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Solar Cell Developed from Carbon-Based Nanotech Materials

All-carbon solar cell (Mark Shwartz, Stanford University)

Researchers at Stanford University in California developed a solar cell made entirely of carbon, instead of silicon and more expensive materials found in current solar cells. The team that included contributors from University of Rochester in New York and Nankai University in China published their findings today . . . → Read More: Solar Cell Developed from Carbon-Based Nanotech Materials

Cambridge Univ. Spin-Off Creates Drug Testing Stem Cells

Differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells to functional liver hepatocyte cells (Ludovic Vallier, Cambridge University)

A spin-off company from Cambridge University in the U.K. is commercializing a technology to convert adult stem cells into human liver cells suitable for drug testing. The technology, say its developers from Cambridge’s Anne McLaren Laboratory for Regenerative . . . → Read More: Cambridge Univ. Spin-Off Creates Drug Testing Stem Cells

Trial Shows Synthetic Cannabinoid Effective on Nerve Pain

(National Institute on Aging, NIH)

Researchers at University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada find the drug nabilone, prescribed to treat nausea in chemotherapy patients, helps treat diabetic neuropathy, or nerve pain. The findings of Cory Toth and colleagues at Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute are reported in the October issue of the journal Pain (paid . . . → Read More: Trial Shows Synthetic Cannabinoid Effective on Nerve Pain

Study to Boost High-Speed Railroad Ties’ Durability

Concrete rail ties (CXT Concrete Ties)

Research underway at Kansas State University in Manhattan aims to improve the durability of railroad ties designed for high speed rail systems in the U.S. and elsewhere. The work led by Kansas State engineering professor Kyle Riding is funded in part by a $1.2 milion grant from the . . . → Read More: Study to Boost High-Speed Railroad Ties’ Durability

Process Developed for Mass Nanotube Semiconductor Assembly

IBM researcher Hongsik Park looks over wafer with carbon nanotubes (IBM)

Researchers at IBM Corporation’s Thomas Watson research lab in New York developed a method for assembling high densities of carbon nanotubes on a wafer surface, a key advance in fabricating semiconductors. The IBM team led by Hongsik Park (picured right) published its findings . . . → Read More: Process Developed for Mass Nanotube Semiconductor Assembly

Storm Warnings (Update: We’re back)

Ocean surface winds for Hurricane Sandy, 28 October 2012 (ISRO/NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The Washington, D.C. area, from where Science Business is published, is likely to take a direct hit from Hurricane Sandy tonight or tomorrow, 28-29 October, with widespread and extended power outages. As a result, Science Business may be dark for a few days, until . . . → Read More: Storm Warnings (Update: We’re back)

Challenge Seeks Smartphone GPS Jamming Detector

(GPS.gov)

A new challenge on InnoCentive asks for a method of detecting GPS signal jamming devices using smartphones. The competiton (free registration required) has an award of $20,000 and a deadline of 3 January 2013. InnoCentive in Waltham, Massachusetts conducts open-innovation, crowd-sourcing competitions for corporate and organization sponsors.

Global Positioning System (GPS) signals can . . . → Read More: Challenge Seeks Smartphone GPS Jamming Detector

Lab-On-A-Chip Device Built for Visual Evaluation

Graduate student Debolina Chatterjee adds fluid sample to the microfluidics test chip. (Mark A. Philbrick, Brigham Young University)

Chemical researchers at Brigham Young University in Utah created a microfluidics device for lab tests that indicates the presence and concentrations of target substances with the naked eye. The findings of the team led by chemistry . . . → Read More: Lab-On-A-Chip Device Built for Visual Evaluation

Mobile Phones Enhanced to Transmit Emphasis, Emotions

(Research.gov)

Computer scientists at University of Helsinki in Finland developed enhancements to mobile phones that enable callers to express their emotions during calls through tactile sensory devices. A team led by postdoctoral researcher Eve Hoggan in Helsinki’s Institute of Information Technology described the technology they call ForcePhone at ACM’s User Interface Software and Technology . . . → Read More: Mobile Phones Enhanced to Transmit Emphasis, Emotions

USPTO Expands Pro Bono Patent Help to California, D.C.

(A. Kotok)

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is expanding pro bono legal assistance on patents in California and the District of Columbia. The America Invents Act, signed into law last year, calls for USPTO to establish regional pro bono legal help programs on patent issues.

In California, USPTO will partner with the organization . . . → Read More: USPTO Expands Pro Bono Patent Help to California, D.C.