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Basic science

Teachers and mentors honored for their contributions to STEM programs

By Faye Oney / July 3, 2018

The White House will present more than 140 teachers, mentors, and organizations with special presidential awards, consisting of a presidential citation and $10,000, to recognize their contributions to enhancing student learning in the STEM subjects.

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Newest glass material ‘Glassomer’ is used to fabricate small glass structures

By Faye Oney / June 29, 2018

Researchers have developed a glass composite that could be used in fabricating intricate objects. “Glassomer,” a material made of a polymer and quartz, could be useful in a wide variety of industrial applications.

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The future of additive manufacturing: A 3-D multiple materials printing process

By Faye Oney / June 26, 2018

3-D printing typically involves only one material. Researchers have now developed a way to print multiple materials in one process. This method could eventually replace welding and other materials joining technologies.

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Making higher-performing lithium batteries using ‘pickling’ process

By Faye Oney / June 22, 2018

Researchers discovered that a chemical reaction that takes place when a performance-enhancing additive is mixed into a lithium battery’s electrolyte can suppress its decomposition—similar to the pickling process. This discovery could lead to higher-performing batteries.

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Video: Watch a simple fabric wristband control small household appliances

By Faye Oney / June 20, 2018

Researchers have devised a simple electronic textile that uses carbon nanotubes to provide an electrical charge. The device enables users to control a computer or small appliance by swiping a finger over the fabric.

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Fly ash binder could eventually replace Portland cement in concrete

By Faye Oney / June 19, 2018

Scientists have developed an environmentally-friendly material that could eventually replace conventional Portland cement in concrete. The new composite, consisting mostly of fly ash, was found to be as structurally strong as Portland cement.

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Flash-sintered ceramic material could protect metal blades in aircraft engines

By Faye Oney / June 12, 2018

Researchers have demonstrated that flash sintered yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) acquires metal-like plasticity at room temperature. This discovery could prove to be useful in using YSZ as a thermal barrier coating for aircraft engine blades.

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Vitrification process turns radioactive waste into durable glass for safe disposal

By Faye Oney / June 8, 2018

Researchers have successfully converted radioactive waste into glass through vitrification at the Hanford Nuclear Site. The test is part of an overall plan to send low-activity waste directly to the vitrification facility via Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste system.

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Video: Move over driverless cars—These 3-D printed autonomous boats reduce traffic by hauling goods, people

By Faye Oney / June 6, 2018

We have driverless cars. What about driverless boats? Researchers at MIT have designed an autonomous 3-D printed boat that can transport people and deliver goods to their destinations, reducing traffic on roads.

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Making cheaper, small-diameter carbon nanotubes from carbon dioxide

By Faye Oney / June 5, 2018

Researchers at Vanderbilt University are making something useful out of carbon dioxide pulled from the air: Small-diameter carbon nanotubes. Their CNTs are not only higher quality, but the process to make them is cheaper than current methods.

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