Companies have promised a future of renewable fuel from algae

Algae

For over a decade, companies have promised a future of renewable fuel from algae. Investors interested in moving the world away from fossil fuel have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to the effort, and with good reason. Algae replicate quickly, requiring little more than water and sunlight to accumulate …

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Biological particles are ideal for arrangement of nanoparticles

Nanocomposite

It has always been the Holy Grail of materials science to describe and control the material’s structure-function relationship. Nanoparticles are an attractive class of components to be used in functional materials because they exhibit size-dependent properties, such as superparamagnetism and plasmonic absorption of light. Furthermore, controlling the arrangement of nanoparticles …

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Method to decipher the spatial organization of biological structures

Protein structure

Researchers are constantly expanding their arsenal of methods to decipher the spatial organization of biological structures. Using microscopes, they can now visualize individual macromolecular components within DNA, protein, or other complexes. However, this resolution typically requires sophisticated equipment applied to specially-processed samples, and it is difficult to simultaneously watch many …

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Inexpensive biomaterial that can be used to replace plastic

Biomedical

An inexpensive biomaterial that can be used to sustainably replace plastic barrier coatings in packaging and many other applications has been developed by Penn State researchers, who predict its adoption would greatly reduce pollution. Completely compostable, the material — a polysaccharide polyelectrolyte complex — is comprised of nearly equal parts …

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