News

R1234yf – a recommended replacement refrigerant, which when burned releases toxic carbonyl fluoride. This model shows carbon in black, hydrogen in white, and fluorine in green.

Refrigerant replacement highly toxic on combustion

EU regulations suggest refrigerants in car air conditioning systems are replaced with a more environmentally friendly version, but scientists are urging a rethink after studies showed the recommended replacement releases toxic chemicals upon combustion.

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When studied with advanced microscopic and imaging techniques, the brain of a fruit fly reveals astounding complexity, showing its composition by many discrete building blocks called "neuropils," each comprising one or more complex neuronal circuits. Credit: Kei Ito et al.

Brain dictionary and road map created

An international team of neuroscientists has not only tripled the number of identified insect brain structures but created a simple dictionary to talk about them.

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The presence of antidepressants in our aquatic ecosystem is threatening wildlife, affecting its behaviour and biological make-up.

Antidepressants affect aquatic life

The presence of antidepressants in our aquatic ecosystem is threatening wildlife, affecting its behaviour and biological make-up.

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TEM image of monodisperse antimony nanocrystals. Credit: Maksym Kovalenko Group/ETH Zurich.

Antimony batteries a possibility

Scientists probing new materials for batteries have succeeded in producing uniform antimony nanocrystals which could one day be used as alternative anode materials in high-energy-density batteries.

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This semiconductor structure can measure single electrons and their respective charge. Four single-electron pumps are integrated onto the chip; each of them has three gate electrodes (green) crossing a semiconductor wire (blue). The pumped electrons are detected with the aid of three single-electron detectors (grey). Credit PTB.

Quantum standard for amp achieved

A quantum standard for the ampere can now join the ranks alongside the volt and ohm thanks to research from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB).

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Features

How safe if your data?

How safe is your data?

What would you do if you lost your data? Mark Hahnel explores options for storing your research...

Gas analysis – the hydrogen way

Gas analysis – the hydrogen way

Hydrogen is considered by many to be the best carrier gas for gas...

A catalyst for innovation

A catalyst for innovation

Tapping microbial diversity with metagenomics has opened the door to more...

Soap bubbles in a spin

Soap bubbles in a spin

In the February issue we reported how soap bubbles can be used to model the...

Algal biofuels Full bloom or dead in the water?

Algal biofuels Full bloom or dead in the water?

Could algae be the fuel of the future? This extremely diverse group of simple...

A whole new generation

A whole new generation

Induced pluripotent stem cells promise much for clinical and pure research,...

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Comment

Science is boring? Far from it

Is science boring? Last month, I became involved in a discussion on Twitter as to whether that statement was true. In some cases it is – experimental work isn’t all about mixing chemicals to make explosions, or smashing atoms together in a particle accelerator.

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Lab Babble Big Ask Science Lite

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