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Fair-weather power: Solar textiles

Date: Aug 15, 2014

Author: David Bradley

Whether you're a tweed-wearing hipster or down with the kids sporting your post-modern baggy jeans, textile-based solar cells that could be patched into your clothes might one day let you charge up your mobile phone or other gadgets while out in the sunshine, according to research published this month in the journal Angewandte Chemie. The work by scientists in China used X-ray characterization of key components to take the first solar strides.

Read More thumbnail image: Fair-weather power Solar textiles

Journal Highlight: Morphological analysis of the flippers in the Franciscana dolphin, Pontoporia blainvillei, applying X-ray technique

Date: Aug 11, 2014

Author: spectroscopyNOW

The directional asymmetry, allometry, physical maturity and sexual dimorphism of the Pontoporia blainvillei dolphin were estimated from the X-ray analysis of the flipper skeleton.

Read More thumbnail image: Journal Highlight Morphological analysis of the flippers in the Franciscana dolphin Pontoporia blainvillei applying X-ray technique

Solar power: Crystallographic clues

Date: Aug 1, 2014

Author: David Bradley

An international research team is testing its intellectual strength using serial femtosecond crystallography with a view to teasing apart the proteins involved in photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert solar energy into carbohydrates.

Read More thumbnail image: Solar power Crystallographic clues

Berylliosis: X-ray clues to lung disease

Date: Jul 15, 2014

Author: David Bradley

New clues as to why inhalation of dust containing the group II metal, beryllium, causes a deadly immune response in the lungs of some people have emerged from X-ray diffraction, genetic, molecular binding and electrostatic studies. The research shows that a single amino acid change present in one lung protein, HLA-DP2, creates a pocket able to bind beryllium and sodium ions simultaneously and trigger the often lethal allergic disease berylliosis.

Read More thumbnail image: Berylliosis X-ray clues to lung disease

Journal Highlight: Analysis of engine motor oils by X-ray absorption and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopies

Date: Jul 7, 2014

Author: spectroscopyNOW

The molecular structures of fresh and used lubricating motor oils have been investigated by X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy measurements.

Read More thumbnail image: Journal Highlight Analysis of engine motor oils by X-ray absorption and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopies

UV protection racket: X-ray revelations

Date: Jul 1, 2014

Author: David Bradley

The molecular building blocks of DNA absorb ultraviolet light strongly and so one might imagine that sunlight damage them all beyond repair, yet it does not. Now, scientists have used ultrafast X-ray Auger probing of photoexcited molecular dynamics to help them to understand the critical "relaxation response" that apparently protects DNA and the genetic information it encodes, from ultraviolet damage.

Read More thumbnail image: UV protection racket X-ray revelations

Probing ferroelectrics: Domain wall effects

Date: Jun 15, 2014

Author: David Bradley

The secret of the domain wall phenomenon in ferroelectric materials has been probed with X-ray photoemission electron microscopy (X-PEEM), which was used to investigate the ferroelectric erbium manganese oxide.

Read More thumbnail image: Probing ferroelectrics Domain wall effects

Journal Highlight: Investigation of organic materials from the "royal" burials of Xiongnu (Noin-Ula, Mongolia) by SRXRF and XAFS methods

Date: Jun 9, 2014

Author: spectroscopyNOW

An SRXRF analysis of hair, clay, bones, teeth and woollen cloth found in burials of famous Xiongnu people found high levels of copper in the hair samples.

Read More thumbnail image: Journal Highlight Investigation of organic materials from the royal burials of Xiongnu Noin-Ula Mongolia by SRXRF and XAFS methods

Resistance is low: New quantum effect

Date: Jun 1, 2014

Author: David Bradley

In experiments using X-ray angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, US researchers have discovered a new quantum effect that enables electrons to move through the interior of certain materials with very little resistance.

Read More thumbnail image: Resistance is low New quantum effect

Wooden it be nice? X-raying contaminants

Date: May 15, 2014

Author: David Bradley

Researchers in Germany are using X-ray fluorescence analysis, near-infrared spectroscopy and ion mobility spectrometry to help them identify potentially harmful contaminants in wood destined for recycling. The identification of the contaminants, preservative residues then allows appropriate supercritical fluid treatment to be used to extract them efficiently.

Read More thumbnail image: Wooden it be nice X-raying contaminants
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