Science-Technology

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‘Greener’ ways to color clothes

'Greener' ways to color clothes
When buying a new outfit, most people don’t consider the process that went into tinting that vivid red shirt or colorfully patterned dress. But dyeing clothes requires massive amounts of water, energy and chemicals. So companies are working on new ways to color textiles that are both environmentally friendly and cost-effective, reports an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, July 19, 2018

The ultimate ‘smell test’: Device sends rotten food warning to smartphones

The ultimate 'smell test': Device sends rotten food warning to smartphones
When it comes to the “smell test,” the nose isn’t always the best judge of food quality. Now in a study appearing in ACS’ journal Nano Letters, scientists report that they have developed a wireless tagging device that can send signals to smartphones warning consumers and food distributors when meat and other perishables have spoiled. They say this new sensor could improve the detection of rotten food so it is tossed before consumers eat it. 

By American Chemical Society - Saturday, July 14, 2018

Building a chemical weapons detector with Legos®

Building a chemical weapons detector with Legos®
Nerve agents are scary stuff. They are among the most deadly substances on earth, yet can be odorless, tasteless and difficult to detect. But researchers now report in ACS Central Science that they have adapted building materials normally associated with children’s toys and a cell phone to help sense these compounds. The new method can sensitively detect these poisons, quantify the amount and distinguish between different classes present at contaminated sites.

By American Chemical Society - Friday, July 13, 2018

Hydrangeas and the Science of Do-Overs

WASHINGTON —In a previous video, the Reactions team attempted to demonstrate the color-changing science of hydrangeas by using aluminum citrate to try to turn cut flowers from red to blue. The experiment didn’t work, but it did demonstrate why failing and trying again is so important in science. In this video, the team finally sticks the landing:



By American Chemical Society - Thursday, July 5, 2018

Rescuers turn to Israeli tech to help save trapped Thai boys

Rescuers turn to Israeli tech to help save trapped Thai boys
Emergency mobile communications technology developed by Israeli company Maxtech Networks is being used by rescue teams working to save 12 teenagers and their 25-year-old coach who have been trapped for 11 days in a flooded cave in Thailand.

The teenagers, a boys’ soccer team, went missing on June 23 after a soccer game when they visited a sprawling 10-kilometer-long cave system in the northern region of Chiang Rai, and became trapped by a flash flood.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The smart oven that cooks your meal in 3 minutes

The smart oven that cooks your meal in 3 minutes
First came frozen TV dinners and ready-to-microwave meals. Now there’s Genie, an Israeli high-tech startup offering a countertop “smart oven” claiming to cook restaurant-quality meals and snacks from freeze-dried pods within three minutes. They contain no preservatives, artificial flavorings, colorings or additives.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, July 4, 2018

OnePlus wireless ear buds offer good sound and value

OnePlus Bullets Wireless
Cord cutters are referred to usually as people who’ve dumped cable TV, either going only with off the air signals or using alternative services such as Netflix, YouTube and the like as ways to get their programming fixes.

But there’s another type of cord cutting that could be quite attractive to some consumers, and that’s the cutting of the cord between your smart device/music player/whatever and your headphones. It’s a legitimate cutting if, like me, you tend to get your cords tangled and twisted all the time.

By Jim Bray - Saturday, June 30, 2018

Thermal camouflage disguises hot and cold

Thermal camouflage disguises hot and cold
Hunters don camouflage clothing to blend in with their surroundings. But thermal camouflage – or the appearance of being the same temperature as one’s environment – is much more difficult. Now researchers, reporting in ACS’ journal Nano Letters, have developed a system that can reconfigure its thermal appearance to blend in with varying temperatures in a matter of seconds.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, June 27, 2018

China and Scientific Scandals

China and Scientific Scandals
China has more laboratory scientists than any other country, outspends the entire European Union on research and development, and produces more scientific articles than any other nation except the United States. But in its rush to dominance, China has stood out in another, less boastful way. (1)

A recent string of high-profile scandals over questionable or discredited research has driven home the point for China that to become a scientific superpower, it must first overcome a festering problem of scientific fraud.

By Jack Dini - Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Robot bloodhound tracks odors on the ground

Robot bloodhound tracks odors on the ground
Bloodhounds are famous for their ability to track scents over great distances. Now researchers have developed a modern-day bloodhound – a robot that can rapidly detect odors from sources on the ground, such as footprints. The robot, reported in ACS Sensors, could even read a message written on the ground using odors as a barcode.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Crumple up this keyboard and stick it in your pocket

Crumple up this keyboard and stick it in your pocket
Bendable portable keyboards for use with computers and other electronic devices are already on the market, but they have limited flexibility, and they’re fairly sizable when rolled up for transport. Now researchers have crafted an inexpensive keyboard that is so tough, flexible and thin that it can be crumpled up and tucked in a pocket without damaging it. The study appears in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Watch: Caesar’s last breath and Einstein’s lost fridge

WASHINGTON— Are you breathing air molecules that were once exhaled by Caesar, Joan of Arc or Madame Curie? And why did Albert Einstein try to break into the refrigerator business? Writer Sam Kean, author of Caesar’s Last Breath and The Disappearing Spoon, explains in this video, in which Reactions partners with PBS to find America’s favorite book as part of the Great American Read:



By American Chemical Society - Thursday, June 14, 2018

Watch: E- textiles control home appliances with the swipe of a finger

Electronic textiles could allow a person to control household appliances or computers from a distance simply by touching a wristband or other item of clothing — something that could be particularly helpful for those with limited mobility. Now researchers, reporting in ACS Nano, have developed a new type of e-textile that is self-powered, highly sensitive and washable. A video of an e-wristband in action is available here.



By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, June 13, 2018

No spring this year? No problem – it’s still time to clean up your tech stuff

spring cleaning
Despite a winter that seems to have pushed spring out of the way to make room for an early summer, the usual stuff you do during spring still need to be done.

This could be the first car wax job of the year, the final throwing out of all that Christmas wrapping you were hoping to use for re-gifting, or just the first mowing of the lawn. And according to IT security company ESET, there’s some stuff you can and maybe should be doing to help ensure your technology is brought into the new year as well, whether it be kicking and screaming or not.

By Jim Bray - Monday, June 4, 2018

Blackcurrant dye could make hair coloring safer, more sustainable

Blackcurrant dye could make hair coloring safer, more sustainable
Whether they’re trying to hide some gray or embrace a new or quirky color, people adore hair dyes. But some of these dyes may be harmful to humans and the environment. Now in a study appearing in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists report that they have developed a natural, non-toxic hair dye derived from blackcurrant skins that is as durable as conventional dyes and capable of sustaining hair color through multiple washings.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, May 31, 2018

Preserving a painter’s legacy with nanomaterials

Preserving a painter's legacy with nanomaterials
Paintings by Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Johannes Vermeer have been delighting art lovers for years. But it turns out that these works of art might be their own worst enemy — the canvases they were painted on can deteriorate over time. In an effort to combat this aging process, one group is reporting in ACS Applied Nano Materials that nanomaterials can provide multiple layers of reinforcement.

By American Chemical Society - Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Watch: Chameleons are masters of nanotechnology

WASHINGTON—Chameleons are nature’s most talented masters of color. They use their unique color-changing abilities for all sorts of reasons. But how do they alter their hue? They wield a combination of pigments and specialized nano-scale crystals. In this video, Reactions explains how chameleons have mastered nanotech:



By American Chemical Society - Friday, May 25, 2018

Step aside Superman, steel is no competition for this new material

Step aside Superman, steel is no competition for this new material
When it comes to materials, there is no question as to who wins the strongman competition. Spider silk is known as being the strongest fabric, and steel, ceramics and glass fibers are the best building materials. But now, researchers are reporting in ACS Nano that specially arranged nano-sized cellulose fibers are the strongest material of them all, in a move that might cause some to re-name Superman the “man of cellulose.”

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Placeboism

Placeboism
Everyone knows (or ought to): Everything is getting better all the time. That’s certainly true in spring or early summer, when nature re-awakens after a long and cold winter but, just perhaps, not all the time.

And that’s why cunning politicians like to make big promises and have elections at those times.  That’s just one example of the placebo effect, the proclamation that “your vote counts.”

By Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser - Saturday, May 12, 2018

Battery-free ‘smart’ toys move closer to commercial reality (video)

battery-free-smart-toys-move-closer-to-commercial-reality-video
Rubber duckies could soon be at the forefront of an electronic revolution. In ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, scientists report they have used specialized nanogenerators that gather energy from mechanical vibrations to transform squeaky bathtub companions and other conventional children’s toys into ‘smart’ electronics. They say the finding could have broad commercial applications, leading to the development of battery-free, self-powered toys, medical sensors and other devices. Watch a video of prototype toys here.



By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Jeeves, the ashtray is full—buy a new (flying) car!

Jeeves, the ashtray is full -- buy a new (flying) car!
Are you ready to get your new (electric) flying machine? Perhaps you already know, it’s supposed to be coming to a store near you, soon:

Airbus is already working on several electric aircraft programs, including an autonomous electric VTOL aircraft, but now they are partnering with Audi and Italdesign to combine that with electric cars.

By Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser - Sunday, May 6, 2018

Improving 3-D printing of plastic parts

Improving 3-D printing of plastic parts
Robots that can build homes, marathoners’ running shoes and NASA’s upcoming spacecraft all have one thing in common: 3-D printed parts. But as enthusiasm for 3-D printing continues to grow and expand across markets, the objects printed by the process can have weaknesses. Now, one group reports in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces that using a simple modification to the manufacture of the starting materials improves the toughness of these printable plastics.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Israeli protective vest to be tested on Orion spacecraft

Israeli protective vest to be tested on Orion spacecraft
The AstroRad radiation protection vest designed by Tel Aviv-based StemRad will be worn by a mannequin on NASA’s test flight of its unmanned Orion spacecraft, according to an agreement signed by NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot and Israel Space Agency Director Avi Blasberger during the 34th Space Symposium in Colorado last month.

Sometime next year, Orion will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown. It will travel 280,000 miles from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the moon over the course of about a three-week mission, and return home faster and hotter than ever before.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, May 2, 2018

How airbags work (video)

WASHINGTON — Normally, something blowing up in your face is bad. But in the event of a vehicle accident, and in conjunction with a seatbelt, one particular explosion could very well save your life. It’s the chemical reaction that inflates your airbags. In this episode of Reactions, learn about the past and present of vehicle airbags and the lifesaving chemistry and physics that make them work:



By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Cheaper and easier way found to make plastic semiconductors

Cheap, flexible and sustainable plastic semiconductors
Cheap, flexible and sustainable plastic semiconductors will soon be a reality thanks to a breakthrough by chemists at the University of Waterloo.

Professor Derek Schipper and his team at Waterloo have developed a way to make conjugated polymers, plastics that conduct electricity like metals, using a simple dehydration reaction the only byproduct of which is water.

“Nature has been using this reaction for billions of years and industry more than a hundred,” said Schipper, a professor of Chemistry and a Canada Research Chair in Organic Material Synthesis. “It’s one of the cheapest and most environmentally friendly reactions for producing plastics.”

By Waterloo - Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Nanowires could make lithium ion batteries safer

Nanowires could make lithium ion batteries safer
From cell phones and laptops to electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries are the power source that fuels everyday life. But in recent years, they have also drawn attention for catching fire. In an effort to develop a safer battery, scientists report in the ACS journal Nano Letters that the addition of nanowires can not only enhance the battery’s fire-resistant capabilities, but also its other properties.


By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Portable device to sniff out trapped humans

Portable device to sniff out trapped humans
The first step after buildings collapse from an earthquake, bombing or other disaster is to rescue people who could be trapped in the rubble. But finding entrapped humans among the ruins can be challenging. Scientists now report in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry the development of an inexpensive, selective sensor that is light and portable enough for first responders to hold in their hands or for drones to carry on a search for survivors.

By American Chemical Society - Monday, April 23, 2018

Space—an Eternal Frontier

Space--an Eternal Frontier
From astronomers to futuristic dreamers, the inter-stellar space is the real frontier—for many centuries already.

Anyone who’s looking at the firmament on a clear summer night is likely to agree. There is a “world” of stars, planets, moons, galaxies, and a host of other—mostly unfathomable—objects out there. One can’t deny that.

However, is that a “good enough” reason to spend mega-bucks on trying to “conquer space?”

By Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser - Friday, April 20, 2018

Old proteins tell tales of historical artifacts and the people who touched them

Old proteins tell tales of historical artifacts and the people who touched them  
Pages like this one from the Milan death registries, recorded during the height of the plague outbreak in 1630, have revealed biochemical secrets..

“Dead men tell no tales” is a common saying, but according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the old proteins on historical artifacts, such as manuscripts and clothing, can tell quite a yarn.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Cactus roots inspire creation of water-retaining material

Cactus roots inspire creation of water-retaining material
During rare desert rainfalls, cacti waste no time sopping up and storing a storm’s precious precipitation. Inspired by this natural phenomenon, scientists report in a study appearing ACS Macro Letters that they have developed a material that mimics cactus roots’ ability to rapidly absorb and retain vast amounts of water with a minimal amount of evaporation. They say this unique material could lead to new and improved cosmetics, medical devices and other everyday products.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, April 18, 2018

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