Tech

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Sometimes things that are technically defects, such as imperfections in a material's crystal lattice, can actually produce changes in properties that open up new kinds of useful applications. New research from a team at MIT shows that such imperfections in a family of materials known as insulating metal oxides may be key to their performance for a variety of high-tech applications, such as nonvolatile memory chips and energy conversion technologies.

Novel lithium electrodes coated with indium could be the basis for more powerful, longer-lasting, rechargeable batteries. The coating hinders undesirable side-reactions between the electrode and electrolyte, provide a more uniform deposition of lithium when charging, and augments storage in the lithium anode via alloying reactions between lithium and indium, as reported by American scientists in the journal Angewandte Chemie. Their success stems from the good diffusion of lithium ions along the interfacial layer.

A partnership between QUT, the NSW Government and farmers could lead to the eventual eradication of the highly invasive African lovegrass threatening pastures and native grasslands Australia-wide.

What they discovered is that local knowledge is the key to a successful management approach.

Manufactured polymers are ubiquitous in our 21st Century lives. The large molecules - long chains of smaller molecules bonded together, form any synthetic clothing you might be wearing, rubbers and glues, and anything made of plastic.

Scientists and engineers have been waging a quiet but determined battle against an unlikely problem: the build-up of ice on different structures.

A thin coating of ice on solar panels can wreak havoc with their ability to generate electricity. Thin layers of ice on the vanes of wind turbines can slow their efficiency.

Older people who use steroid inhalers for asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are more likely to suffer particular bacterial infections, according to a large study published in the European Respiratory Journal [1].

Worldwide, asthma and COPD affect hundreds of thousands of people and they are commonly treated with steroid inhalers to reduce symptoms and improve lung function.

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- By delivering strands of genetic material known as messenger RNA (mRNA) into cells, researchers can induce the cells to produce any protein encoded by the mRNA. This technique holds great potential for administering vaccines or treating diseases such as cancer, but achieving efficient delivery of mRNA has proven challenging.

Now, a team of MIT chemical engineers, inspired by the way that cells translate their own mRNA into proteins, has designed a synthetic delivery system that is four times more effective than delivering mRNA on its own.

BAR HARBOR, MAINE -- The answer to regenerative medicine's most compelling question -- why some organisms can regenerate major body parts such as hearts and limbs while others, such as humans, cannot -- may lie with the body's innate immune system, according to a new study of heart regeneration in the axolotl, or Mexican salamander, an organism that takes the prize as nature's champion of regeneration.

A new UCLA study found that healthy nonsmokers experienced increased adrenaline levels in their heart after one electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) with nicotine but there were no increased adrenaline levels when the study subjects used an a nicotine-free or empty e-cig.

The findings are published in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley and Massachusetts General Hospital have identified a key region within the Cas9 protein that governs how accurately CRISPR-Cas9 homes in on a target DNA sequence, and have tweaked it to produce a hyper-accurate gene editor with the lowest level of off-target cutting to date.