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Latest Duke University Stories

2011-08-10 18:02:38

While roofs across the world sport photovoltaic solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity, a Duke University engineer believes a novel hybrid system can wring even more useful energy out of the sun's rays. Instead of systems based on standard solar panels, Duke engineer Nico Hotz proposes a hybrid option in which sunlight heats a combination of water and methanol in a maze of glass tubes on a rooftop. After two catalytic reactions, the system produces hydrogen much more efficiently...

2011-08-08 06:34:54

Discovery may have implications for many diseases Cells are the building blocks of the human body. They are a focus of scientific study, because when things go wrong at the cellular and molecular level the consequences for human health are often significant. A new finding based on multiple collaborations between UNC and Duke scientists over several years points to new avenues for investigation of cell metabolism that may provide insights into diseases ranging from neurodegenerative disorders...

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2011-08-01 11:41:35

Electrical engineers at Duke University have developed a material that allows them to manipulate light in much the same way that electronics manipulate flowing electrons. The researchers say the results of their latest proof-of-concept experiments could lead to the replacement of electrical components with those based on optical technologies. Light-based devices would enable faster and more efficient transmission of information, much in the same way that replacing wires with optical fibers...

2011-07-29 14:52:25

Researchers from UC Riverside and Duke University propose a new and less expensive approach to treating depression. Practicing positive activities may serve as an effective, low-cost treatment for people suffering from depression, according to researchers at the University of California, Riverside and Duke University Medical Center. In "Delivering Happiness: Translating Positive Psychology Intervention Research for Treating Major and Minor Depressive Disorders," a paper that appears in the...

2011-07-20 02:09:12

By altering the genetic makeup of normally "unexcitable" cells, Duke University bioengineers have turned them into cells capable of generating and passing electrical current. This proof-of-concept advance could have broad implications in treating diseases of the nervous system or the heart, since these tissues rely on cells with the ability to communicate with adjacent cells in order to function properly. This communication is achieved through the passage of electrical impulses, known as...

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2011-07-14 07:39:23

Anoles show they can solve novel problem, remember solutions Tropical lizards may be slow. But they aren't dumb. They can do problem-solving tasks just as well as birds and mammals, a new study shows. A Duke University experiment tested Puerto Rican anoles on several cognitive tasks and found they can learn and remember to solve a problem they've never faced before. The results challenge the scientific stereotype that reptiles have limited cognitive abilities and methods for finding food. The...

2011-07-05 12:27:34

Most of the world's "missing" or undiscovered species live in regions already identified by scientists as conservation priorities, according to a new study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study's findings suggest recent conservation efforts have been on target and should reduce uncertainty over global conservation priorities, its team of international authors say. But, they add, the extinction threat for many of the as-yet undiscovered...

2011-07-01 12:34:09

A Duke University graduate student has found a way to double the battery life of mobile devices "“ such as smartphones or laptop computers "“ by making changes to WiFi technology. WiFi is a popular wireless technology that helps users download information from the Internet. Such downloads, including pictures, music and video streaming, can be a major drain of battery. The energy drain is especially severe in the presence of other WiFi devices in the neighborhood. In such cases,...

2011-06-30 01:30:30

So much for tagging photographs with names, locations and activities yourself "“ a new cell phone application can take care of that for you. The system works by taking advantage of the multiple sensors on a mobile phone, as well as those of other mobile phones in the vicinity. Dubbed TagSense, the new app was developed by students from Duke University and the University of South Carolina (USC) and unveiled at the ninth Association for Computing Machinery's International Conference on...


Word of the Day
jument
  • A beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.
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