OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 25, 2011 -- Taking a cue from Mother Nature, researchers at the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center have undertaken a first-of-its-kind study of a naturally occurring phenomenon in trees to spur the development of more efficient bioenergy crops.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Not all parts of a corn stalk are equal, and they shouldn't be treated that way when creating cellulosic ethanol, say Purdue University researchers.

When corn stover is processed to make cellulosic ethanol, everything is ground down and blended together. But a research team found that three distinct parts of the stover the rind, pith and leaves break down in different ways.

WASHINGTON -- Scientists and engineers from around the world will convene in Austin, Texas next week as experts gather to discuss recent advances in optics and photonics -- the branch of physics dealing with the science of light -- affecting renewable energy and environmental research.

DURHAM, N.C. -- Just as a corset improves the appearance of its wearer by keeping everything tightly together, rigidly constraining insulating materials in electrical components can increase their energy density and decrease their rates of failure.

ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell scientists have surpassed two major milestones toward a novel, exceedingly powerful X-ray source: A record-breaking electron gun emittance and a successfully tested prototype of a superconducting linac cavity.

For more than a decade, Cornell scientists have been conducting research and development for an Energy Recovery Linac (ERL) electron accelerator that would produce X-ray beams 1,000 times brighter than any in existence.

Researchers from North Carolina State University and Purdue University have shown that the semiconductor material gallium nitride (GaN) is non-toxic and is compatible with human cells – opening the door to the material's use in a variety of biomedical implant technologies.

A basic challenge for future wireless communication systems is the contradiction between the fast growing demand for high speed wireless communications and the limited electromagnetic wave frequency spectrum. The multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technique with space-time coding (STC) is recognized as a promising scheme for the next-generation of high speed wireless communication systems.

When the nanotubes are airbrushed onto the silicone, they tend to land in randomly oriented little clumps. When the silicone is stretched, some of the "nano-bundles" get pulled into alignment in the direction of the stretching.

When the silicone is released, it rebounds back to its original dimensions, but the nanotubes buckle and form little nanostructures that look like springs.

"After we have done this kind of pre-stretching to the nanotubes, they behave like springs and can be stretched again and again, without any permanent change in shape," Bao said.

A device that can measure and predict how liquids flow under different conditions will ensure consumer products – from make up to ketchup – are of the right consistency.

The technology developed at the University of Sheffield enables engineers to monitor, in real time, how the viscous components (rheology) of liquids change during a production process, making it easier, quicker and cheaper to control the properties of the liquid.

Philadelphia, PA, October 24, 2011 – Nutrition Facts labels have been used for decades on many food products. Are these labels read in detail by consumers when making purchases? Do people read only certain portions of the labels? According to a new study published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, consumers' self-reported viewing of Nutrition Facts label components was higher than objectively measured viewing using an eye-tracking device.

Boston, MA – Exposure in the womb to bisphenol A (BPA) – a chemical used to make plastic containers and other consumer goods – is associated with behavior and emotional problems in young girls, according to a study led by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center, and Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia.

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- A Mayo Clinic study finds no correlation between the use of shock waves to break up kidney stones and the long-term development of diabetes. The study was released Friday during a meeting of the American Urological Association.

KIT researchers have developed a new concept for rechargeable batteries. Based on a fluoride shuttle -- the transfer of fluoride anions between the electrodes -- it promises to enhance the storage capacity reached by lithium-ion batteries by several factors. Operational safety is also increased, as it can be done without lithium. The fluoride-ion battery is presented for the first time in the Journal of Materials Chemistry by Dr. Maximilian Fichtner and Dr. Munnangi Anji Reddy.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Researchers at Purdue University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have created a device small enough to fit on a computer chip that converts continuous laser light into numerous ultrashort pulses, a technology that might have applications in more advanced sensors, communications systems and laboratory instruments.

"These pulses repeat at very high rates, corresponding to hundreds of billions of pulses per second," said Andrew Weiner, the Scifres Family Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.