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History / Archeology - Chemistry - 02.12.2020
African trade routes sketched out by mediaeval beads
An analysis of archaeological glass beads discovered in sub-Saharan West Africa brings to light the full extent of the region's international trade routes between the 7th and 13th centuries. The origin of glass beads dates back to early ancient times. The chemical composition of the beads and their morphological and technical characteristics can reveal where they come from; this information can then be used to reconstruct the trade channels between glass production areas and the sites where the beads were used at different times.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 30.11.2020
Molecular mechanism of long-term memory discovered
Molecular mechanism of long-term memory discovered
Researchers at the University of Basel have discovered a molecular mechanism that plays a central role in intact long-term memory. This mechanism is also involved in physiological memory loss in old age. Many life forms, from worms to humans, have differentiated memory functions, such as short-term and long-term memory.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 27.11.2020
How epithelial cells ward off viruses
How epithelial cells ward off viruses
The cytosolic sensor NLRP1 identifies viruses as non-self and triggers inflammatory responses The ability to differentiate between self and potentially harmful non-self is vital for the integrity and survival of organisms. In most organisms, the so-called innate immune system is responsible for the recognition of such intruders.

Physics - Chemistry - 24.11.2020
Stable Catalysts for New Energy
Stable Catalysts for New Energy
Crucial new technologies such as hydrogen production or carbon capture require new catalysts. Experiments show: It's not just the material that matters, but also its atomic surface structure. On the way to a CO2-neutral economy, we need to perfect a whole range of technologies - including the electrochemical extraction of hydrogen from water, fuel cells, or carbon capture.

Health - Chemistry - 24.11.2020
Five UChicago scientists named 2020 AAAS fellows
Five University of Chicago researchers were named 2020 fellows of the  American Association for the Advancement of Science  on Nov. 24 for their distinguished contributions to the sciences. Their work has shaped our understanding of the early universe; given scientists innovative tools to peer at the inner workings of cells; shaped the field of quantum chemistry; furthered breakthroughs in immunology and organ transplants; and helped fight the disease toxoplasmosis.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 24.11.2020
True origin of oldest evidence of animals
True origin of oldest evidence of animals
Two teams of scientists have resolved a longstanding controversy surrounding the origins of complex life on Earth. The joint studies found molecular fossils extracted from 635-million-year-old rocks aren't the earliest evidence of animals, but instead common algae. The researchers from The Australian National University (ANU), Max Planck Institute and Caltech say the finding has big implications for our understanding of evolution.

Chemistry - 24.11.2020
Precious metal-free silicone curing
Precious metal-free silicone curing
Sustainable processes could replace precious metals in silicone crosslinking Silicones are tried and tested in the private and professional domains. In many applications, however, expensive precious metals are required as catalysts to transform the liquid intermediate products to durable elastic polymers.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 23.11.2020
Cooled water vapor forms droplets containing hydrogen peroxide
Cooled water vapor forms droplets containing hydrogen peroxide
A Stanford research team that recently discovered an unexpected new chemical behavior of water when tiny droplets form from water vapor has extended the findings to natural, everyday water condensation. In its bulk liquid form, whether in a bathtub or an ocean, water is a relatively benign substance with little chemical activity.

Health - Chemistry - 23.11.2020
Helicates meet Rotaxanes to create promise for future disease treatment
A new approach to treating cancers and other diseases that uses a mechanically interlocked molecule as a ‘magic bullet' has been designed by researchers at the University of Birmingham. Called rotaxanes, the molecules are tiny nanoscale structures that resemble a dumbbell with a ring trapped around the central post.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 20.11.2020
Biofriendly protocells pump up blood vessels
Biofriendly protocells pump up blood vessels
An international team of researchers from Bristol and China has prepared biocompatible protocells that generate nitric oxide gas - a known reagent for blood vessel dilation - that when placed inside blood vessels expand the biological tissue. In a new study published today , Professor Stephen Mann and Dr Mei Li from Bristol's School of Chemistry, together with Associate Professor Jianbo Liu and colleagues at Hunan University and Central South University in China, prepared synthetic protocells coated in red blood cell fragments for use as nitric oxide generating bio-bots within blood vessels.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 20.11.2020
A biochemical random number
A biochemical random number
Scientists have generated a huge true random number using DNA synthesis. It is the first time that a number of this magnitude has been created by biochemical means. True random numbers are required in fields as diverse as slot machines and data encryption. These numbers need to be truly random, such that they cannot even be predicted by people with detailed knowledge of the method used to generate them.

Pharmacology - Chemistry - 19.11.2020
Clearing the Course for Glycans in Development of Flu Drugs
Researchers demonstrate molecular binding mechanism that could change approach to designing influenza treatments There is no hole-in-one drug treatment when it comes to the flu, but that doesn't stop scientists from trying to sink one. Especially since as many as one in five Americans gets the flu. The reported estimated cost of this illness is $10 billion each year in medical expenses and another $16 billion in lost earnings in America alone, according to researchers at UC San Diego.

Environment - Chemistry - 19.11.2020
Could kelp help relieve ocean acidification?
Could kelp help relieve ocean acidification?
A new analysis of California's Monterey Bay evaluates kelp's potential to reduce ocean acidification, the harmful fallout from climate change on marine ecosystems and the food they produce for human populations. Ethereal, swaying pillars of brown kelp along California's coasts grow up through the water column, culminating in a dense surface canopy of thick fronds that provide homes and refuge for numerous marine creatures.

Health - Chemistry - 18.11.2020
Which particulate air pollution poses the greatest health risk?
Which particulate air pollution poses the greatest health risk?
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, together with colleagues from several other European institutions, have investigated whether particulate matter from certain sources can be especially harmful to human health. They found evidence that the amount of particulate matter alone is not the greatest health risk.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 18.11.2020
Decoding the way catalysts work
Decoding the way catalysts work
Splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen is an important chemical reaction, especially considering that the use of hydrogen as an energy source in sustainable mobility in the future. An international research team has now decoded how one of the catalysts used in this reaction works. Hydrogen is a key element for achieving sustainable mobility in the future, especially "green" hydrogen produced by splitting water using renewable power.

Chemistry - Physics - 18.11.2020
A sulfur molecule to block the coronavirus
A sulfur molecule to block the coronavirus
Some viruses can get inside cells via a mechanism that involves sulfur organic molecules. Chemists at UNIGE have discovered effective inhibitors and blocked the uptake of SARS-CoV-2. The cell membrane is impermeable to viruses: to get inside and infect a cell, they use a range of strategies to exploit the cellular and biochemical properties of the membranes.

Chemistry - Physics - 17.11.2020
Metal-organic frameworks become flexible
Metal-organic frameworks become flexible
Combined efforts of experiment and simulation pave the way to new applications Materials consisting of inorganic and organic components can combine the best of two worlds: under certain circumstances, the so-called MOFs - short for metal-organic frameworks - are structured in the same order as crystals and are at the same time porous and deformable.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 16.11.2020
A type of RNA monitors the genome to help ensure its integrity
Deep inside your cells, DNA provides the instructions to produce proteins, the essential molecules that grow and maintain your body. RNA is the intermediary nucleic acid that carries these instructions from DNA to ribosomes, where proteins are produced within the cell. But in humans and in plants, only a tiny fraction of DNA produces the RNA that carries out protein-building instructions.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 13.11.2020
Cysteine synthesis was a key step in the origin of life
In an important step during the early evolution of life on Earth, the formation of the amino acid cysteine delivered vital catalysts, which enabled the earliest protein molecules to form in water, according to a new study by UCL researchers. All proteins are built from the same 20 amino acids. One of these, cysteine, was assumed not to have been present at the origin of life.

Chemistry - Physics - 12.11.2020
How nitrogen is transferred by a catalyst
Chemists at the University of Göttingen and Goethe University Frankfurt characterise key compound for catalytic nitrogen atom transfer Catalysts with a metal-nitrogen bond can transfer nitrogen to organic molecules. In this process short-lived molecular species are formed, whose properties critically determine the course of the reaction and product formation.
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