When heated to just above room temperature, the electrical conductivity of vanadium dioxide abruptly increases by a factor of 10,000. Unusually large lattice vibrations, which are the oscillations of atoms about their equilibrium positions, stabilize this highly conductive metallic phase.
Scientists engineered a strain of a consolidated bioprocessing bacterium that breaks down biomass without pretreatment, producing ethanol and demonstrating the successful conversion of switchgrass cellulosic biomass.
Tropical monsoons in Indonesia and floods in the United States are both provoked by the Madden-Julian Oscillation, yet, despite its importance, global models often struggle to simulate it accurately. Scientists showed that MJO simulations are most sensitive to lower level heating in the atmosphere.
Some microorganisms found in nature and not grown in the laboratory reinterpret the instructions coded into their DNA. Short segments of DNA that signal other organisms to stop adding building blocks or amino acids to a protein are instead interpreted as "add another amino acid."
Scientists discovered that for palladium-nickel catalysts, certain surface characteristics, measured at the atomic level, sped the creation of carbon dioxide from carbon monoxide.
For the first time, carbon nanotubes were spontaneously inserted into natural and synthetic cell membranes to form pores that mimic biological channels. The pores replicate the major functions of protein-based biological channels.
Scientists built a highly active and durable class of electrocatalysts by exploiting the structural evolution of solid platinum-nickel nanocrystals. The novel material enhanced catalytic activity for splitting oxygen, a reaction vital to fuel cells and potentially other uses.
The Energy Sciences Network is the Internet connection you wish you had - and more.
Researchers designed a way to harvest several long-lived radioisotopes; such harvesting could supply isotopes for which there is limited or no other source.
Often overlooked, earthworms actually play a key role in Mother Nature's carbon sequestration process, according to findings in Soil Biology and Biochemistry.