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Techonology, Engineering and Computer Science News

Doping powers new thermoelectric material
(Northwestern University) In power production, nearly two-thirds of energy input from fossil fuels is lost as waste heat. Industry is hungry for materials that can convert this heat to useful electricity, but a good thermoelectric material is hard to find. Northwestern University researchers now report that doping tin selenide with sodium boosts its performance as a thermoelectric material, pushing it toward usefulness. The doped material produces a significantly greater amount of electricity than the undoped material, given the same amount of heat input.

Graphene microphone outperforms traditional nickel and offers ultrasonic reach
(Institute of Physics) Scientists have developed a graphene based microphone nearly 32 times more sensitive than microphones of standard nickel-based construction.The researchers created a vibrating membrane -- the part of a condenser microphone which converts the sound to a current -- from graphene, and were able to show up to 15 dB higher sensitivity compared to a commercial microphone, at frequencies up to 11 kHz.

Nuclear waste storage sites in rock salt may be more vulnerable than previously thought
(University of Texas at Austin) Research from The University of Texas at Austin shows that rock salt, used by Germany and the United States as a subsurface container for radioactive waste, might not be as impermeable as thought.

Coming to a monitor near you: A defect-free, molecule-thick film
(University of California - Berkeley) A research team led by engineers at UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab has found a simple way to fix defects in atomically thin monolayer semiconductors. The development could open doors to transparent LED displays, ultra-high efficiency solar cells, photo detectors and nanoscale transistors.

International disparities in measuring energy sources
(American Association for the Advancement of Science) As countries around the world shift toward greater use of non-fossil fuels, the wide range of methods used to set targets for remaining fossil fuel emissions and to measure results and progress is highly disparate and needs to be standardized, authors of this Policy Forum emphasize.

Researchers uncover essential interaction between malaria parasites and liver cells
(The Center for Infectious Disease Research) Scientists at the Center for Infectious Disease Research recently uncovered a critical piece in the puzzle of how malaria parasites infect their host. The work, recently published in Science Magazine, reveals the details of how the malaria parasite invades its initial target organ, the liver. Without infection of the liver, the parasites cannot multiply or spread to the blood. Infection of the blood causes illness, spread of the disease, and, ultimately, death.

New gene map reveals cancer's Achilles heel
(University of Toronto) Scientists have mapped out the genes that keep our cells alive, creating a long-awaited foothold for understanding how our genome works and which genes are crucial in disease like cancer.

Stanford technology makes metal wires on solar cells nearly invisible to light
(Stanford University) Stanford University scientists have discovered how to make the electrical wiring on top of solar cells nearly invisible to incoming light. The new design, which uses silicon nanopillars to hide the wires, could dramatically boost solar-cell efficiency.

Five MU faculty members named as Fellows of the AAAS
(University of Missouri-Columbia) Five faculty members from the University of Missouri have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They join 347 other distinguished scientists who have been awarded this honor by AAAS this year because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. The MU faculty members elected as fellows are: David Pintel, Randall Prather, Michael Roberts, Dong Xu and Yuwen Zhang.

Southampton to play major role in 138m project to transform UK infrastructure
(University of Southampton) The University of Southampton is to play a major role in a new national center that will grow and transform the UK's major infrastructure sectors including transport, energy systems, clean water supplies, waste management and flood defenses.

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