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28 Apr 2017

Today's Categories: Editor's Choice / PNNL in the News / DOE around the U.S. / National/International Science and Technology / Security / Workforce - Health and Safety / Other /

Editor's Choice Editor's Choice

Rechargeable nickel-3D zinc batteries: An energy-dense, safer alternative to lithium-ion

Although lithium-based batteries are ubiquitous, there are still challenges related to their longevity and safety, as well as concerns about material availability. Aqueous rechargeable batteries based on zinc might provide an alternative, but they have been plagued by the formation of dendrites during cycling. Parker et al. show that when zinc is formed into three-dimensional sponges, it can be used with nickel to form primary batteries that allow for deep discharge.

Transition from Battery to Pseudocapacitor Behavior via Structural Water in Tungsten Oxide

The kinetics of energy storage in transition metal oxides are usually limited by solid-state diffusion, and the strategy most often utilized to improve their rate capability is to reduce ion diffusion distances by utilizing nanostructured materials. Here, another strategy is proposed for improving the kinetics of layered transition metal oxides by the presence of structural water.

Return to Top of PagePNNL in the News PNNL in the News

For first time, researchers measure forces that align crystals and help them snap together

Like two magnets being pulled toward each other, tiny crystals twist, align and slam into each other, but due to an altogether different force. For the first time, researchers have measured the force that draws them together and visualized how they swivel and align. ... "It's provocative in the sense that from these kinds of measurements one can build a model of 3-D assembly, with particles attaching to each other in select ways like Lego bricks," said chemist Kevin Rosso of the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aah6902)

Return to Top of PageDOE around the U.S. DOE around the U.S.

Agency says DOE's field lab clean-up plan violates agreement

The state agency responsible for overseeing the removal of contamination at the Santa Susana Field Lab says the U.S. Department of Energy’s plans to remediate a highly controversial portion of the site does not comply with a 2010 cleanup agreement.

DOE contractor staffs up to restart project licensing

As Congress starts debate on legislation that would jump-start the long-stalled Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project, the nuclear industry is getting ready for licensing the Nevada project. In an internal newsletter obtained by E&E News, a Department of Energy contractor, Areva Federal Services (AFS), told employees the company anticipates the licensing process for the repository will be restarted "in the next few weeks."

Return to Top of PageNational/International Science and Technology National/International Science and Technology

A material inspired by a sea worm changes according to the environment

The gelatinous jaw of a sea worm, which becomes hard or flexible depending on the environment around it, has inspired researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop a new material that can be applied to soft robotics. Despite having the texture of a gel, this compound is endowed with great mechanical resistance and consistency, and is able to adapt to changing environments. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.6b07878)

Fast, low energy, and continuous biofuel extraction from microalgae

As an alternative to liquid fossil fuels, biodiesel extracted from microalgae is an increasingly important part of the bioenergy field. While it releases a similar amount of CO2 as petroleum when burned, the CO2 released from biodiesel is that which has recently been removed from the atmosphere via photosynthesis meaning that it does not contribute to an increase of the greenhouse gas. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13068-017-0724-1)

New Singapore research center for big data analytics and Artificial Intelligence

Those without knowledge of computer programming could soon design their own games and applications using a new edutainment software being developed by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore). As users input their ideas using a simple drag-and-drop graphical interface, an automatic coding module will work in the background to enable Artificial Intelligence (AI) features. (w/video)

Arizona State University wins record 14 NSF career awards

Tempe, AZ - Arizona State University has earned 14 National Science Foundation early career faculty awards, ranking second among all university recipients of the prestigious awards for 2017 and setting a new ASU record. The awards total 7 million [dollars] in funding for the ASU researchers over five years. ... This year's award total ranks ASU above top engineering schools including Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley.

How state-of-the-art camera that behaves like the human eye could benefit robots and smart devices

Kingston University London experts will explore how an artificial vision system inspired by the human eye could be used by robots of the future - opening up new possibilities for securing footage from deep forests, war zones and even distant planets.

San Francisco-based energy company acquires 269 million [dollars] in New Mexico wind to operate transmission project

A big wind project in New Mexico called The Broadview Wind Farm, located near Clovis in the eastern part of the state, is operating at 324 megawatts and delivering power to California. San-Francisco-based Pattern Energy announced this week it paid 269 million [dollars] to acquire two wind projects in the state to operate the farm, which commenced commercial operations in late March.

Return to Top of PageSecurity Security

An Obscure App Flaw Creates Backdoors In Millions of Smartphones

For hackers, scanning for an open "port"-a responsive, potentially vulnerable internet connection on a would-be victim's machine-has long been one of the most basic ways to gain a foothold in a target company or agency. As it turns out, thanks to a few popular but rarely studied apps, plenty of smartphones have open ports, too. And those little-considered connections can just as easily give hackers access to tens of millions of Android devices. (w/video)

Tillerson calls for 'painful' measures to punish North Korea

UNITED NATIONS - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Friday for new economic sanctions on North Korea and other "painful" measures, and he asked other countries to suspend diplomatic relations with the communist regime. (w/video)

Best cybersecurity Twitter accounts

As cybersecurity has become a global issue of utmost significance, some major Twitter commentators have risen to the challenge of following the raging storm. The threats are huge and very real, and they are not just a concern for nations and big organisations, we are all individual targets that cyber adversaries wish to compromise. CBR has compiled a list of some of the best cybersecurity Twitter accounts.

Return to Top of PageWorkforce - Health and Safety Workforce - Health and Safety

Safety advocates call for stronger protections during Workers' Memorial Week

The AFL-CIO, National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, and the National Safety Council are among the organizations renewing the call for improved worker protections as part of Workers' Memorial Week (April 23-30). Highlighted by Workers' Memorial Day on April 28, the week honors the workers who lost their lives on the job.

Return to Top of PageOther Other

National Science Board Tool Depicts Career Pathways of STEM PhDs

The National Science Board has released an interactive infographic illustrating the different career pathways of science, engineering, and health doctoral graduates and how they progress.

Amazon's Echo Look Rates Your Outfits and Slurps Up Revealing Data

The company's latest smart assistant features a camera to help you choose what to wear-and photograph the inside of your house while it's at it.

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