Researchers can now predict properties of disordered polymers

Thanks to a team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, scientists are able to read patterns on long chains of molecules to understand and predict behavior ...

Transparent wood can store and release heat

Wood may seem more at home in log cabins than modern architecture, but a specially treated type of timber could be tomorrow's trendy building material. Today, scientists report a new kind of transparent wood that not only ...

Nanomaterials give plants 'super' abilities

Science-fiction writers have long envisioned human¬-machine hybrids that wield extraordinary powers. However, "super plants" with integrated nanomaterials may be much closer to reality than cyborgs. Today, scientists report ...

Making lead pipes safe

Lead leaching from pipes into the water supply is a serious public health concern. And if water sources or treatment regimens are changed, the new chemistry can cause water distribution systems that were previously safe to ...

Muscle-like material expands and contracts in response to light

Just as controlled-release medications slowly dole out their cargo after they experience a pH change in the body, implanted "artificial muscles" could someday flex and relax in response to light illuminating the skin. In ...

Hands spread flame retardants, plasticizers throughout homes

Hundreds of everyday items, from furniture to cell phones to floor wax, contain organophosphate ester (OPE) flame retardants and plasticizers. Some of these semi-volatile compounds make their way into the air, onto surfaces ...

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