Latest News

Eagle eyes detect flaws in paper

Today`s machines produce paper so rapidly that visual quality control is stretched to its limits. New automated systems with cameras and image analysis algorithms manage this flood of paper with no problem – they can even tackle the job with patterned wood and textiles.

The fastest papermaking machine in the world produces a roll of paper approximately 10 meters wide at the rate of 100 kilometers per hour. In less than 20 seconds the paper would cover an area the size of a soccer field. Impo

Fire resistant plastics

The use of halogenated flame retardants in plastics is steadily declining because they are volatile, pose an environmental risk and are difficult to recycle. Microcapsules, fibers and melamine resin foams represent some of the chief alternatives.

As successfully as the endless variety of plastics have established themselves on the market, these multifaceted materials show another face when it comes to fire. They melt and feed the flames like the petroleum from which they were ultimately pro

Light-protection for food packaging

Oxygen and light can alter the taste of foodstuffs. Manufacturers of packaging materials therefore try to protect contents from their influence. The latest approach is to use natural dyes in transparent plastic wrappers that selectively filter light.

Light and oxygen adversely affect the quality of most foodstuffs. In combination they cause various ingredients to undergo photo-oxidation. Fatty food substances become rancid and milk products develop an unpleasant “light-induced” taste. Certai

Fingerprinting euro coins

Many Europeans are now learning to deal with a new currency. But also cash dispensers and cigarette machines must distinguish clearly between euros, the old currencies and counterfeit money. A miniature computer now checks the coins by means of digital image processing.

For users of the new European currency, having adequate safeguards against forgery is a matter of great importance. The paper money incorporates features such as holograms, watermarks, a security thread, and embossed text to

Scientists use llama droppings to help combat water pollution

Scientists from Newcastle University are using llama droppings to help combat environmental problems caused by polluted water seeping from abandoned silver and tin mines in the Bolivian Andes.

The project is being spearheaded by Paul Younger, Professor of Hydrogeochemical Engineering at Newcastle University. It has been adapted from a community-based natural regeneration technique which uses waste materials to treat polluted mine waters. Professor Younger pioneered the technique, along with

Deadly plant bug sequenced

Researchers grapple with wilt-causing bacteria

It’s the Mike Tyson of plant bacteria,” says Gerry Saddler, of the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency, Edinburgh.

Saddler is referring to Ralstonia solanacearum , the cause of southern bacterial wilt possibly the most important plant disease in the world. French researchers have now sequenced the bacteria’s genome – information that should lead to a better understanding of plant disease, and perhaps new ways to fight it

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Physics and Astronomy

Practical 3D tracking at record-breaking speeds

With speeds over 200 times faster than traditional methods, new technology could benefit autonomous driving, industrial inspection and security applications. Researchers have developed a new 3D method that can be…

Astronomers see a massive black hole awaken in real time

In late 2019 the previously unremarkable galaxy SDSS1335+0728 suddenly started shining brighter than ever before. To understand why, astronomers have used data from several space and ground-based observatories, including the…

Cosmic blast hunter SVOM to launch with optimal optics from Leicester

Mission to find gamma ray bursts is latest to use technology from University of Leicester in X-ray optics. A satellite telescope designed to rapidly hunt down the universe’s biggest explosions…

Life Sciences and Chemistry

‘Invisible’ protein keeps cancer at bay

Scientists in Germany have revealed how an unstructured protein traps cancer-promoting molecules. Each second of our lives, cells in our body grow and divide to ensure we stay healthy. However,…

Hidden partners: Symbiodolus bacteria found in various insect orders

The endosymbiont Symbiodolus clandestinus, living inside insect cells, has remained undiscovered until now. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology report its discovery in at least six insect…

A Railroad of Cells – Computer simulations explain cell movement

Looking under the microscope, a group of cells slowly moves forward in a line, like a train on the tracks. The cells navigate through complex environments. A new approach by…

Materials Sciences

Electrifying insights into how catalysts work at the atomic level

An approach developed by materials scientists is already yielding discoveries that could improve the efficiency and durability of metallic catalysts used in a variety of processes. A team led by…

Watching energy materials as they form

Eyes glued to a live transmission from inside a reaction vessel, LMU researchers watch chemical reactions at work. Their results will improve the manufacture of the next generation of energy…

New class of materials called ‘glassy gels’

Researchers have created a new class of materials called “glassy gels” that are very hard and difficult to break despite containing more than 50% liquid. Coupled with the fact that…

Information Technology

Breakthrough may clear major hurdle for quantum computers

The potential of quantum computers is currently thwarted by a trade-off problem. Quantum systems that can carry out complex operations are less tolerant to errors and noise, while systems that…

Researchers leverage shadows to model 3D scenes

…including objects blocked from view. This technique could lead to safer autonomous vehicles, more efficient AR/VR headsets, or faster warehouse robots. Imagine driving through a tunnel in an autonomous vehicle,…

LIST launches pioneering nanosatellite experiment

…to demonstrate energy harvesting innovation in space. The mission entails sending technologies developed at LIST into space for testing with an aim to achieve flight heritage. The Luxembourg Institute of…