Fragments of Science
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Fragments of Science
The history, present and future and nature of science and their relationship
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'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a material that could reduce signal losses in photonic devices. The advance has the potential to boost the efficiency of various light-based technologies including fiber optic communication systems, lasers and photovoltaics.

 

The discovery addresses one of the biggest challenges in the field of photonics: minimizing loss of optical (light-based) signals in devices known as plasmonic metamaterials. Plasmonic metamaterials are materials engineered at the nanoscale to control light in unusual ways. They can be used to develop exotic devices ranging from invisibility cloaks to quantum computers. But a problem with metamaterials is that they typically contain metals that absorb energy from light and convert it into heat. As a result, part of the optical signal gets wasted, lowering the efficiency.

 

In a recent study published in Nature Communications, a team of photonics researchers led by electrical engineering professor Shaya Fainman at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering demonstrated a way to make up for these losses by incorporating into the metamaterial something that emits light—a semiconductor. "We're offsetting the loss introduced by the metal with gain from the semiconductor. This combination theoretically could result in zero net absorption of the signal—a 'lossless' metamaterial," said Joseph Smalley, an electrical engineering postdoctoral scholar in Fainman's group and the first author of the study.

 

In their experiments, the researchers shined light from an infrared laser onto the metamaterial. They found that depending on which way the light is polarized—which plane or direction (up and down, side to side) all the light waves are set to vibrate—the metamaterial either reflects or emits light.

 

"This is the first material that behaves simultaneously as a metal and a semiconductor. If light is polarized one way, the metamaterial reflects light like a metal, and when light is polarized the other way, the metamaterial absorbs and emits light of a different 'color' like a semiconductor," Smalley said.metamaterial-boost-efficiency-lasers.html#jCp


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Cosmos Controversy: The Universe Is Expanding, but How Fast?

Cosmos Controversy: The Universe Is Expanding, but How Fast? | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A small discrepancy in the value of a long-sought number has fostered a debate about just how well we know the cosmos.
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Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Warming seawaters, caused by climate change and extreme climatic events, threaten the stability of tropical coral reefs, with potentially devastating implications for many reef species and the human communities that reefs support.
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Therapeutic properties of ferns: a 2017 comprehensive scientific review

Therapeutic properties of ferns: a 2017 comprehensive scientific review | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Abstract (as presented by the authors of the scientific work) " Ferns are an important phytogenetic bridge between lower and highe
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The race to map the human body — one cell at a time

The race to map the human body — one cell at a time | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A host of detailed cell atlases could revolutionize understanding of cancer and other diseases.
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Russian scientists slowed down aging

Russian scientists slowed down aging | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
The major goal of the study was to investigate the role of intracellular powerstations -- mitochondria -- in the process of ageing of organism. Importantly, scientists made an attempt to slow down ageing using a novel compound: artificial antioxidant SkQ1 precisely targeted into mitochondria. This compound was developed in the Moscow State University by the most cited Russian biologist professor Vladimir Skulachev.
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The Telescopes of the Future, and What We Will See Through Them

The Telescopes of the Future, and What We Will See Through Them | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
James Webb is only the beginning.
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The incredible shrinking computer chip

The incredible shrinking computer chip | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Researchers at the Leibniz Institute have built a computer chip that receives, processes and transmits data at record speeds.
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Minor planet named Bernard

Minor planet named Bernard | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A minor planet in the Solar System will officially be known as Bernardbowen from today after Australian citizen science project theSkyNet won a competition to name the celestial body.
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Soon, Earth's Magnetic Poles Could Flip

Throughout Earth's history, the magnetic poles have consistently and gradually flipped. Our next flip could create unique problems for humankind.
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Discovery in the Bay of Aarhus can solve the puzzle of our primordial origin

Discovery in the Bay of Aarhus can solve the puzzle of our primordial origin | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Two meters down, among the dark sediments at the bottom of the Bay of Aarhus in Denmark, scientists have discovered a crucial piece in the puzzle of our deepest history: the origin of life.
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Evidence of uncharacteristic shoaling found to play a role in great die-off 250 million years ago

Evidence of uncharacteristic shoaling found to play a role in great die-off 250 million years ago | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A team of researchers with members from several institutions in China and the U.S. has found evidence of uncharacteristic shoaling before, during and after the great die-off 250 million years ago and suggest it could be the cause of so many species going extinct. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes evidence they found in rocks in Canada and Japan that suggests at least part of the great die-off was due to excess toxic sulphides permeating the world's oceans.

Approximately 252 million years ago, the Earth experienced the largest die-off in its history, with approximately 90 percent of all life on the planet going extinct. Scientists have put forth a number of theories regarding the cause, but to date, a consensus has not been reached. In this new effort, the research team suggests that a type of shoaling began to occur for unknown reasons, which stirred up sulphides resting on the seafloor causing them to mix with seawater and making it impossible for most life in the ocean to survive.
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Scientists discover how epithelial cells maintain constant cell numbers

Scientists discover how epithelial cells maintain constant cell numbers | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Research published today in Nature from scientists at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah shows how epithelial cells naturally turn over, maintaining constant numbers between cell division and cell death.

Epithelial cells comprise the skin and skin-like linings that coat internal organs, giving organs a protective barrier so they can function properly. Cells turn over very quickly in epithelia. To maintain healthy cell densities, an equal number of cells must divide and die. If that balance gets thrown off, inflammatory diseases or cancers can arise.

The study leader, Jody Rosenblatt, PhD, investigator at HCI and associate professor of oncological sciences at the University of Utah, says, "If too many epithelial cells die, you can lose the organ barrier function and inflammatory diseases like asthma and colitis can result. On the other hand, if too many cells divide compared to the number dying, this can cause an overabundance of cells, which can lead to tumor formation. So imbalance on either side is problematic."
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The cosmic explosions that made the Universe

The cosmic explosions that made the Universe | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
The history of lithium is long, but also shrouded in mystery. In the aftermath of the Big Bang, most of the newly-created lithium somehow went missing. What's more, when astronomers look at the current Universe, they find extra lithium: about four times more than what should have been produced in the Big Bang.

For more than a decade, scientists have been hunting where this extra lithium came from. Thanks to recent discoveries, however, the search for mysterious cosmic lithium factories may finally be over.
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400 million year old gigantic extinct monster worm discovered in Canadian museum

400 million year old gigantic extinct monster worm discovered in Canadian museum | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A previously undiscovered species of an extinct primordial giant worm with terrifying snapping jaws has been identified by an international team of scientists.
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An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever

An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
A tiny snail may offer an alternative to opioids for pain relief. Scientists at the University of Utah have found a compound that blocks pain by targeting a pathway not associated with opioids. Research in rodents indicates that the benefits continue long after the compound have cleared the body.
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Polyphenols Protect Against Neurodegenerative Disease Via Sirtuins Modulation

Polyphenols Protect Against Neurodegenerative Disease Via Sirtuins Modulation | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Are you aware about the Neurodegenerative Diseases? A new study has revealed about "Sirtuins". See how it can be used to protect against Sirtuins.
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More hints emerge that dwarf planet Ceres contains potential for life

More hints emerge that dwarf planet Ceres contains potential for life | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Simple organic molecules have been detected on the dwarf planet Ceres, adding to evidence it contains key ingredients essential for life.
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Researchers are first to see DNA 'blink'

Researchers are first to see DNA 'blink' | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Northwestern University biomedical engineers have developed imaging technology that is the first to see DNA 'blink,' or fluoresce. The tool enables researchers to study individual biomolecules (DNA, chromatin, proteins) as well as important global patterns of gene expression, which could yield insights into cancer. Vadim Backman will discuss the technology and its applications -- including the new concept of macrogenomics, a technology aiming to regulate the global patterns of gene expression without gene editing -- at the 2017 AAAS annual meeting.
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International science collaboration growing at astonishing rate

International science collaboration growing at astonishing rate | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Even those who follow science may be surprised by how quickly international collaboration in scientific studies is growing, according to new research.
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Digital fabrication in architecture

Digital fabrication in architecture | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Society faces enormous challenges in constructing high-quality, future-oriented built environments. Construction sites today look much like the building sites did at the beginning of the 20th century. Current research on digital fabrication in architecture indicates that the development and integration of innovative digital technologies within architectural and construction processes could transform the building industry -- on the verge of a building industry 4.0. Digital technologies in architecture and construction could increase productivity creating new jobs.
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Ötzi the Iceman: Researchers validate the stability of genetic markers

Ötzi the Iceman: Researchers validate the stability of genetic markers | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Biomarkers are biological attributes that can give doctors or researchers clues about the health status or illnesses of a patient. Scientists are placing great hope in a new type of biomarker, so-called microRNAs. These short ribonucleic acid molecules are notable for their very high level of stability. Researchers at Saarland University, the University of Luxembourg and the Eurac Research center in Bozen have now established that such microRNAs can remain stable even after 5,300 years.
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For the First Time Ever, We Can See Inside Living Cells Without Damaging Them

Researchers have developed a new ultrasound technique that allows them to see inside living cells at a scale that was previously unachievable without damaging the cells. Because the examined cells remain undamaged, they can be put back into the body, potentially leading to new treatment options for diseases or even defenses against aging.
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Four-stroke engine cycle produces hydrogen from methane and captures CO2

Four-stroke engine cycle produces hydrogen from methane and captures CO2 | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
When is an internal combustion engine not an internal combustion engine? When it's been transformed into a modular reforming reactor that could make hydrogen available to power fuel cells wherever there's a natural gas supply available.

By adding a catalyst, a hydrogen separating membrane and carbon dioxide sorbent to the century-old four-stroke engine cycle, researchers have demonstrated a laboratory-scale hydrogen reforming system that produces the green fuel at relatively low temperature in a process that can be scaled up or down to meet specific needs. The process could provide hydrogen at the point of use for residential fuel cells or neighborhood power plants, electricity and power production in natural-gas powered vehicles, fueling of municipal buses or other hydrogen-based vehicles, and supplementing intermittent renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics.
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Global ocean de-oxygenation quantified

Global ocean de-oxygenation quantified | Fragments of Science | Scoop.it
Oxygen is an essential necessity of life on land. The same applies for almost all organisms in the ocean. However, the oxygen supply in the oceans is threatened by global warming in two ways: Warmer surface waters take up less oxygen than colder waters. In addition, warmer water stabilizes the stratification of the ocean. This weakens the circulation connecting the surface with the deep ocean and less oxygen is transported into the deep sea. Therefore, many models predict a decrease in global oceanic oxygen inventory of the oceans due to global warming. The first global evaluation of millions of oxygen measurements seems to confirm this trend and points to first impacts of global change.

In the renowned scientific journal Nature the oceanographers Dr. Sunke Schmidtko, Dr. Lothar Stramma and Prof. Dr. Martin Visbeck from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel just published the most comprehensive study on global oxygen content in the world's oceans so far. It demonstrates that the ocean's oxygen content has decreased by more than two percent over the last 50 years. "Since large fishes in particular avoid or do not survive in areas with low oxygen content, these changes can have far-reaching biological consequences," says Dr. Schmidtko, the lead-author of the study.
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