Two-dimensional materials are a sort of a rookie phenom in the scientific community. They are atomically thin and can exhibit radically different electronic and light-based properties than their thicker, more conventional forms, so researchers are flocking to this fledgling field to find ways to tap these exotic traits.

Fragile X syndrome--the most common heritable cause of autism spectrum disorder--is something of a phantom. It interferes with the production of a protein critical to synapse formation during a brief period in early development when the brain is optimizing its ability to process sensory input. Then it dials way down...leaving behind permanent changes in neural circuit structure that can cause low IQ, learning disabilities and hypersensitivity, along with other symptoms characteristic of ASD.

The properties of materials can behave in funny ways. Tweak one aspect to make a device smaller or less leaky, for example, and something else might change in an undesirable way, so that engineers play a game of balancing one characteristic against another. Now a team of Penn State electrical engineers have a way to simultaneously control diverse optical properties of dielectric waveguides by using a two-layer coating, each layer with a near zero thickness and weight.

Static magnets represent a multi-billion-dollar industry. They are marketed with claims of effectiveness for reducing pain of various origins. One survey suggested that about 28% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia use magnets or copper bracelets for pain relief.

Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania have developed nanowires capable of storing computer data for 100,000 years and retrieving that data a thousand times faster than existing portable memory devices such as Flash memory and micro-drives, all using less power and space than current memory technologies.

This October, Jerrod Bouchard will attempt to become the fastest college student to be propelled by his or her own power.

Bouchard, a senior in mechanical engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla, will try to break the collegiate human-powered land speed record of 61.5 mph Oct 1-6 in Battle Mountain, Nev.

Northeastern University Physics professor Sergey V. Kravchenko along with colleagues Svetlana Anissimova (Northeastern University), A Punnoose (City College if the City University of New York), AM Finkelstein (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel) and TM Klapwijk (Delft University of Technology, Netherlands), has published an important new paper in the August issue of Nature Physics which answers a long standing question in the field of condensed matter physics.

A layer of ruthenium just a few atoms thick can be used to fine-tune the sensitivity and enhance the reliability of magnetic sensors, tests at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) show.* The nonmagnetic metal acts as a buffer between active layers of sensor materials, offering a simple means of customizing field instruments such as compasses, and stabilizing the magnetization in a given direction in devices such as computer hard-disk readers.A thin layer of ruthenium (green in the cartoon) improves magnetic sensors by mod

When it comes to producing earth-friendly solar energy, pink may be the new green, according to Ohio State University researchers.

Scientists here have developed new dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) that get their pink color from a mixture of red dye and white metal oxide powder in materials that capture light.

Nearly 2,000 years ago, the discovery of paper revolutionized human communication. Now researchers at Northwestern University have fabricated a new type of paper that they hope will create a revolution of its own -- and while it won't replace your notepad, this remarkably stiff and strong yet lightweight material should find use in a wide variety of applications.