The National Science Foundation hopes to get middle-school students interested in science. It is giving $1.7 million to a project called "Hands-On Optics: Making an Impact with Light," that focuses on hooking up optics-industry volunteers with teachers and individual students.
Ordinary cellulose may serve as the raw material for a new, low-cost, high-strength fiber, according to polymer scientists at Cornell University. "Cellulose is the most abundant renewable resource polymer on earth," says Margaret Frey, an assistant professor of textiles and apparel at Cornell.
University of South Florida chemists have developed a new class of synthetic antibiotics and nanosized plastic vehicles to deliver them. The new drugs -- members of the beta-lactams family of antibiotics -- selectively attack methicillin-resistant staph (MRSA) bacteria, which is the culprit for most hospital-borne infections becoming resistant to antibiotics.