Top 10 Science and Technology Inventions for the Week of November 27, 2020

01. Research creates hydrogen-producing living droplets, paving way for alternative future energy source 02. Researchers decipher structure of promising battery materials 03. Researchers invent broad-band tunable terahertz absorber 04. Self-diagnostic carbon nanocomposites 05. This Weird, Cheap Quantum Device Can Run For a Year With a Single Kick of Energy 06. Improving quantum dot interactions, one layer at a time 07. Grabbing Viruses Out of Thin Air 08. Detecting bacteria with fluorescent nanosensors 09. Shift in atmospheric rivers could affect Antarctic sea ice, glaciers 10. Topological mechanical metamaterials go beyond Newton’s third law And others… German Sachsen Frigate to Test a […]

Detecting bacteria with fluorescent nanosensors

Nanowerk  November 25, 2020 Researchers in Germany developed a set of near infrared fluorescent nanosensors are based on single-walled carbon nanotubes that fluoresce in the NIR optical tissue transparency window which offers ultra-low background and high tissue penetration. They are chemically tailored to detect released metabolites as well as specific virulence factors and integrated into functional hydrogel arrays with 9 different sensors. These hydrogels are exposed to clinical isolates of 6 important bacteria and remote (≥25 cm) NIR imaging allows to identify and distinguish bacteria. Sensors are also spectrally encoded to differentiate the two major pathogens P. aeruginosa as well as […]

German Sachsen Frigate to Test a New Naval Laser Weapon

Defense Update  November 26, 2020 The laser source demonstrator can be employed in various projects to study military applications of high-power laser. The first project of the new laser will be a trial phase onboard the F219 Sachsen Class – the lead ship of this class. It consists of twelve nearly identical 2kW fiber laser modules with close to diffraction-limited beam quality. A beam combiner – a subassembly that turns multiple beams into a single beam through dielectric grid technology – couples the twelve fiber-laser beams to form a single laser beam with excellent beam quality. Spectral coupling technology offers […]

Grabbing Viruses Out of Thin Air

Asia Research News  November 25, 2020 An international team of researchers (Japan, China, UK) review the state of the art of research on biosensor materials for virus detection. Topics covered include a general description of the principles for virus detection, a critique of the experimental work dedicated to various virus sensors, a summary of their detection limitations. They examined the piezoelectric sensors used for the detection of human papilloma, vaccinia, dengue, Ebola, influenza A, human immunodeficiency, and hepatitis B viruses. Magnetostrictive sensors for the detection of bacterial spores, proteins, and classical swine fever are covered. Progress related to early detection […]

Growing interest in Moon resources could cause tension, scientists find

Phys.org  November 23, 2020 Numerous missions planned for the next decade are likely to target a handful of small sites of interest on the Moon’s surface, creating risks of crowding and interference at these locations. Regions richest in physical resources could also be uniquely suited to settlement and commerce. Such sites of interest are both few and small. An international team of researchers (USA – Harvard University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, UK) surveyed the implications for different kinds of mission and find that the diverse actors pursuing incompatible ends at these sites could soon crowd and interfere with […]

Improving quantum dot interactions, one layer at a time

Science Daily  November 20, 2020 Controlling interaction between quantum dots could greatly improve charge transport, leading to more efficient solar cells. Researchers fabricated CdTe quantum dot superlattices via the layer-by-layer assembly of positively charged polyelectrolytes and negatively charged CdTe quantum dots to control the dimension of the quantum resonance by independently changing the distances between quantum dots in the stacking (out-of-plane) and in-plane directions. They experimentally verified the miniband formation. The fabrication method can be used with other types of water-soluble quantum dots and nanoparticles. Combining different types of semiconductor quantum dots, or combining semiconductor quantum dots with other nanoparticles, […]

Research creates hydrogen-producing living droplets, paving way for alternative future energy source

Phys.org  November 25, 2020 Normally, algal cells fix carbon dioxide and produce oxygen by photosynthesis. An international team of researchers used sugary droplets packed with living algal cells to generate hydrogen, rather than oxygen, by photosynthesis. They trapped ten thousand or so algal cells in each droplet, which were then crammed together by osmotic compression. By burying the cells deep inside the droplets, oxygen levels fell to a level that switched on special enzymes called hydrogenases that hijacked the normal photosynthetic pathway to produce hydrogen. In this way, around a quarter of a million microbial factories, typically only one-tenth of […]

Researchers decipher structure of promising battery materials

MIT News  November 23, 2020 MOFs’ extraordinary combination of porosity and conductivity opened the possibility of new applications in batteries, fuel cells, supercapacitors, electrocatalysts, and specialized chemical sensors. Because of the chemical bonds within the MOFs it has been difficult to grow crystals that were large enough for study to figure out their exact molecular structure and how it influences the material’s properties. An international team of researchers (USA – MIT, University of Oregon, University of Connecticut, Purdue University, China, Sweden) has found a way to control the growth of crystals of several kinds of MOFs enabling the team to […]

Researchers invent broad-band tunable terahertz absorber

Phys.org  November 24, 2020 THz absorbers with strong absorption, broad-band absorption bandwidth and tunable characteristics have attracted the attention of many researchers with extensive application prospects in THz wave shielding, THz imaging, and THz sensitive thermal detecting. Researchers in China introduced strongly correlated electron material VO2 as a functional layer and realized the broad-band tunable THz spectrum properties in the device. The conductivity, dielectric constant, as well as optical properties got a dramatic switching during the insulator-metal transition at TC = 340 K, and the transition could be tuned by temperature, electric field, and light. The device had a 74% […]

Researchers model urban airflows to help improve the design of drones, skyscrapers, and natural ventilation systems

Phys.org  November 25, 2020 Scientists presented the latest findings on modeling and predicting urban airflow at the 73rd Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics in the hope of building better buildings, cities, and transportation. According to the scientists in addition to the challenges of traffic congestion and obstacles, critical technology gaps exist in modeling, detecting, and accommodating the dynamic urban local wind fields as well as in precision navigation through uncertain weather conditions. They attached sensors to robotic aircraft to take more cohesive measurements of building wakes, or the disturbed airflow around buildings. They combined […]