Scientists often look to nature for inspiration in the search for ways to make new materials. A new study of the clamworm, an intertidal creature, shows that it has jaws made partly of zinc, making them strong, stiff and tough –– fundamental properties by which all materials are evaluated.
The properties of the clamworm jaws are described in this week´s online publication of the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences (PNAS). The research began with questions by scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Argonne National Laboratory, and evolved into an international project involving scientists from Austria and Finland.
"Zinc zips together proteins in a way that hardens the material," said Galen D. Stucky, a materials chemist and professor in UCSB´s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He noted that the study of how nature makes hard materials, their structure and function, may eventually yield information on how scientists can make lightweight, flexible materials ranging from more durable tires to protective coatings.
Gail Gallessich | EurekAlert!
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Computer scientists use wave packet theory to develop realistic, detailed water wave simulations in real time. Their results will be presented at this year’s SIGGRAPH conference.
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An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
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Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
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Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
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