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[Image above] Credit: NIST

New ‘high-entropy’ alloy is as light as aluminum, as strong as titanium alloys

Researchers from North Carolina State University and Qatar University have developed a new “high-entropy” metal alloy that has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than any other existing metal material. The NC State research team combined lithium, magnesium, titanium, aluminum and scandium to make a nanocrystalline high-entropy alloy that has low density, but very high strength. “The strength-to-weight ratio is comparable to some ceramics, but we think it’s tougher—less brittle—than ceramics.”

Honeybee hive sealant promotes hair growth in mice

Scientists report that a substance from honeybee hives might contain clues for developing a potential new therapy. They found that the material, called propolis—a resin-like material that honeybees use to seal small gaps in their hives—encourages hair growth in mice. When the researchers tested propolis on mice that had been shaved or waxed, the mice that received the treatment regrew their fur faster than those that didn’t.

Shedding light on why blue LEDS are so tricky to make

Scientists at University College London, in collaboration with groups at the University of Bath and the Daresbury Laboratory, have uncovered the mystery of why blue LEDs are so difficult to make by revealing the complex properties of their main component—gallium nitride—using sophisticated computer simulations. The team’s study examined the unusual behavior of doped gallium nitride at the atomic level using highly sophisticated computer simulations.

What’s in the grime tarnishing the Taj Mahal?

Every several years, workers apply a clay mask to India’s iconic but yellowing Taj Mahal to remove layers of grime and reveal the white marble underneath. Now scientists are getting to the bottom of what kinds of pollutants are discoloring one of the world’s celebrated wonders. Researchers analyzed particles in the air and on marble samples near the main dome over several months and concluded that primary pollutants are tarnishing the Taj Mahal.

Nanowire clothing could keep people warm—without heating everything else

Scientists have developed a novel silver nanowire coating for clothes that can both generate heat and trap the heat from our bodies better than regular clothes. Researchers developed lightweight, breathable mesh materials that are flexible enough to coat normal clothes. When compared to regular clothing material, the special metallic nanowire cloth trapped body heat far more effectively.