News 2019



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Life Sciences - Chemistry - 14.06.2019
Why does dandelion never fall ill?
Why does dandelion never fall ill?
Researchers at Münster University find out that dandelion possesses enzymes that have untypical abilities for plants / Study in "Angewandte Chemie' Plants possess enzymes called polyphenoloxidases, which can oxidize certain chemical compounds and thus produce the typical brown colour that we know, for example, from freshly cut apples.

Chemistry - Physics - 14.06.2019
Fuel Cells - Materials and Methods for Prolonging Lifetime
Fuel Cells - Materials and Methods for Prolonging Lifetime
By Katharina Kocher, Kurt Mayer, Bernhard Marius, Bernd Cermenek, Viktor Hacker, Sigrid Wolf Finding the optimal combination of high performance and durability is a key factor in the realisation of future sustainable energy production systems. The research at the Institute of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Technology focusses on the development of highly innovative materials and efficient operation strategies for fuel cells.

Chemistry - Environment - 13.06.2019
Carbon-neutral fuels move a step closer
Carbon-neutral fuels move a step closer
Chemists at EPFL have developed an efficient process for converting carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, a key ingredient of synthetic fuels and materials. The carbon dioxide (CO2) produced when fossil fuels are burned is normally released into the atmosphere. Researchers working on synthetic fuels - also known as carbon-neutral fuels - are exploring ways to capture and recycle that CO2.

Chemistry - 13.06.2019
Experiencing corruption makes you more likely to protest against it... up to a point
Why do some people take to the streets to protest against corruption in their society. and others don't? Researchers from the Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex have found that people who experience corruption first hand are more likely to protest, but only up to the point where it becomes routine.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 12.06.2019
Carnegie Mellon Researchers Develop Semi-Liquid Metal Anode for Next-Generation Batteries
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University's Mellon College of Science and College of Engineering have developed a semiliquid lithium metal-based anode that represents a new paradigm in battery design. Lithium batteries made using this new electrode type could have a higher capacity and be much safer than typical lithium metal-based batteries that use lithium foil as anode.

Environment - Chemistry - 12.06.2019
Old ice and snow yields tracer of preindustrial ozone
Old ice and snow yields tracer of preindustrial ozone
Ancient air bubbles answer question about ozone levels after Industrial Revolution Using rare oxygen molecules trapped in air bubbles in old ice and snow, U.S. and French scientists have answered a long-standing question: How much have "bad” ozone levels increased since the start of the Industrial Revolution? "We've been able to track how much ozone there was in the ancient atmosphere,” said Rice University geochemist Laurence Yeung , the lead author of a study published online today in Nature.

Pharmacology - Chemistry - 11.06.2019
Learning from Nature's Bounty: New Libraries for Drug discovery
Learning from Nature’s Bounty: New Libraries for Drug discovery
Natural products, or their close derivatives, make some of our most potent medicines, among which macrocycles with their large carbon-rich ring systems are one class. The size and complexity of macrocycles has made it difficult to emulate and build on Nature's success in the laboratory.

Pharmacology - Chemistry - 10.06.2019
Healing compounds in scorpion venom
Stanford chemists have identified and synthesized two new healing compounds in scorpion venom that are effective at killing staph and tuberculosis bacteria. A scorpion native to Eastern Mexico may have more than just toxin in its sting. Researchers at Stanford University and in Mexico have found that the venom also contains two color-changing compounds that could help fight bacterial infections.

Physics - Chemistry - 07.06.2019
How to separate nanoparticles by
How to separate nanoparticles by "shape"
Physicists develop new strategy to separate molecules In our daily lives, the purpose and function of an item is defined by either its material, e.g. a rain jacket is fabricated of water-proof material, or its shape, e.g. a wheel is round to enable a rolling motion. What is the impact of the two factors on the nanoscale? The impact of material, i.e. the chemistry of the building block, has been excessively varied and the impact on polymer properties investigated leading to new functional materials, as for example slush powders.

Environment - Chemistry - 04.06.2019
Floating power plants
Floating power plants
Huge floating solar islands on the ocean that produce enough energy to enable CO2-neutral global freight traffic - what sounds like "science fiction" researchers from ETH Zurich, the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Empa, the Universities of Zurich and Bern and the Nowegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim have now calculated for the first time, as they write in the latest issue of the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" (PNAS).

Chemistry - Health - 04.06.2019
Separation Anxiety No More: A Faster Technique to Purify Elements
A more efficient chemical separation method pioneered by Berkeley Lab scientists could accelerate access to promising cancer treatment. The actinides - those chemical elements on the bottom row of the periodic table - are used in applications ranging from medical treatments to space exploration to nuclear energy production.

Physics - Chemistry - 03.06.2019
Exposing modern forgers
Exposing modern forgers
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a process that can provide conclusive evidence with regard to modern fakes of paintings, even in cases where the forger recycled older canvases. This verification process requires less than 200 micrograms of paint. Art forgeries have been around since ancient times.

Chemistry - 24.05.2019
Explains how eyes see continuously in bright light
FINDINGS A study by researchers from the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute describes a molecular pathway that helps our eyes see continuously in bright light. The findings help answer a longstanding question about mammalian vision: Why don't our eyes become less sensitive when they're bombarded with bright light? The research, conducted in mice, reveals that a special molecule, which uses sunlight itself, rapidly recycles visual pigments after the pigments sense light and change structure.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 24.05.2019
Researchers Create Soft, Flexible Materials with Enhanced Properties
A team of polymer chemists and engineers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new methodology that can be used to create a class of stretchable polymer composites with enhanced electrical and thermal properties. These materials are promising candidates for use in soft robotics, self-healing electronics and medical devices.

Astronomy / Space - Chemistry - 23.05.2019
Chemistry of stars sheds new light on the Gaia Sausage
Chemical traces in the atmospheres of stars are being used to uncover new information about a galaxy, known as the Gaia Sausage, which was involved in a major collision with the Milky Way billions of years ago. Astrophysicists at the University of Birmingham in collaboration with colleagues at European institutions in Aarhus, Bologna and Trieste, have been studying evidence of the chemical composition of stars in this area of the Milky Way to try to pinpoint more accurately the age of the smaller galaxy.

Chemistry - 23.05.2019
A 'Silver Bullet' for the Chemical Conversion of Carbon Dioxide
A ’Silver Bullet’ for the Chemical Conversion of Carbon Dioxide
Fossil fuels are the lifeblood of modern societies, but their increased use releases carbon dioxide, a climate-warming greenhouse gas, faster than plants can recycle it via photosynthesis. Now, a powerful combination of experiment and theory has revealed atomic-level details about how silver helps transform carbon dioxide gas into a reusable form.

Physics - Chemistry - 22.05.2019
The geometry of an electron determined for the first time
The geometry of an electron determined for the first time
Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer.

Health - Chemistry - 22.05.2019
Shedding light on cancer metabolism in real-time with bioluminescence
Shedding light on cancer metabolism in real-time with bioluminescence
Cancerous tumors can be made to bioluminesce, like fireflies, according to the level of their glucose uptake, giving rise to a technique for quantifying metabolite absorption. The firefly imaging technique for sugar can be translated from cancer to many other metabolic diseases. EPFL scientists have invented a new way to quantify - in real-time - glucose metabolism of cancerous tumors by making them bioluminesce.

Chemistry - 20.05.2019
More detailed picture of Earth’s mantle
The chemical composition of the Earth's mantle is a lot more variable and diverse than previously thought, a new study has revealed. According to a new analysis of cores drilled through the ocean crust, the mantle is made up of distinct sections of rock each with different chemical make-ups. The chemical composition of the mantle has been notoriously difficult to determine with a high degree of certainty because it is largely inaccessible.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 20.05.2019
Scientists use molecular tethers and chemical 'light sabers' to construct platforms for tissue engineering
Scientists use molecular tethers and chemical ’light sabers’ to construct platforms for tissue engineering
Tissue engineering could transform medicine. Instead of waiting for our bodies to regrow or repair damage after an injury or disease, scientists could grow complex, fully functional tissues in a laboratory for transplantation into patients. Proteins are key to this future. In our bodies, protein signals tell cells where to go, when to divide and what to do.
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