An international team of researchers led by University of Kentucky scientist Prof. Brent Seales has unlocked the text in the early Leviticus scroll from En Gedi — the oldest Pentateuchal scroll in Hebrew outside of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Completed virtual unwrapping for the En-Gedi scroll. Image credit: William Brent Seales et al.
In 1970, a team of Israeli archeologists from the Hebrew University and the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) made a surprising discovery at En-Gedi, the site of a large, ancient Jewish community dating from the late eighth century BC until its destruction by fire circa 600 CE.
Excavations uncovered the Holy Ark of the En-Gedi synagogue, inside of which were multiple charred lumps of what appeared to be animal skin scroll fragments.
The IAA experts faithfully preserved t… Read more
A pioneering work by an international team of scientists from Australia and Switzerland is setting the foundation for moving beyond solid state electronics towards flexible and reconfigurable soft circuit systems.
Continuous motion of a self-propelling droplet of Galinstan under a pH gradient, shown at different time intervals. The droplet is placed in a fluidic channel, midway between two reservoirs filled with different electrolytes of acidic and basic nature. Image credit: RMIT University.
Modern electronic technologies like smart phones and computers are mainly based on circuits that use solid state components, with fixed metallic tracks and semiconducting devices.
But engineers dream of being able to create truly elastic electronic components – soft circuit systems that can act mo… Read more
A team of researchers at the University of Toronto, Canada, has created a battery that stores energy in a biologically derived unit. The team’s paper outlining the discovery was published July 14 in the journal Advanced Functional Materials .
Left: schematic of vitamin-driven lithium-ion battery showing the direction of lithium-ion diffusion under charging and discharging conditions. Right: photograph of a red LED powered by the battery. Image credit: Tyler B. Schon et al.
The new battery is similar to many commercially-available lithium-ion batteries with one important difference – it uses flavin from vitamin B2 (riboflavin) as the cathode, the part that stores the electricity that is released when connected to a device.
“We’ve been looking to nature for a while to find complex molecules for u… Read more
An international team of researchers and engineers from South Korea and the United States has developed a solar cell that efficiently converts carbon dioxide directly into synthesis gas, using only sunlight for energy.
Simulated sunlight powers a solar cell that converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into syngas. Image credit: University of Illinois at Chicago.
This new work, published in the journal Science , was led by Dr. Larry Curtiss from the Argonne National Laboratory and Dr. Amin Salehi-Khojin from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Unlike conventional solar cells, the new device essentially does the work of plants, converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into fuel, solving two crucial problems at once.
A solar farm of such cells could remove significant amounts of carbon fro… Read more
In a paper published in the journal ACM Transactions on Graphics , researchers from the United States and Israel have demonstrated a display that lets you watch 3D movies in a theater without extra eyewear.
‘Cinema 3D’ could show 3D movies to any seat in a theater, with no eyewear required. Image credit: Christine Daniloff / MIT.
The prototype display, ‘Cinema 3D,’ uses a special array of lenses and mirrors to enable viewers to watch a 3D movie from any seat in a theater.
“Existing approaches to glasses-free 3D require screens whose resolution requirements are so enormous that they are completely impractical,” said co-author Prof. Wojciech Matusik of MIT.
“This is the first technical approach that allows for glasses-free 3D on a large scale.”
Prof. Matusik and his colleagues demonstrated that Cinema 3… Read more
Professor Takao Someya’s research group at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering has developed an ultraflexible ‘e-skin’ film and demonstrated its use by creating an organic light-emitting diode display.
System outline of a blood oxygen level monitor: red and green PLEDs are directed to shine into the finger; reflected light from inside the finger is caught by an ultraflexible organic photodetector; this reflected light provides a measure of blood oxygen and pulse rate; the output of the sensor can be shown on a PLED display. Image credit: Tomoyuki Yokota et al. / Someya Laboratory, University of Tokyo.
Integrating electronic devices with the human body to enhance or restore body function for biomedical applications is the goal of researchers around the world.
In particular,… Read more
A team of scientists from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden has discovered a natural process it describes as reverse photosynthesis.
Fungi use reverse photosynthesis to access sugars and nutrients in plants. This image shows the rust fungus Aecidium magellanicum growing on the bush Berberis microphylla . Image credit: Jason Hollinger / CC BY-SA 3.0.
“This is a game changer, one that could transform the industrial production of fuels and chemicals, thus serving to reduce pollution significantly,” said Prof. Claus Felby from the Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management at the University of Copenhagen, who is senior author of a study published this week in the journal Nature Communications .
In the process of reverse photosynt… Read more
A team of scientists led by Dr. Rob Shepherd from Cornell University, Ithaca, has developed an artificial octopus-like skin that can stretch, sense internal and external pressure, and emit light.
Multi-pixel electroluminescent displays fabricated via replica molding; the device measures 5 mm thick, with each of the 64 pixels measuring 4 mm; it can be deformed and stretched in various ways. Image credit: Organic Robotics Lab at Cornell University.
“Cephalopods such as octopuses have a combination of a stretchable skin and color-tuning organs to control both posture and color for visual communication and disguise,” Dr. Shepherd and co-authors said.
“We present an electroluminescent material that is capable of large uniaxial stretching and surface area changes while actively emitting light. Read more
A group of scientists from the United Kingdom and Spain have built the world’s first working acoustic tractor beam.
Holograms are 3D light-fields that can be projected from a 2D surface; Asier Marzo of the University of Bristol and the Public University of Navarre and his colleagues have created acoustic holograms with shapes such as tweezers, twisters and cages that exert forces on particles to levitate and manipulate them. Image credit: Asier Marzo / Bruce Drinkwater / Sriram Subramanian.
“It was an incredible experience the first time we saw the object held in place by the tractor beam. All my hard work has paid off, it’s brilliant,” said Asier Marzo of the University of Bristol and the Public University of Navarre, a team member and the first author of a paper in the journal Nature Communications .
The… Read more
A group of researchers led by Dr Stuart Licht of George Washington University has developed a novel method to economically convert atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into highly valued carbon nanofibers.
This false-color image shows carbon nanofibers. Image credit: Stuart Licht.
“We have found a way to use atmospheric carbon dioxide to produce high-yield carbon nanofibers. Such nanofibers are used to make strong carbon composites, such as those used in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, as well as in high-end sports equipment, wind turbine blades and a host of other products,” Dr Licht explained.
Because of its efficiency, the new process can be run using only a few volts of electricity, sunlight and a whole lot of carbon dioxide.
At its root, the system uses electrolytic syntheses to make the nanofibers… Read more