‘Glue’ that makes plant cell walls strong could hold the key to wooden skyscrapers

21 Dec 2016

Molecules 10,000 times narrower than the width of a human hair could hold the key to making possible wooden skyscrapers and more energy-efficient paper production, according to research published today in the journal Nature Communications. The study, led by a father and son team at the Universities of Warwick and Cambridge, solves a long-standing mystery of how key sugars in cells bind to form strong, indigestible materials.

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Next-generation smartphone battery inspired by the gut

26 Oct 2016

A new prototype of a lithium-sulphur battery – which could have five times the energy density of a typical lithium-ion battery – overcomes one of the key hurdles preventing their commercial development by mimicking the structure of the cells which allow us to absorb nutrients. 

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Liquid light switch could enable more powerful electronics

08 Aug 2016

Researchers have built a record energy-efficient switch, which uses the interplay of electricity and a liquid form of light, in semiconductor microchips. The device could form the foundation of future signal processing and information technologies, making electronics even more efficient.

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Would you live in a city made of bone?

23 Jun 2016

The cities of today are built with concrete and steel – but some Cambridge researchers think that the cities of the future need to go back to nature if they are to support an ever-expanding population, while keeping carbon emissions under control.

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Squeezing out opal-like colours by the mile

03 Jun 2016

Researchers have devised a new method for stacking microscopic marbles into regular layers, producing intriguing materials which scatter light into intense colours, and which change colour when twisted or stretched.

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Farming at nanoscale dimensions

18 Mar 2016

Researchers from Cambridge, IBM and Lund University have discovered how tiny 'nanowires' of a widely-used semiconductor self-assemble. Dr Frances Ross of IBM Research explains how the findings could lead to a new crop of nanodevices. 

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