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Highlights

  • The genetic modification of the plant cellulose structure has been demonstrated for the first time.  This could be transformative for a bio-based economy.  Cellulose is difficult to break down to form the sugars needed to produce biofuels. The goal of genetically altering the plant is to make plant cellulose easier to digest.  Using solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance, a relative of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), researchers identified changes in...

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  • Designing methods to slow down electromagnetic signals just got easier with a new model that predicts how light will absorb and scatter from devices made from metamaterials. Metamaterials are built from small, engineered structures that, in some ways, mimic the role of atoms, yet can manipulate light in ways not seen in conventional materials. Slowing down light can arise in metamaterials through a process known as electromagnetically induced transparency, when destructive coupling occurs between a...

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  • The Helfand and Werthamer theory developed in 1960s predicts the magnetic field at which a superconductor turns into a normal metal if certain details of the electronic structure are known.  When new superconductors are discovered, their upper critical field is usually analyzed using this theory, even though it has a well-known shortcoming — it assumes that the electronic properties of the superconductor are the same in all directions and lead to an isotropic upper...

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