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Scientists unveil unique approach to the basic concepts of solid state physics
The fundamental properties of solids depend critically on how the atomic constituents of the material are arranged and on their motion about their equilibrium positions. This book describes the basic theoretical physics concepts relevant to the description of atomic positions in solids and experimental techniques used to measure the positions of atoms and their motions in solids. An example is given as to the relevance of this information to the development of solid state lasers. (2014-08-03)

Uncovering the 3-D structure of a key neuroreceptor
EPFL scientists reveal for the first time the 3-D structure of a crucial neuroreceptor. The achievement has great implications for understanding the basic mechanism of electrical signal transmission between neurons and might help to design novel medicines to treat various neurological diseases. (2014-08-03)

Refocusing research into high-temperature superconductors
Scientists around the globe are trying to understand the phenomenon of loss-free electric power transmission by high-temperature superconductors. Materials that exhibit this effect at room temperature would bear huge technical potential. Recently symmetry changes in the electronic phases of high-temperature superconductors near their transition temperature had been attributed to doping effects. But an international team of scientists has now discovered that solely spin dynamics of the electrons are responsible for these spontaneous changes. (2014-07-31)

NSF grant to Wayne State supports new concept for manufacturing nanoscale devices
According to the National Science Foundation, nanotechnology is the creation and utilization of functional materials, devices, and systems with novel properties and functions. A major bottleneck in scaling up nanotechnology is the lack of manufacturing methods that connect different functional materials into one device. A research team led by Dr. Guangzhao Mao, professor of chemical engineering and materials science at Wayne State University, is seeking answers to this problem. (2014-07-30)

A crystal wedding in the nanocosmos
Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, the Vienna University of Technology and the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Lublin have succeeded in embedding nearly perfect semiconductor crystals into a silicon nanowire. With this new method of producing hybrid nanowires, very fast and multi-functional processing units can be accommodated on a single chip in the future. The research results will be published in the journal Nano Research. (2014-07-23)

Technique simplifies the creation of high-tech crystals
Researchers propose a method to create precision crystals by adding polymer to a chemical mixture. (2014-07-22)

Future electronics may depend on lasers, not quartz
Nearly all electronics require devices called oscillators that create precise frequencies -- frequencies used to keep time in wristwatches or to transmit reliable signals to radios. For nearly a century, these oscillators have relied upon quartz crystals to provide a frequency reference, much like a tuning fork is used as a reference to tune a piano. A new approach from Caltech researchers could ultimately replace the quartz crystal frequency reference -- technology in use since the 1920s. (2014-07-17)

SLU scientists hit 'delete': Removing regions of shape-shifting protein explains how blood clots
Researchers used X-ray crystallography to publish the first image of prothrombin. The protein's flexible structure is key to the development of blood-clotting. (2014-07-15)

A first direct glimpse of photosynthesis in action
An international team of researchers, including scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, has just a reported a major step in understanding photosynthesis, the process by which the Earth first gained and now maintains the oxygen in its atmosphere and which is therefore crucial for all higher forms of life on earth. (2014-07-11)

Penn researchers: Consider the 'anticrystal'
Physicists at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago have evidence that a new concept should undergird our understanding of most materials: the anticrystal, a theoretical solid that is completely disordered. (2014-07-07)

Platonic solids generate their 4-dimensional analogues
Alicia Boole Stott, the third daughter of mathematician George Boole, is probably best known for establishing the term 'polytope' for a convex solid in four dimensions. Alicia was also a long time collaborator of HSM Coxeter, one of the greatest geometers of the 20th Century. (2014-07-04)

Research gives unprecedented 3-D view of important brain receptor
Researchers with Oregon Health & Science University's Vollum Institute have given science a new and unprecedented 3-D view of one of the most important receptors in the brain -- a receptor that allows us to learn and remember, and whose dysfunction is involved in a wide range of neurological diseases and conditions, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, schizophrenia and depression. (2014-06-27)

Let there be light: Chemists develop magnetically responsive liquid crystals
University of California, Riverside chemists have constructed liquid crystals with optical properties that can be instantly and reversibly controlled by an external magnetic field. The research opens the door to display applications relying on the instantaneous and contactless nature of magnetic manipulation -- such as signage, posters, writing tablets, and billboards. Requiring no electrodes, the liquid crystals have applications in anti-counterfeit technology and optical communication devices for controlling the amplitude, phase, polarization, propagation direction of light. (2014-06-26)

Implanted infection prevention
Hospital germs can be fatal, since they are resistant to antibiotics. As a result, alternative methods of defense against bacteria are in demand. Fortunately, a German-French research team has been able to develop bone implants that keep the germs at bay. (2014-06-11)

Magnetic cooling enables efficient, 'green' refrigeration
A team of Canadian-Bulgarian researchers has developed a promising novel approach for magnetic cooling that's far more efficient and 'greener' than today's standard fluid-compression form of refrigeration. (2014-06-10)

Designing ion 'highway systems' for batteries
Northwestern University professor Monica Olvera de la Cruz and her research group have married two traditional theories that advance the understanding of plastics for battery application. (2014-06-09)

NUS scientists demonstrate rare chemical phenomenon to harvest solar energy
A team of international scientists led by professor Jagadese J. Vittal of the Department of Chemistry at the National University of Singapore's Faculty of Science has successfully unraveled the chemical reaction responsible for propelling microscopic crystals to leap distances up to hundreds of times their own size when they are exposed to ultraviolet light. (2014-06-02)

Scientists capture most detailed images yet of tiny cellular machines
Like exploring the inner workings of a clock, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers is digging into the inner workings of the tiny cellular machines called spliceosomes, which help make all of the proteins our bodies need to function. In a recent study published in the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, UW-Madison's David Brow, Samuel Butcher and colleagues have captured images of this machine, revealing details never seen before. (2014-06-02)

Doing more with less; in cellulo structure determinations
Anyone involved in macromolecular crystallography will know that for many years scientists have had to rely on a multi-stage process utilizing protein, usually expressed in engineered cells, which is then extracted and purified before crystallization in vitro and finally prepared for analysis. (2014-06-02)

Scientists unveil first method for controlling the growth of metal crystals
Researchers have announced the first ever method for controlling the growth of metal-crystals from single atoms. Developed at the University of Warwick, the method, called Nanocrystallometry, allows for the creation of precise components for use in nanotechnology. Professor Peter Sadler from the University's Department of Chemistry commented that 'The breakthrough with Nanocrystallometry is that it actually allows us to observe and directly control the nano-world in motion.' (2014-05-27)

NCNR neutrons highlight possible battery candidate
Analysis of a manganese-based crystal by scientists at NIST and MIT has produced the first clear picture of its molecular structure. The findings could help explain the magnetic and electronic behavior of the whole family of crystals, many of which have potential for use in batteries. (2014-05-22)

Liquid crystal as lubricant
Thanks to a new lubricant, small gears can run with virtually no friction. Made from liquid crystalline fluid, these lubricants drastically reduce friction and wear. (2014-05-22)

Eumelanin's secrets
Melanin -- and specifically, the form called eumelanin -- is the primary pigment that gives humans the coloring of their skin, hair, and eyes. It protects the body from the hazards of ultraviolet and other radiation that can damage cells and lead to skin cancer, but the exact reason why the compound is so effective at blocking such a broad spectrum of sunlight has remained something of a mystery. (2014-05-22)

Forum highlights future of research aboard the International Space Station
A panel of research experts gathered May 21 at NASA for the Destination Station: International Space Station Science Forum to highlight the direction for life and physical sciences aboard the International Space Station. (2014-05-22)

Protective proteins reduce damage to blood vessels
Researchers have uncovered how proteins found in our blood can reduce damage caused to blood vessels as we age, and in conditions such as atherosclerosis and arthritis. (2014-05-21)

UH researchers find definitive evidence of how zeolites grow
Researchers have found the first definitive evidence of how silicalite-1 zeolites grow, showing that growth is a concerted process involving both the attachment of nanoparticles and the addition of molecules. Both processes appear to happen simultaneously, said Jeffrey Rimer, an engineering professor at the University of Houston and lead author of a paper published Thursday in the journal Science. (2014-05-15)

Rounding up the BCATs on the Space Station
The Binary Colloidal Alloy Tests (BCAT) series of investigations aims to understand fluids and the physics behind their movement. This research might help in designing new stable products for consumers. (2014-05-13)

3-D 'map' of enzyme completed by MU scientists could lead to more effective drugs
University of Missouri researchers have completed a 3-D map of an enzyme called Proline utilization A (PutA). PutA facilitates metabolism by adding oxygen to molecules. (2014-05-13)

A glassy look for manganites
Researchers at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source discovered a glass-like re-ordering of electron-spin states as manganite crystals recovered from a photo-excited conductor state back to an insulator state. The discovery holds promise for future ultrafast electronic switching and memory devices. (2014-04-28)

Beyond graphene: Controlling properties of 2-D materials
Researchers at the University of Manchester have shown how they can control the properties of stacks of two-dimensional materials, opening up opportunities for new, previously-unimagined electronic devices. (2014-04-28)

Ames Lab researchers see rare-earth-like magnetic properties in iron
Scientists at the Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have observed magnetic properties typically associated with those observed in rare-earth elements in iron. These properties are observed in a new iron based compound that does not contain rare earth elements, when the iron atom is positioned between two nitrogen atoms. The discovery opens the possibility of using iron to provide both the magnetism and permanence in high-strength permanent magnets, like those used in direct-drive wind turbines or electric motors in hybrid cars. (2014-04-28)

Global scientific team 'visualizes' a new crystallization process
By combining a synchrotron's bright X-ray beam with high speed X-ray cameras, scientists from Stanford University in California and KAUST in Saudi Arabia shot a 'movie' showing how organic molecules form into crystals. This is a first. Their new techniques will improve our understanding of crystal packing and should help lead to better electronic devices as well as pharmaceuticals -- indeed any product whose properties depend on precisely controlling crystallization, as this paper describes. (2014-04-16)

Nanocrystalline cellulose modified into an efficient viral inhibitor
Researchers at Aalto University and the University of Eastern Finland have succeeded in creating a surface on nano-sized cellulose crystals that imitates a biological structure. The surface adsorbs viruses and disables them. The results can prove useful in the development of antiviral ointments and surfaces, for instance. (2014-04-15)

Soukoulis wins 2014 Max Born Award
Costas Soukoulis, senior scientist at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Iowa State University and associated member of IESL-FORTH in Greece, has won the 2014 Max Born Award from the Optical Society of America. The award honors a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the scientific field of physical optics. (2014-04-11)

The motion of the medium matters for self-assembling particles, Penn research shows
Earlier work assumed that the liquid medium in which certain self-assembling particles float could be treated as a placid vacuum, but a University of Pennsylvania team has shown that fluid dynamics play a crucial role in the kind and quality of the structures that can be made in this way. (2014-04-09)

Expanding particles to engineer defects
Northwestern University researchers find that adding a larger particle to a crystalline system can create order rather than distortions. (2014-04-08)

Making the most of carbon nanotube-liquid crystal combos
Dispersions of carbon nanotubes with liquid crystals have attracted much interest because they pave the way for creating new materials with added functionalities. Now, a study published in EPJ E by Marina Yakemseva and colleagues focuses on the influence of temperature and nanotube concentration on the physical properties of such combined materials. (2014-04-02)

Misleading mineral may have resulted in overestimate of water in moon
The amount of water present in the moon may have been overestimated by scientists studying the mineral apatite, UCLA researchers have discovered. (2014-04-01)

Researchers announce first phononic crystal that can be altered in real time
Using an acoustic metadevice that can influence the acoustic space and can control any of the ways in which waves travel, engineers have demonstrated, for the first time, that it is possible to dynamically alter the geometry of a three-dimensional colloidal crystal in real time. (2014-03-31)

Gout isn't always easy to prove: CT scans help catch cases traditional test misses
Gout is on the rise among US men and women, and this piercingly painful and most common form of inflammatory arthritis is turning out to be more complicated than had been thought. The standard way to check for gout is by drawing fluid or tissue from an affected joint and looking for uric acid crystals, a test known as a needle aspirate. (2014-03-26)

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