Protein Shapes Matter in Alzheimer’s Research

Even small changes may have big, long-term consequences. For amyloid beta peptides, a major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, a common chemical modification at a particular location on the molecule has a butterfly effect that leads to protein misfolding, aggregation and cellular toxicity.

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Almost Alien: Antarctic Subglacial Lakes are Cold, Dark and Full of Secrets

More than half of the planet’s fresh water is in Antarctica. While most of it is frozen in the ice sheets, underneath the ice pools and streams of water flow into one another and into the Southern Ocean surrounding the continent. Understanding the movement of this water, and what is dissolved in it as solutes, reveals how carbon and nutrients from the land may support life in the coastal ocean.

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MTU Engineers Zap and Unstick Underwater Smart Glue

Turning adhesion on and off is what makes a glue smart. Inspired by nature, catechols are synthetic compounds that mimic the wet-but-still-sticky proteins found in mussel feet and offer promise for underwater glue, wound dressings, prosthetic attachments or even making car parts and in other manufacturing. A Michigan Tech team has used electricity for the first time to deactivate a catechol-containing adhesive in salt water.

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New threads: Nanowires made of tellurium and nanotubes hold promise for wearable tech

Wearable tech requires both strength and flexibility. A new nanowire design — a boron nitride nanotube (BNNT) filled with tellurium atomic chains — holds promise for electronics triggered by light and pressure. In collaboration with Purdue University, Washington University and University of Texas at Dallas, Michigan Tech physicists created and tested the new nanowire alongside carbon nanotubes.

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MTU engineers examine lithium battery defects

Lithium dendrites cause poor performance and even explosions in batteries with flammable liquid electrolytes. How these dendrites grow, even with a solid electrolytes, is still a mystery, but materials engineers at MTU and Oak Ridge study the conditions that enable dendrites and how to stop them.

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Siting Cell Towers Needs Careful Planning

The health impacts of radio-frequency radiation (RFR) are still inconclusive, but the data to date warrants more caution in placing cell towers. An engineering team from Michigan Tech considers the current understanding of health impacts and possible solutions, which indicate a 500 meters (one third of a mile) buffer around schools and hospitals may help reduce risk for vulnerable populations.

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