03-11-2015   -   Nuclear

Tue 3 Nov 2015. Chemical complexity promises improved structural alloys for next-gen nuclear energy. Designing alloys to withstand extreme environments is a fundamental challenge for materials scientists. Energy from radiation can create imperfections in alloys, so researchers are investigating ways to design structural materials that develop fewer, smaller flaws under irradiation. Advanced structural materials that can withstand radiation are a critical national need for nuclear reactor applications. Next-generation reactors will be expected to serve over longer lifetimes and withstand higher irradiation levels. More

  27-10-2015   -   Physics

Tue 27 Oct 2015. Breakthrough to the development of energy-saving devices for the next generation. Wide-gap semiconductors such as gallium nitride (GaN) are widely used for optical devices such as blue LED and are also anticipated as materials for next-generation energy saving power devices and solar cells. However, the quality of GaN crystals does not come up to that of conventional semiconductor materials such as silicon (Si) and this prevents GaN from being used for power devices. A group of researchers have recently succeeded in visualizing changes in defect density on the surface of GaN through the laser terahertz emission microscope (LTEM) which measures THz waves generated by laser emission. It was shown that LTEM is useful as a new method for evaluating the quality of wide-gap semiconductors and it is also expected that LTEM will bring a breakthrough in the development of next-generation optical devices, super high frequency devices, and energy devices. More

  07-10-2015   -   Chemistry

Wed 7 Oct 2015. The 2015 Nobel Prize for chemistry has been jointly awarded to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich, and Aziz Sancar for mechanistic studies of DNA repair. Having mapped, at a molecular level, how cells repair damaged DNA and safeguard the genetic information, their work has provided fundamental knowledge of how a living cell functions and is, for instance, used for the development of new cancer treatments. They have provided fundamental insights into how cells function, knowledge that can be used, for instance, in the development of new cancer treatments. More

  06-10-2015   -   Physics

Tue 6 Oct 2015. The Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 recognises Takaaki Kajita in Japan and Arthur B. McDonald in Canada, for their key contributions to the experiments which demonstrated that neutrinos change identities. This metamorphosis requires that neutrinos have mass. The discovery has changed our understanding of the innermost workings of matter and can prove crucial to our view of the universe. A neutrino puzzle that physicists had wrestled with for decades had been resolved. Compared to theoretical calculations of the number of neutrinos, up to two thirds of the neutrinos were missing in measurements performed on Earth. Now, the two experiments discovered that the neutrinos had changed identities. More

  05-10-2015   -   Medicine

Mon 5 Oct 2015. The Nobel Prize for medicine has been jointly awarded to two scientists for their work on diseases caused by parasites and another for her research into the treatment of malaria. The winners are William Campbell of Ireland and Satoshi Omura of Japan, who discovered a new drug to treat parasitic diseases, and Youyou Tu of China, who used Chinese herbal medicine to find a new kind of antimalarial agent. More

  27-09-2015   -   Energy

Sun 27 Sep 2015. Small-scale nuclear fusion may be a new energy source according to a new research. Nuclear fusion is a process whereby atomic nuclei melt together and release energy. Because of the low binding energy of the tiny atomic nuclei, energy can be released by combining two small nuclei with a heavier one. Fusion energy may soon be used in small-scale power stations. This means producing environmentally friendly heating and electricity at a low cost from fuel found in water. Both heating generators and generators for electricity could be developed within a few years. The research looked at a new type of nuclear fusion process where almost no neutrons are released but instead fast, heavy electrons (muons), since it is based on nuclear reactions in ultra-dense heavy hydrogen (deuterium). More

  24-08-2015   -   Energy

Mon 24 Aug 2015. A new Power grid forecasting tool (PMI) that increases the accuracy of forecasting future electricity needs by up to 50%, and may also have the potential to save millions in wasted energy costs, has been developed. Accurately forecasting future electricity needs can be difficult due to sudden weather changes or other variables impacting projections minute by minute. The Power Model Integrator - PMI has been designed to assist with addressing costly errors that can lead to serious impacts, from blackouts to high market costs. Performance of the tool was tested against five commonly used forecasting models processing a years worth of historical power system data. Fluctuations in energy demand throughout the day, season and year along with weather events and increased use of intermittent renewable energy from the sun and wind all contribute to forecasting errors. Miscalculations can be costly, put stress on power generators and lead to instabilities in the power system. More

  17-08-2015   -   Chemistry

Mon 17 Aug 2015. Sol-gel Capacitor Dielectric Offers Record-high Energy Storage. Using a hybrid silica sol-gel material and self-assembled monolayers of a common fatty acid, researchers have developed a new capacitor dielectric material that provides an electrical energy storage capacity rivaling certain batteries, with both a high energy density and high power density. If the material can be scaled up from laboratory samples, devices made from it could surpass traditional electrolytic capacitors for applications in electromagnetic propulsion, electric vehicles and defibrillators. Capacitors often complement batteries in these applications because they can provide large amounts of current quickly. More

  23-07-2015   -   Physics

Thu 23 Jul 2015. Boosting Wireless Power Transfer with Magnetic Field Enhancement. Wireless power transfer works by having a transmitter coil generate a magnetic field; a receiver coil then draws energy from that magnetic field. One of the major roadblocks for development of marketable wireless power transfer technologies is achieving high efficiency. New research shows that passing wireless power transfer through a magnetic resonance field enhancer (MRFE) which can be as simple as a copper loop can boost the transfer efficiency by at least 100 percent as compared to transferring through air alone. MRFE use could potentially boost transfer efficiency by as much as 5,000 percent in some systems. By placing the MRFE between the transmitter and the receiver (without touching either) as an intermediate material, the researchers were able to significantly enhance the magnetic field, increasing its efficiency. More

  13-06-2015   -   Medicine

Sat 13 June. Hybrid scanner combines five molecular imaging technologies. Scientists are taking medical imaging research and drug discovery to a new level by developing a molecular imaging system that combines several advanced technologies for all-in-one imaging of both tissue models and live subjects. Each imaging technology has its own strengths. Direct positron imaging is a nuclear medicine technique that allows researchers to gain physiological information from radiolabeled imaging agents that bind to targets in the body, which are then imaged with a specialized detector. The hybrid system applies both conventional and hyperpolarized MRI. The former is ideal for soft-tissue contrast, and the latter has extremely fine imaging resolution due to a revolution in the technology called dynamic nuclear spin polarization (DNSP), which is used to track minute biochemistry in the body -- such as the transition of the naturally occurring chemical pyruvate to lactate. More

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