Tech

Rubber meets the road with new ORNL carbon, battery technologies

Rubber meets the road with new ORNL carbon, battery technologies

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Aug. 27, 2014 – Recycled tires could see new life in lithium-ion batteries that provide power to plug-in electric vehicles and store energy produced by wind and solar, say researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

By modifying the microstructural characteristics of carbon black, a substance recovered from discarded tires, a team led by Parans Paranthaman and Amit Naskar is developing a better anode for lithium-ion batteries. An anode is a negatively charged electrode used as a host for storing lithium during charging.

A glucose meter of a different color provides continuous monitoring

A glucose meter of a different color provides continuous monitoring

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — University of Illinois engineers are bringing a touch of color to glucose monitoring.

The researchers developed a new continuous glucose monitoring material that changes color as glucose levels fluctuate, and the wavelength shift is so precise that doctors and patients may be able to use it for automatic insulin dosing - something not possible using current point measurements like test strips.

Competition for graphene

Competition for graphene

A new argument has just been added to the growing case for graphene being bumped off its pedestal as the next big thing in the high-tech world by the two-dimensional semiconductors known as MX2 materials. An international collaboration of researchers led by a scientist with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has reported the first experimental observation of ultrafast charge transfer in photo-excited MX2 materials.

Symphony of nanoplasmonic and optical resonators produces laser-like light emission

Symphony of nanoplasmonic and optical resonators produces laser-like light emission

By combining plasmonics and optical microresonators, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created a new optical amplifier (or laser) design, paving the way for power-on-a-chip applications.

"We have made optical systems at the microscopic scale that amplify light and produce ultra-narrowband spectral output," explained J. Gary Eden, a professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE) at Illinois. "These new optical amplifiers are well-suited for routing optical power on a chip containing both electronic and optical components.

Gang life brings deep health risks for girls

Being involved in a gang poses considerable health-related risks for adolescent African American girls, including more casual sex partners and substance abuse combined with less testing for HIV and less knowledge about preventing sexually transmitted diseases, according to a new study.

Breaking benzene

Aromatic compounds are found widely in natural resources such as petroleum and biomass, and breaking the carbon?carbon bonds in these compounds plays an important role in the production of fuels and valuable chemicals from natural resources. However, aromatic carbon-carbon bonds are very stable and difficult to break. In the chemical industry, the cleavage of these bonds requires the use of solid catalysts at high temperatures, usually giving rise to a mixture of products, and the mechanisms are still poorly understood.

Educated consumers more likely to use potentially unreliable online healthcare information

The last time you experienced worrisome medical symptoms, did you look for advice online before consulting a health-care professional? If so, you're not alone. Consumers are increasingly turning to forums, video-sharing sites, and peer support groups to gather anecdotal information and advice, which may distract them from more reliable and trustworthy sources. New research to be presented at the HFES 2014 Annual Meeting in Chicago studies the characteristics of consumers who use the Internet to collect health-care information.

Gifts that generate gratitude keep customers loyal

Despite major retailers investing tens of millions of dollars a year into loyalty programs, they are a dying breed, with customers struggling to see the benefits of signing up, according to QUT research.

But benefits that stimulate gratitude in customers have the power to strengthen the seller-customer relationship and ensure loyalty, researchers Dr Syed Hasan, Professor Ian Lings, Associate Professor Larry Neale and Dr Gary Mortimer, from QUT's School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, found.

Sheepdogs use simple rules to herd sheep

Sheepdogs use just two simple rules to round up large herds of sheep, scientists have discovered.

The findings could lead to the development of robots that can gather and herd livestock, crowd control techniques, or new methods to clean up the environment.

For the first time scientists used GPS technology to understand how sheepdogs do their jobs so well. Until now, they had no idea how the dogs manage to get so many unwilling sheep to move in the same direction.

Challenges ahead in improving child health by increasing access to sanitation in India

A study published in this week's PLOS Medicine on large-scale rural sanitation programs in India highlights challenges in achieving sufficient access to latrines and reduction in open defecation to yield significant health benefits for young children.