ubiquitous Water Explains an Elemental Oddity

    Scientists demonstrated that a positively charged protactinium dioxide ion may not exist in aqueous solution like other highly charged actinides, such as uranium and plutonium.

    Soft and Small Imaging Breakthrough

    Soft and Small Imaging Breakthrough

    Using the Molecular Foundry's imaging capabilities, scientists developed a technique, called "CLAIRE," that allows the incredible resolution of electron microscopy to be used for non-invasive imaging of biomolecules and other soft matter.

    A Step Towards New, Faster-Charging, and Safer Batteries

    A Step Towards New, Faster-Charging, and Safer Batteries

    Researchers found a simple solution to the limited durability in aluminum-ion batteries - an electrode composed of graphite. In this work, the internal gaps in the foam allowed faster motion of the ions inside the negative electrode that enhance the rate of charging.

    Lithium Hoarding Behind Failure of Promising New Battery

    Lithium Hoarding Behind Failure of Promising New Battery

    A salt plays a critical role in allowing lithium-sulfur batteries to hold a charge after more than 200 uses; this work offers needed design principles for creating long-lasting, high-capacity batteries.