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Life Sciences - Chemistry - 27.12.2019
New insights into the earliest events of seed germination
New insights into the earliest events of seed germination
Plant seeds may strike the casual observer as unspectacular - but they have properties that are nothing short of superpowers. In a dry state they can store their energy for years and then suddenly release it for germination when environmental conditions are favourable. One striking example is the "super bloom" in the Death Valley National Park, when seeds that have endured the dry and hot desert for decades suddenly germinate at rainfall followed by a rare and spectacular desert bloom several months later.

Physics - Chemistry - 23.12.2019
Scientists create a ’crystal within a crystal’ for new electronic devices
Breakthrough from Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering lets scientists tailor blue phase crystals Liquid crystals have enabled new technologies, like LCD screens, through their ability to reflect certain color wavelengths.

Chemistry - 23.12.2019
These Artificial Proteins Have a Firm Grasp on Heavy Metals
These Artificial Proteins Have a Firm Grasp on Heavy Metals
Peptoid library developed at Berkeley Lab could accelerate the design of new materials for a number of applications A team of scientists led by Berkeley Lab has developed a library of artificial proteins or "peptoids" that effectively "chelate" or bind to lanthanides and actinides, heavy metals that make up the so-called f-block elements at the bottom of the periodic table.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 19.12.2019
Mimicking enzymes, chemists produce large, useful carbon rings
Drawing inspiration from nature, University of Wisconsin-Madison chemists have discovered an efficient way to wrangle long, snaking molecules to form large rings - rings that form the backbone of many pharmaceuticals but are difficult to produce in the lab. The work may represent preliminary progress toward deciphering just how enzymes, honed by evolution, so efficiently produce natural compounds.

Environment - Chemistry - 19.12.2019
Open water in wintertime Arctic is changing its atmosphere
Open water in wintertime Arctic is changing its atmosphere
The Arctic is warming faster than any other place on Earth, and thanks to this, sea spray aerosols similar to what researchers see in California are being generated during the Arctic winter, according to a new University of Michigan study. Summertime Arctic sea ice cover is the second lowest on record, according to the Arctic report card 2019, produced by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, continuing its rapid decline over the past several decades.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 18.12.2019
Researchers move one step further towards understanding how life evolved
A fundamental problem for biology is explaining how life evolved. How did we get from simple chemical reactions in the prebiotic soup, to animals and plants? A key step in explaining life is that about 4 billion years ago, all we had was just the simplest molecules that could replicate themselves. These are called 'replicators' - the earliest form of life, so simple that that they are almost chemistry rather than biology.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 17.12.2019
Screen could offer better safety tests for new chemicals
Screen could offer better safety tests for new chemicals
Using specialized liver cells, a new test can quickly detect potentially cancer-causing DNA damage. It's estimated that there are approximately 80,000 industrial chemicals currently in use, in products such as clothing, cleaning solutions, carpets, and furniture. For the vast majority of these chemicals, scientists have little or no information about their potential to cause cancer.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 16.12.2019
Hard as a rock? Maybe not, say bacteria that help form soil
This transition, from solid bedrock to pulverized rock in subsoil, probably occurs on land around the globe. A new study from UW-Madison scientists shows bacteria's critical role at the beginning of soil formation. Image courtesy of Stephanie Napieralski Research published this week by University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists shows how bacteria can degrade solid bedrock, jump-starting a long process of alteration that creates the mineral portion of soil.

Physics - Chemistry - 16.12.2019
Physicist taps quantum mechanics to crack molecular secrets
There are few scientists who would describe condensed matter physics-a branch that studies the behavior of solid matter-as "simple." But to Prof. Giulia Galli, it's less complex than the problems she works on at the University of Chicago.  "Problems like water and energy are much more complicated than what I was trained for in condensed matter physics," she said.

Chemistry - Physics - 16.12.2019
Chemists glimpse the fleeting
Chemists glimpse the fleeting "transition state" of a reaction
New technique for observing reaction products offers insights into the chemical mechanisms that formed them. During a chemical reaction, the molecules involved in the reaction gain energy until they reach a "point of no return" known as a transition state. Until now, no one has glimpsed this state, as it lasts for only a few femtoseconds (quadrillionths of a second).

Chemistry - Physics - 13.12.2019
Hydrogen as a Climate-neutral Fuel
A team of researchers from Freie Universität Berlin, the University of Bochum, and the University of Linz has succeeded in observing the transfer of protons in a hydrogenase reaction. No 391/2019 from Dec 13, 2019 Scientists from Freie Universität Berlin, the University of Bochum, and the University of Linz have found evidence for the design of so-called biomimetic catalysts.

Environment - Chemistry - 11.12.2019
New material design tops carbon-capture from wet flue gases
New material design tops carbon-capture from wet flue gases
Chemical engineers at EPFL have designed a material that can capture carbon dioxide from wet flue gasses better than current commercial materials. Generally speaking, "flue gas" refers to any gas coming out of a pipe, exhaust, chimney etc. as a product of combustion in a fireplace, oven, furnace, boiler, or steam generator.

Physics - Chemistry - 11.12.2019
Heat energy leaps through empty space, thanks to quantum weirdness
In a surprising new study, University of California, Berkeley, researchers show that heat energy can travel through a complete vacuum thanks to invisible quantum fluctuations. To conduct the challenging experiment, the team engineered extremely thin silicon nitride membranes, which they fabricated in a dust-free clean room, and then used optic and electronic components to precisely control and monitor the temperature of the membranes when they were locked inside a vacuum chamber.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 11.12.2019
Predicting a protein's behavior from its appearance
Predicting a protein's behavior from its appearance
Researchers at EPFL have developed a new way to predict a protein's interactions with other proteins and biomolecules, and its biochemical activity, merely by observing its surface. The method, published in open-source format, opens up new possibilities for artificial protein design. Proteins are the building blocks of life and play a key role in all biological processes.

Physics - Chemistry - 10.12.2019
How to induce magnetism in graphene
How to induce magnetism in graphene
Graphene, a two-dimensional structure made of carbon, is a material with excellent mechanical, electronic and optical properties. However, it did not seem suitable for magnetic applications. Together with international partners, Empa researchers have now succeeded in synthesizing a unique nanographene predicted in the 1970s, which conclusively demonstrates that carbon in very specific forms has magnetic properties that could permit future spintronic applications.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 09.12.2019
Stardust from red giants
Stardust from red giants
Some of the Earth's building material was stardust from red giants, researchers from ETH Zurich have established. They can also explain why the Earth contains more of this stardust than the asteroids or the planet Mars, which are farther from the sun. Around 4.5 million years ago, an interstellar molecular cloud collapsed.

Physics - Chemistry - 07.12.2019
Liquid flow is influenced by a quantum effect in water
Liquid flow is influenced by a quantum effect in water
Researchers at EPFL have discovered that the viscosity of solutions of electrically charged polymers dissolved in water is influenced by a quantum effect. This tiny quantum effect influences the way water molecules interact with one another. Yet, it can lead to drastic changes in large-scale observations.

Physics - Chemistry - 05.12.2019
SLAC scientists invent a way to see attosecond electron motions with an X-ray laser
SLAC Overview Our Mission, Vision & Values SLAC By The Numbers Director's Office Past SLAC Directors and Deputy Directors Wolfgang (Pief) K. H.

Chemistry - Physics - 05.12.2019
First field measurements of laughing gas isotopes
First field measurements of laughing gas isotopes
Thanks to a newly developed laser spectrometer, Empa researchers can for the first time show which processes in grassland lead to nitrous oxide emissions. The aim is to reduce emissions of this potent greenhouse gas by gaining a better understanding of the processes taking place in the soil. Nitrous oxide (N2O, also known as laughing gas) is one of the most important greenhouse gases.

Physics - Chemistry - 04.12.2019
Freeze Frame: Scientists Capture Atomic-Scale Snapshots of Artificial Proteins
Freeze Frame: Scientists Capture Atomic-Scale Snapshots of Artificial Proteins
Berkeley Lab scientists adapt microscopy technique to build and image peptoid nanosheets with unprecedented atomic precision P rotein-like molecules called "polypeptoids" (or "peptoids," for short) have great promise as precision building blocks for creating a variety of designer nanomaterials, like flexible nanosheets - ultrathin, atomic-scale 2D materials.
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