Advanced Materials

Vine-tree-like CNT architectures

The vine-tree structure is widely observed in nature when the plant has a growth habit of trailing or climbing stems. The vines use trees for growth rather than devoting energy to development of supportive ...

Nov 03, 2014
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Spider silk ties scientists up in knots

Two years ago, researchers from Iowa State University (USA) published a study which concluded that spider silk conducts heat as well as metals. Now, a team from the University of the Basque Country (Spain) ...

Jan 22, 2014
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Pushing back against drug-resistant bugs

Some pathogens can adapt to the presence of drugs that would normally be lethal, and such antibiotic-resistant microbes are now the scourge of hospitals worldwide. Discovering new antibiotics is a laborious ...

Jan 22, 2014
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Harnessing randomness to improve lasers

Randomly arranged items usually have poor optical properties. The rough—or random—surface of a frosted-glass window, for example, obscures the view of an object. The optical industry therefore expends ...

Jan 15, 2014
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Precise docking sites for cells

The Petri dish is a classical biological laboratory device, but it is no ideal living environment for many types of cells. Studies lose validity, as cell behavior on a flat plastic surface differs from that ...

Dec 11, 2013
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Optical materials: Solar cells step up

The Sun is our most promising source of clean and renewable energy. The energy that reaches the Earth from the Sun in an hour is almost equivalent to that consumed by humans over a year. Solar cells can tap ...

Nov 20, 2013
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