2019 Research News

A solar energy material that is remarkably durable and affordable is regrettably also unusable if it barely generates electricity, thus many researchers had abandoned emerging organic solar technologies. But lately, a shift in the underlying chemistry has boosted power output, and a new study has revealed counterintuitive tweaks making the new…

Extracting nectar from flowers that may be dancing in the wind requires precise, millisecond timing between the brain and muscles. By capturing and analyzing nearly all of the brain signals sent to the wing muscles of hawk moths (Manduca sexta), which feed on such nectar, researchers have shown that precise timing within rapid sequences of neural…

A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and The Ohio State University has developed a soft polymer material, called magnetic shape memory polymer, that uses magnetic fields to transform into a variety of shapes. The material could enable a range of new applications from antennas that change frequencies on the fly to gripper…

Perovskite nanocrystals hold promise for improving a wide variety of optoelectronic devices – from lasers to light emitting diodes (LEDs) – but problems with their durability still limit the material’s broad commercial use. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have demonstrated a novel approach aimed at addressing the material’s…

El Ninos have been very intense in our times, which stands to worsen storms, drought, and coral bleaching in El Nino years. A new study has found compelling evidence in the Pacific Ocean that the stronger El Ninos are part of a climate pattern that is new, strange and appears unique to the industrial age. This is the first known time that enough…

“They’re out there,” goes a saying about extraterrestrials. It would seem more likely to be true in light of a new study on planetary axis tilts.  Astrophysicists at the Georgia Institute of Technology modeled a theoretical twin of Earth into other star systems called binary systems because they have two stars. They concluded that 87% of exo-…

Shrouded in mystery since their discovery, the phenomenon of black holes continues to be one of the most mind-boggling enigmas in our universe. In recent years, many researchers have made strides in understanding black holes using observational astronomy and an emerging field known as gravitational wave astronomy, first hypothesized by Albert…

Using advanced metagenomics techniques, researchers have found that conventional culture-based lab tests may misdiagnose as many as half of the microbial causes of diarrheal diseases in children. The study, based on samples from Ecuadorian children, also found that a common strain of the E. coli bacterium may be more virulent than previously…

Vast amounts of energy are consumed each year for chemical separation processes – a precursor to the production of everything from gasoline to food. A $1.7 million award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will help a team at the Georgia Institute of Technology develop much cheaper ways to separate chemicals using membranes that could…

Five different types of solar cells fabricated by research teams at the Georgia Institute of Technology have arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) to be tested for their power conversion rate and ability to operate in the harsh space environment as part of the MISSE-12 mission. One type of cell, made of low-cost organic materials, has…