Researchers Accidentally Make Batteries That Could Last A Lifetime

Slashdot - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 4:40pm
Reader Socguy writes: A typical Lithium-ion battery breaks down badly between 5000-7000 cycles. Researchers at the University of California may have discovered a simple way to build a Lithium battery that can withstand 100,000+ cycles. This was a serendipitous discovery as the researcher was playing around with the battery and coated it in a thin gel layer. The researchers believe the gel plasticizes the metal oxide in the battery and gives it flexibility, preventing cracking.Dave Gershgorn, reporting for Popular Science: Instead of lithium, researchers at UC Irvine have used gold nanowires to store electricity, and have found that their system is able to far outlast traditional lithium battery construction. The Irvine team's system cycled through 200,000 recharges without significant corrosion or decline. However, they don't exactly know why. "We started to cycle the devices, and then realized that they weren't going to die," said Reginald Penner, a lead author of the paper. "We don't understand the mechanism of that yet." The Irvine battery technology uses a gold nanowire, no thicker than a bacterium, coated in manganese oxide and then protected by a layer of electrolyte gel. The gel interacts with the metal oxide coating to prevent corrosion. The longer the wire, the more surface area, and the more charge it can hold. Other researchers have been experimenting with nanowires for years, but the introduction of the protective gel separates UC Irvine's work from other research.Also from the report, "Penner suggests that a more common metal, like nickel, could replace the gold if the technology catches on."

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Categories: Science

Novel collagen fingerprinting identifies a Neanderthal bone among 2,000 fragments

Science Daily - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 4:07pm
Scientists have used a new molecular fingerprinting technique to identify one Neanderthal bone from around 2,000 bone fragments. All the tiny pieces of bone were recovered from a key archaeological site, Denisova Cave in Russia, with the remaining fragments found to be from animal species like mammoths, woolly rhino, wolf and reindeer. It is the first time that researchers have identified traces of an extinct human from an archaeological site using a technique called 'Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry' or ZooMS.
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Nike Hints That Its Flyknit Tech Will Be About More Than Shoes

Wired News - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 4:00pm
Flyknit is more than a cornerstone of Nike; it’s now a brand in its own right. The post Nike Hints That Its Flyknit Tech Will Be About More Than Shoes appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Drone Believed To Have Hit British Airways Flight 'May Have Been a Plastic Bag'

Slashdot - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 4:00pm
Reader schwit1 writes: The drone that reportedly hit a British Airways jet earlier this week may have actually been a plastic bag, a minister has said. Transport minister Robert Goodwill admitted authorities had not yet confirmed whether what struck the Airbus A320 was a remote-controlled device. The collision on Sunday night is believed to have been at around 1,700 ft near Richmond Park in south west London, over four times higher than the legal height limit. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch is investigating, alongside the Metropolitan Police. But following his comments today, Mr Goodwill also dismissed calls for tighter rules on drone use to protect against terror threats insisting current rules governing drone use were strong enough.From a Quartz report: Motherboard's Jason Koebler dove into the data the FAA released last August dove into the data the FAA released last August, and found that, among other things, "a 'large vulture,' a 'fast moving gray object,' a 'mini blimp,' a 'red UAS or balloon,' and 'a UFO' were all classified as drones in the FAA's report." This led him to decide that, when it comes to verifiable sightings -- even from trained pilots -- "drones are the new UFOs."

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New study investigates the environmental cues dolphins use to migrate on the Atlantic coast of North America

Science Daily - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 3:56pm
Seasonal migration patterns of bottlenose dolphins -- what we know for sure? With the changing of the seasons comes the urge to migrate for many animals of the world, whether they be furred, feathered, or even finned. One finned animal in particular, the common bottlenose dolphin, undertakes seasonal migrations each spring and fall, but how the dolphins know when to migrate has not always been clear. It was usually assumed that their southern migration begins when the ocean waters drop in temperature. However, until now there was little evidence to support this and it was largely unknown what factors influence the initiation of dolphin migration. A new study has discovered some of the factors that influence these seasonal migrations.
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How skeletal stem cells form the blueprint of the face

Science Daily - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 3:56pm
Timing is everything when it comes to the development of the vertebrate face. In a new study, researchers have identified the roles of key molecular signals that control this critical timing.
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Paperbark tree to unlock climate change

Science Daily - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 3:56pm
Synonymous with the Australian landscape, the paperbark tree is most recognized for its distinctive bark, but it is the leaves that have found themselves at the center of research which could provide crucial insights into climate change. The research found Melaleuca leaves preserved in ancient wetlands could be used to reconstruct past rainfall activity.
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Expedition captures animal selfies in Amazon Rainforest

Science Daily - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 3:55pm
A team of scientists set up camera traps in Peru to record the biodiversity of that area of the Amazon Rainforest.
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When beauty becomes the beast: Research efforts successfully combat invasive species

Science Daily - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 3:55pm
New research helps halt the spread of non-native plants into natural wooded areas, giving native plants a fighting chance and the opportunity to re-establish themselves.
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Attosecond physics: Understanding the microcosmos

Science Daily - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 3:55pm
With the aid of terahertz radiation, physicists have developed a method for generating and controlling ultrashort electron pulses. With further improvements, this technique should be capable of capturing even electrons in motion.
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Changing the world, one fridge at a time

Science Daily - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 3:55pm
To help change the world, have a look inside your fridge -- this is one of the messages contained in a new article. Food waste has attained monumental proportions in both the developed and developing worlds, and the sum of individual consumer's actions can have major impacts on a global scale, according to the article's author.
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Critical to screen patients with rheumatoid arthritis for hearing impairment

Science Daily - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 3:55pm
The objective of a new review is to evaluate published clinical reports related to hearing impairment in patients with RA. Furthermore, researchers discuss possible pathologies and associated factors as well as new treatment modalities.
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Gateway to the brain

Science Daily - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 3:53pm
Scientists have derived a structural model of a transporter at the blood-brain barrier called Mfsd2a. This is the first molecular model of this critical transporter, and could prove important for the development of therapeutic agents that need to be delivered to the brain --- across the blood-brain barrier. In future, this could help treat neurological disorders such as glioblastoma.
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The Universe, where space-time becomes discrete

Science Daily - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 3:53pm
A theoretical study has analyzed a model that saves special relativity and reconciles it with granularity by introducing small-scale deviations from the principle of locality demonstrating that it can be experimentally tested with great precision.
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Cpf1: CRISPR-enzyme scissors cutting both RNA and DNA

Science Daily - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 3:53pm
Scientists delineate molecular details of a new bacterial CRISPR-Cpf1 system and open possible avenue for alternative gene editing uses like targeting several genes in parallel.
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Researchers uncover 'local heroes' of immune system

Science Daily - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 3:53pm
The genes Hobit and Blimp1 have been identified, and researchers have found that these genes control a universal molecular program responsible for placing immune cells at the 'front lines' of the body to fight infection and cancer.
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Dark matter does not contain certain axion-like particles

Science Daily - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 3:53pm
Researchers are getting closer to corner light dark-matter particle models. Observations can rule out some axion-like particles in the quest for the content of dark matter.
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Atoms placed precisely in silicon can act as quantum simulator

Science Daily - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 3:53pm
In a proof-of-principle experiment, researchers have demonstrated that a small group of individual atoms placed very precisely in silicon can act as a quantum simulator, mimicking nature -- in this case, the weird quantum interactions of electrons in materials. Their success provides a route to developing new ways to test fundamental aspects of quantum physics and to design new, exotic materials.
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A new secret to the miracle of breast milk revealed

Science Daily - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 3:53pm
One of the secrets to rich milk production in lactation has just been uncovered. New studies have revealed that breast cells develop two nuclei as the breast switches on lactation to nurture the newborn.This change begins to occur in late pregnancy with the generation of vast numbers of cells with two nuclei.
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Thin-film solar cells: How defects appear and disappear in CIGSe cells

Science Daily - Fri, 22/04/2016 - 3:53pm
Scientists have investigated the deposition of thin chalcopyrite layers. They were able to observe specific defects as these formed during deposition and under what conditions they self-healed using the BESSY II X-ray source at the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin. The results of their research provide clues to optimizing fabrication processes.
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