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A new method to study lithium dendrites could lead to better, safer batteries

14-Jan-2020

Lithium ion batteries often grow needle-like structures between electrodes that can short out the batteries and sometimes cause fires. Now, an international team of researchers has found a way to grow and observe these structures to understand ways to stop or prevent their appearance. "It is ...

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New sensor detects rare metals used in smartphones

25-Apr-2019

A more efficient and cost-effective way to detect lanthanides, the rare earth metals used in smartphones and other technologies, could be possible with a new protein-based sensor that changes its fluorescence when it binds to these metals. A team of researchers from Penn State developed the ...

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Tiny fibers create unseen plastic pollution

18-Feb-2019

While the polyester leisure suit was a 1970s mistake, polyester and other synthetic fibers like nylon are still around and are a major contributor to the microplastics load in the environment, according to a Penn State materials scientist, who suggests switching to biosynthetic fibers to solve ...

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Your brain with a migraine

28-Jun-2018

When migraine sufferers see the tell-tale squiggly lines, light flashes and blind spots of a migraine aura, they prepare for a migraine. When researchers see the brain image of an aura, they try to figure out what causes it and if there is a way to stop the start of the migraine. Now an ...

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Capturing light in a waveguide array

07-Jun-2018

Cheaper and more efficient photonic devices, such as lasers, optical fibers, and other light sources may be possible with confined light that is unaffected by imperfections in the material that confines it, according to new research. A team of physicists from Penn State, the University of ...

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How Salmonella 'die' at low temperatures

08-Feb-2018

The most economical way to kill bacteria that cause common food-borne illnesses -- mostly caused by Salmonella enterica -- is heat, but, the mechanisms that kill Salmonella at lower temperatures were not fully understood until now, according to a team of researchers. Bacteria can develop ways to ...

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New, more sensitive sensor for evaluating drug safety

08-Aug-2017

A new technique for evaluating drug safety can detect stress on cells at earlier stages than conventional methods, which mostly rely on detecting cell death. The new method uses a fluorescent sensor that is turned on in a cell when misfolded proteins begin to aggregate -- an early sign of ...

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A fast, non-destructive test for 2-dimensional materials

04-May-2017

Thinning a material down to a single-atom thickness can dramatically change that material's physical properties. For example, graphene, the best-known 2D material, has unparalleled strength and electrical conductivity, unlike its bulk form, graphite. Researchers have begun to study hundreds of ...

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New, carbon-nanotube tool for ultra-sensitive virus detection and identification

11-Oct-2016

A new tool that uses a forest-like array of vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes that can be finely tuned to selectively trap viruses by their size can increase the detection threshold for viruses and speed the process of identifying newly-emerging viruses. "Detecting viruses early in an infection ...

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Subatomic microscopy key to building new classes of materials

01-Sep-2016

Researchers at Penn State and the Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are pushing the limits of electron microscopy into the tens of picometer scale, a fraction of the size of a hydrogen atom. The ability to see at this subatomic level is crucial for designing new materials ...

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