World’s thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Researchers pave way towards integration of 3-D holography into electronics like smart phones, computers and TVs, with development of nano-hologram 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.

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Silk proteins paired with renewable wood nanocellulose produces possibly the strongest artificial spider silk yet

Possibly the strongest hybrid silk fibers yet have been created by scientists using all renewable resources. Combining spider silk proteins with nanocellulose from wood, the process offers a low-cost and scalable way to make bioactive materials for a wide range of medical uses.

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Chemists create the ultimate natural sunscreen

Chemists, materials scientists and nanoengineers have created what may be the ultimate natural sunscreen. They report the development of nanoparticles that mimic the behavior of natural melanosomes, melanin-producing cell structures that protect our skin, eyes and other tissues from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.

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Oddball enzyme provides easy path to synthetic biomaterials

Materials scientists have written the recipe on how to use an oddball enzyme to build new biomaterials out of DNA. The work provides instructions for researchers the world over to build self-assembling molecules for applications ranging from drug delivery to nanowires.

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First flat lens for immersion microscope provides alternative to centuries-old technique

Scientists have developed the first flat lens for immersion microscopy. This lens, which can be designed for any liquid, may provide a cost-effective and easy-to-manufacture alternative to the expensive, centuries-old technique of hand polishing lenses for immersion objectives.

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Nano fiber feels forces, hears sounds made by cells

Engineers have developed a miniature device that’s sensitive enough to feel the forces generated by swimming bacteria and hear the beating of heart muscle cells. The device is a nano-sized optical fiber that detects forces down to 160 femtonewtons and sound levels down to -30 decibels. Applications include measuring bio-activity at the single cell level, or ultra-sensitive mini stethoscopes to monitor cellular acoustics in vivo.

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Faster, smaller, more powerful computer chips: Hafnia dons a new face

As computer chips become smaller, faster and more powerful, their insulating layers must also be much more robust — currently a limiting factor for semiconductor technology. A research team says this new phase of hafnia is an order of magnitude better at withstanding applied fields.

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Precision control of superconductivity in atomic layers using magnetic molecules

A research team has succeeded in precisely controlling the transition temperature of atomic-scale-thick superconductors using magnetic organic molecules. The team also identified the control mechanism.

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At last: Beautiful, consistent carbon belts

Chemists have tried to synthesize carbon nanobelts for more than 60 years, but none have succeeded until now. Carbon nanobelts are expected to serve as a useful template for building carbon nanotubes and open a new field of nanocarbon science.

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