All life on earth is based on organic biology – in the form of carbon compounds – but the inorganic world is considered to be inanimate.A team from Glasgow University has demonstrated a new way of making inorganic chemical cells. The aim is to create self-replicating, evolving inorganic cells which could be used in medicine and chemistry. The project is being led by Professor Lee Cronin from the university’s College of Science and Engineering.He said: “What we are trying do is create self-replicating, evolving, inorganic cells that would essentially be alive. You could call it inorganic biology.”Researchers say the cells, which can also store electricity, could potentially be used in all sorts of applications in medicine, as sensors or to confine chemical reactions.The research is part of a project by Prof Cronin to demonstrate that inorganic chemical compounds are capable of self-replicating and evolving – just as organic, biological carbon-based cells do. Scientists Seek To Create Inorganic Life
Researchers at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) have obtained a formula for building a ” Antimagnet.” that can nullify the magnetic field, a discovery that was published in the New Journal of Physics.UAB researchers publish in New Journal of Physics a formula to create a device capable of blocking any type of magnetic field. The antimagnet will make it possible for people with pacemakers to undergo magnetic resonances and to control the magnetic fields of technological devices.Researchers worked to obtain a formula which will cover three objectives. First, an object’s magnetic field will not penetrate the exterior once it is covered by the antimagnet. Second, everything cloaked by the antimagnet will be protected from external magnetic fields and the object inside will be undetectable. Antimagnets That Nullify Magnetic Fields
(PhysOrg.com) -- A simple tap from your finger may be enough to charge your portable device thanks to a discovery made at RMIT University and Australian National University. In a crucial step towards the development of self-powering portable electronics, researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne have for the first time characterised the ability of piezoelectric thin films to turn mechanical pressure into electricity. The pioneering result is published in the 21 June Issue of the leading materials science journal, Advanced Functional Materials. Lead co-author Dr Madhu Bhaskaran said the research combined the potential of piezoelectrics - materials capable of converting pressure into electrical energy - and the cornerstone of microchip manufacturing, thin film technology. Nanotechnology pushes battery life to eternity
Zombie Ant Manipulation Method Revealed in Detail: Study | Science Zombie ants biting the underside of leaves as a result of infection by O. unilateralis. (PLoS ONE) Just how exactly parasitic fungi turn their ant hosts into zombies has been unveiled in a new study, to be published in the journal BMC Ecology. Scientists looked at the carpenter ant Camponotus leonardi, which inhabits the rainforest canopy in Thailand. They found that the ant’s behavior changes significantly after infection by the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis for a number of reasons.
Top Ten New Species Named for This Year | Science By Cassie RyanEpoch Times Staff Created: May 23, 2011 Last Updated: March 8, 2012 It is flat like a pancake and researchers say when it moves on the sea floor it resembles a 'walking bat' with its odd arm-like fins bouncing it across the abyss. (Prosanta Chakrabarty/Louisiana State University, USA) A T. rex leech, a pancake batfish, and an underwater mushroom are among the winners on this year’s top 10 new species list, announced today, May 23, to coincide with the 304th birthday of Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus, who fathered modern taxonomy and the classification system used by scientists. Tyrannobdella rex, a Peruvian leech under 2 inches long, has a single jaw with gigantic teeth to match its name, meaning “tyrant leech king.” It was first discovered when a leech attached itself to the inside of someone’s nose.
New Elements Added to the Periodic Table | Science By Alex JohnstonEpoch Times Staff Created: June 9, 2011 Last Updated: June 9, 2011 Two new elements, 114 and 116, were introduced to the periodic table. (Photos.com)
Scientists have discovered a method to control the gas-phase selective catalytic combustion of methane, so finely that if done at room temperature the reaction produces ethylene, while at lower temperatures it yields formaldehyde. The process involves using gold dimer cations as catalysts -- that is, positively charged diatomic gold clusters. Being able to catalyze these reactions, at or below room temperature, may lead to significant cost savings in the synthesis of plastics, synthetic fuels and other materials. The research was conducted by scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Ulm. Scientists finely control methane combustion to get different products
Video: Magnetic Gels That Swim, Shimmy, and 'Walk'
Miniature architectural forms -- some no larger than viruses -- have been constructed through a revolutionary technique known as DNA origami. Now, Hao Yan, Yan Liu and their colleagues at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute have expanded the capability of this method to construct arbitrary, two and three-dimensional shapes, mimicking those commonly found in nature. Such diminutive forms may ultimately find their way into a wide array of devices, from ultra-tiny computing components to nanomedical sentries used to target and destroy aberrant cells or deliver therapeutics at the cellular or even molecular level. In the April 15 issue of Science, the Yan group describes an approach that capitalizes on (and extends) the architectural potential of DNA. The new method is an important step in the direction of building nanoscale structures with complex curvature -- a feat that has eluded conventional DNA origami methods. DNA nanoforms: Miniature architectural forms -- some no larger than viruses -- constructed through DNA origami
Graphene A team of researchers from the University of Arizona and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have increased the toughness of ceramic composites by using graphene reinforcements that enable new fracture resistance mechanisms in the ceramic. The research, lead by Assistant Professor Erica L. Corral from the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and Professor Nikhil Koratkar from the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, was recently published in ACS Nano, the monthly journal of the American Chemical Society. "Our work on graphene ceramic composites is the first of its kind in the open literature and shows mechanisms for toughening using two-dimensional graphene sheets that have yet to be seen in ceramic composites," said Corral.
New spin on graphene makes it magnetic A team led by Professor Andre Geim, a recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize for graphene, can now show that electric current -- a flow of electrons -- can magnetise graphene. The results, reported in Science, could be a potentially huge breakthrough in the field of spintronics. Spintronics is a group of emerging technologies that exploit the intrinsic spin of the electron, in addition to its fundamental electric charge that is exploited in microelectronics.
New way to control magnetic properties of graphene discovered University of Maryland researchers have discovered a way to control magnetic properties of graphene that could lead to powerful new applications in magnetic storage and magnetic random access memory. The finding by a team of Maryland researchers, led by Physics Professor Michael S. Fuhrer of the UMD Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials is the latest of many amazing properties discovered for graphene. A honeycomb sheet of carbon atoms just one atom thick, graphene is the basic constituent of graphite. Some 200 times stronger than steel, it conducts electricity at room temperature better than any other known material (a 2008 discovery by Fuhrer, et. al).
What the Heck is Three-Phase Power (and how can you get some)? I recently moved my shop, and in addition to the big issues, from forklift rental to sleep deprivation, we also had to deal with things like three-phase power, a variation of power delivery often used for big equipment. The old shop had it and the new shop doesn't. So what the heck is three-phase power and how can you convert machinery to go from the more common single-phase to three-phase and vice versa? Read on. For us, the impact was limited because only the air compressor had a three-phase motor. Some of the welding equipment had been running on three-phase, but can easily be re-configured to run on either three-phase or single-phase.
Unprecedented Cosmic Explosion Spawns an Intergalactic Mystery A mystery is unfolding out there in the cosmos, and NASA's Swift, Hubble Space Telescope, and Chandra X-Ray Observatory are teaming up to solve the case. But while researchers have pieced together some of the pieces of the puzzle over the last week, the huge, high-energy blast continues to brighten and fade, making it the brightest, longest-lasting such burst of energy researchers have ever seen. It all started when Swift's Burst Alert Telescope picked up a powerful gamma-ray burst on March 28, at which point it notified scientists the world over. Astronomers sometimes see gamma-ray bursts like this when a star dies, but these bursts generally last a few hours or less. The plot thickened when the burst didn't fade away.
"Einstein's Pedometer" App Measures How Special Relativity Affects Your Daily Activity Runners live longer, so they say, and a new iPhone app proves it through the theory of special relativity. Just in time for marathon season! As your velocity increases, time as you experience it slows down relative to something moving slower than you. A passenger on a spaceship traveling near the speed of light would appear to have aged less than his friends when he returned to Earth, for instance. Similarly, a fast runner appears to gain time compared to a slow runner. Einstein's Pedometer brings special relativity to your daily activities, showing how much time you gain by moving.
TURNING a vacuum into a superconductor could be as simple as zapping it with a super-powerful magnet. That's according to Maxim Chernodub of the University of Tours in France, who believes powerful magnetic fields could pluck charged particles out of the vacuum of space and set them flowing as a current that never encounters any resistance. This seemingly bizarre proposal is a consequence of the uncertainty principle of quantum theory, which says we can never be sure that a vacuum is truly empty. Instead, space is fizzing with "virtual" particles, which tend to disappear almost as soon as they form. How to turn the vacuum into a superconductor - physics-math - 08 April 2011