Discovery of new semiconductor holds promise for 2D physics and electronics

From super-lubricants, to solar cells, to the fledgling technology of valleytronics, there is much to be excited about with the discovery of a unique new two-dimensional semiconductor, rhenium disulfide, by researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry. Rhenium disulfide, unlike molybdenum disulfide and other dichalcogenides, behaves electronically as if it were a 2D monolayer even as a 3D bulk material.

Will destruction of forests lead to the ultimate destruction of mammals?

he value of forests and tree-based ecosystems extends far beyond carbon sequestration; they are the foundation of sustainable societies.

Report: Deep ocean current may slow due to climate change

Far beneath the surface of the ocean, deep currents act as conveyer belts, channeling heat, carbon, oxygen and nutrients around the globe.

Scientists discover potential way to make graphene superconducting

Scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have discovered a potential way to make graphene – a single layer of carbon atoms with great promise for future electronics – superconducting, a state in which it would carry electricity with 100 percent efficiency.

Algae may be a potential source of biofuels and biochemicals even in cool climate

Algae are organisms useful in many ways in the transition towards a bio-economy. Even in a cool climate as in Finland, algae might be used to produce biochemicals and biofuels, besides use in capture of industrial carbon dioxide emissions. The ALGIDA project coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland explored algae growing in Finland.

Study: Amphibians and dinosaurs were the new large predators after the mass extinction

252 million years ago the largest extinction event occurred at the end of the Permian age. It wiped out almost 90 percent of all life in water. So far researchers had assumed that the ecosystems gradually recovered from this catastrophe over a long stretch of eight to nine million years and that large predators at the uppermost end of the food chain were the last to reappear.

Linking storms to climate change a 'distraction', say experts

Connecting extreme weather to climate change distracts from the need to protect society from high-impact weather events which will continue to happen irrespective of human-induced climate change, say experts.

Report: Wind farms can provide society a surplus of reliable clean energy

The worldwide demand for solar and wind power continues to skyrocket. Since 2009, global solar photovoltaic installations have increased about 40 percent a year on average, and the installed capacity of wind turbines has doubled.

Tiny origami boxes hold big promise for energy storage

If you think your origami skills can’t be beat – try this: (1) use the world’s thinnest material, (2) make the origami fold and unfold itself, and (3) pack into your miniscule origami box enough hydrogen atoms to exceed future U.S. goals for hydrogen energy storage devices. Researchers from the University of Maryland have done all three.

Thermal vision: Graphene light detector first to span infrared spectrum

The first room-temperature light detector that can sense the full infrared spectrum has the potential to put heat vision technology into a contact lens. Unlike comparable mid- and far-infrared detectors currently on the market, the detector developed by University of Michigan engineering researchers doesn't need bulky cooling equipment to work.

Human brains 'hard-wired' to link what we see with what we do

Your brain's ability to instantly link what you see with what you do is down to a dedicated information 'highway', suggests new UCL-led research.

Report: Radiation damage at the root of Chernobyl’s ecosystems

Radiological damage to microbes near the site of the Chernobyl disaster has slowed the decomposition of fallen leaves and other plant matter in the area, according to a study just published in the journal Oecologia. The resulting buildup of dry, loose detritus is a wildfire hazard that poses the threat of spreading radioactivity from the Chernobyl area.

Nanotube composites increase the efficiency of next generation of solar cells

Carbon nanotubes are becoming increasingly attractive for photovoltaic solar cells as a replacement to silicon. Researchers at Umeå University in Sweden have discovered that controlled placement of the carbon nanotubes into nano-structures produces a huge boost in electronic performance. Their groundbreaking results are published in the prestigious journal Advanced Materials.

The frozen truth about glaciers, climate change and our future

Lewis Owen has been scraping out icy fragments of history's truth from one of the most glaciated regions on Earth for the past 25 years. His frequent excursions to Tibet and the Himalayas have led the University of Cincinnati professor of geology to some cold, hard facts.

Opening a new window into quantum physics

A team of University of Toronto physicists led by Alex Hayat has proposed a novel and efficient way to leverage the strange quantum physics phenomenon known as entanglement.

Harnessing everyday motion to power mobile devices

Imagine powering your cell phone by simply walking around your office or rubbing it with the palm of your hand. Rather than plugging it into the wall, you become the power source. Researchers at the 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society, presented these commercial possibilities and a unique vision for green energy.

Scientists creating bionic plants

Plants have many valuable functions: They provide food and fuel, release the oxygen that we breathe, and add beauty to our surroundings. Now, a team of MIT researchers wants to make plants even more useful by augmenting them with nanomaterials that could enhance their energy production and give them completely new functions, such as monitoring environmental pollutants.

Claim: Northeast Greenland ice loss accelerating

An international team of scientists has discovered that the last remaining stable portion of the Greenland ice sheet is stable no more.

Antarctic moss lives after 1,500+ years under ice

Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and University of Reading report in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on March 17 that Antarctic mosses can essentially come back to life after 1,500 completely inactive years under the ice.

Emotion detectors could make driving safer

Technology now allows us to read facial expressions and identify which of the seven universal emotions a person is feeling: fear, anger, joy, sadness, disgust, surprise, or suspicion. This is very useful in video game development, medicine, marketing, and, perhaps less obviously, in driver safety. We know that in addition to fatigue, the emotional state of the driver is a risk factor.