Making lithium-ion batteries safer, stronger
Today’s rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are good, but they could be much better in the future. That’s what University of Illinois at Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory researchers have concluded, following extensive studies using real-time transmission electron microscopy, or TEM. The technique, they report in Nature Communications, is the most effective way to understand the electrochemical reactions of lithium-ion batteries and to learn how the batteries can be modified to become safer, stronger, longer lasting and cheaper.
New evidence suggests that octupuses aren’t loners
Octopuses are usually solitary creatures, but a new site in the waters off the east coast of Australia is the home of up to 15 gloomy octopuses (Octopus tetricus) that have been been observed communicating — either directly as in den evictions or indirectly through posturing, chasing or color changes, according to findings reported in the journal Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology.
Honeybees could play a role in developing new antibiotics
An antimicrobial compound made by honeybees could become the basis for new antibiotics, according to new research at the University of Illinois at Chicago. No new antibiotics have been discovered for more than 30 years, and some bacteria are becoming immune to the drugs used to treat or prevent infections. Antibiotic resistance, called one of the world’s most pressing public health concerns by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can mean illnesses that were once easily treatable are now potentially deadly.
Newly-discovered semiconductor dynamics may help improve energy efficiency
Researchers examining the flow of electricity through semiconductors have uncovered another reason these materials seem to lose their ability to carry a charge as they become more densely “doped.” Their results, which may help engineers design faster semiconductors in the future, are published online in the journal ACS Nano.