Rise of Marine Diatoms Linked to Vast Increase in Continental Weathering

A team of researchers, including Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor Morgan Schaller, has used mathematical modeling to show that continental erosion over the last 40 million years has contributed to the success of diatoms, a group of tiny marine algae that plays a key role in the global carbon cycle. The research was published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Graphene 'Gateway' Discovery Opens Possibilities for Improved Energy Technologies

Graphene, a strong, lightweight carbon honeycombed structure, only one atom thick, holds great promise for energy research and development. Recently scientists with the Fluid Interface Reactions, Structures, and Transport Energy Frontier Research Center, led by the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, revealed graphene can serve as a proton-selective permeable membrane, providing a new basis for streamlined and more efficient energy technologies such as improved fuel cells.

Data Driven Discoveries

The Array of Things, The Internet of Things, ultimately, "smart" cities have to feature hundreds, maybe thousands, of strategically placed sensors. These devices would record everything from air pressure and temperature to microbial content. The newly developed Waggle platform is the system on a chip that will enable this to happen.

ORNL Microscopy Directly Images Problematic Lithium Dendrites in Batteries

Scientists have captured the first real-time nanoscale images of lithium dendrite structures known to degrade lithium-ion batteries.

Big Box Stores Could Ditch the Grid, Use Natural Gas Fuel Cells Instead

Natural gas powered solid oxide fuel cells, located at the point of use to produce electricity for facilities the size of big box stores, could provide economic and environmental benefits, with additional research, according to new study.

Argonne Research Expanding from Injectors to Inhalers

In collaboration with Australian researchers, Argonne National Laboratory's scientists are using decades of experience analyzing vehicle fuel injectors to study medical inhalers, hoping to unlock the secrets of the devices that are so well known to asthma sufferers everywhere.

New CMI Process Recycles Valuable Rare Earth Metals From Old Electronics

Scientists at the Critical Materials Institute have developed a two-step recovery process that makes recycling rare-earth metals easier and more cost-effective.

Innovative, Lower Cost Sensors and Controls Yield Better Energy Efficiency

Buildings are responsible for about 40 percent of the energy consumed in the United States. Studies indicate that advanced sensors and controls have the potential to reduce the energy consumption of buildings by 20-30 percent.

New Flow Battery to Keep Big Cities Lit, Green & Safe

The new zinc-polyiodide redox flow battery uses an electrolyte that has more than two times the energy density of the next-best flow battery used to store renewable energy and support the power grid. It's high energy density, and resulting lower cost, make it ideal for large cities where space is at a premium.

Dendrite Eraser: New Electrolyte Rids Batteries of Short-Circuiting Fibers

A new electrolyte allows rechargeable batteries to operate well without growing dendrites, tiny pin-like fibers that short-circuit rechargeable batteries.

Using 'Fuzzy Logic' to Optimize Hybrid Solar/Battery Systems

A group of researchers in Tunisia and Algeria show how fuzzy logic has helped them create an ideal photovoltaic system that obeys the supply-and-demand principle and its delicate balance. They describe this new sizing system of a solar array and a battery in a standalone photovoltaic system in The Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Searching for Signs of a Force from the 'Dark Side' in Particle Collisions at RHIC

Scientists searching for signs of elusive "dark photons" as an explanation for an anomaly in a groundbreaking physics experiment have nearly ruled out their role.

New Solder for Semiconductors Creates Technological Possibilities

A research team led by the University of Chicago's Dmitri Talapin has demonstrated how semiconductors can be soldered and still deliver good electronic performance.

Scientists Get First Glimpse of a Chemical Bond Being Born

Scientists have used an X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to get the first glimpse of the transition state where two atoms begin to form a weak bond on the way to becoming a molecule.

Better Catalysts, Made-to-Order

University of Utah scientists captured enough data on crucial steps in a chemical reaction to accurately predict the structures of the most efficient catalysts, those that would speed the process with the least amount of unwanted byproducts. The new approach could help chemists design catalysts that are not just incrementally better, but entirely new.

Scientists Take First X-ray Portraits of Living Bacteria at the LCLS

Researchers working at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have captured the first X-ray portraits of living bacteria. This milestone, reported in the Feb. 11 issue of Nature Communications, is a first step toward possible X-ray explorations of the molecular machinery at work in viral infections, cell division, photosynthesis and other processes that are important to biology, human health and our environment.

Direct Measurement of Key Molecule Will Increase Accuracy of Combustion Models

Sandia National Laboratories researchers are the first to directly measure hydroperoxyalkyl radicals -- a class of reactive molecules denoted as "QOOH" -- that are key in the chain of reactions that controls the early stages of combustion. This breakthrough has generated data on QOOH reaction rates and outcomes that will improve the fidelity of models used by engine manufacturers to create cleaner and more efficient cars and trucks. A paper describing the work, performed by David Osborn, Ewa Papajak, John Savee, Craig Taatjes and Judit Zador at Sandia's Combustion Research Facility, is featured in the Feb. 6 edition of Science.

Tracking Glaciers with Accelerators

To predict Earth's future, geologists use particle accelerators to understand its past.

A Closer Look at the Flawed Studies Behind Policies Used to Promote 'Low-Carbon' Biofuels

Nearly all of the studies used to promote biofuels as climate-friendly alternatives to petroleum fuels are flawed and need to be redone, according to a University of Michigan researcher who reviewed more than 100 papers published over more than two decades.

Record Keeping Helps Bacteria's Immune System Fight Invaders

Bacteria have a sophisticated means of defending themselves, and they need it: more viruses infect bacteria than any other biological entity. Two experiments undertaken at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory provide new insight at the heart of bacterial adaptive defenses in a system called CRISPR, short for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat.

UAH Research May Create Better Electric Car Batteries

Smaller, lighter electric car batteries that don't have to sacrifice longevity to be petite could be one benefit of basic research into lithium-ion battery nanomaterials at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

IU Biologists Partner Bacterium with Nitrogen Gas to Produce More, Cleaner Bioethanol

Indiana University biologists believe they have found a faster, cheaper and cleaner way to increase bioethanol production by using nitrogen gas, the most abundant gas in Earth's atmosphere, in place of more costly industrial fertilizers. The discovery could save the industry millions of dollars and make cellulosic ethanol - made from wood, grasses and inedible parts of plants - more competitive with corn ethanol and gasoline.

The Quest for Efficiency in Thermoelectric Nanowires

Sandia National Laboratories researchers have developed a single electroforming technique that tailored key factors to better thermoelectric performance: crystal orientation, crystal size and alloy uniformity. The work is outlined in a paper, "Using Galvanostatic Electroforming of Bi1-xSbx Nanowires to Control Composition, Crystallinity and Orientation," in MRS Bulletin.

Tracking Fish Easier, Quicker, Safer with New Injectable Device

A new acoustic fish-tracking tag is so tiny it can be injected with a syringe. It's small size enables researchers to more precisely and safely record how fish swim through dams and use that information to make dams more fish-friendly.

Nanoscale Mirrored Cavities Amplify, Connect Quantum Memories

Constructing tiny "mirrors" to trap light increases the efficiency with which photons can pick up and transmit information about electronic spin states--which is essential for scaling up quantum memories for functional quantum computing systems and networks.