Thursday, December 28, 2017

Important tricyclic chemical compounds with efficient chirality control

Researchers have developed a highly efficient way to produce chiral multi-centered fused tricyclic compounds of which core structure is often found in bioactive compounds including medicines.

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Project will provide reaction kinetics data for synthesis of metallic nanocrystals

Researchers have published the first part of what they expect to be a database showing the kinetics involved in producing colloidal metal nanocrystals -- which are suitable for catalytic, biomedical, photonic and electronic applications -- through an autocatalytic mechanism.

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From C-H to C-C at room temperature

By oxidizing the iridium center of the reaction intermediate, scientists achieve arylation of C-H bonds at mild conditions.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Chemical industry can achieve a 36% reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, study shows

The chemical sector has a big role to play in tackling climate change and achieving EU energy targets. The wide scale use of existing and -- in particular -- emerging innovative energy technologies can bring big emissions savings to the sector.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

New strategy for isotope separation with flexible porous material

Researchers have succeeded in developing a novel deuterium separation method, using a special class of metal organic frameworks (MOFs) whose pore dimensions change upon gas adsorption.

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Pain-free skin patch responds to sugar levels for management of type 2 diabetes

Researchers have devised a biochemically formulated patch of dissolvable microneedles for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The biochemical formula of mineralized compounds in the patch responds to blood chemistry to manage glucose automatically. In a proof-of-concept study performed with mice, the researchers showed that the chemicals interact in the bloodstream to regulate blood sugar for days at a time.

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Panning for silver in laundry wastewater

Silver nanoparticles are being used in clothing for their anti-odor abilities but some of this silver comes off when the clothes are laundered. The wastewater from this process could end up in the environment, possibly harming aquatic life, so researchers have attempted to recover the silver. Now, one group reports that detergent chemistry plays a significant role in how much of this silver can be removed from laundry wastewater.

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A novel way to synthesize antioxidant substances

Scientists have proposed a novel way to address the most important and fundamental challenge of organic chemistry, such as breaking a bond between carbon and hydrogen atoms to form new organic substances. They were the first to carry out “breaking” in water thanks to especially synthesized substances called arylbenziodoxaboroles. As a result, the scientists synthesized a number of novel phenolic substances that possess high biological and antioxidant activity. In the future, they can be used for drug creation.

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Team maps magnetic fields of bacterial cells, nano-objects for the first time

For the first time, researchers have noted that the magnetic fields of bacterial cells and magnetic nano-objects in liquid can be studied at high resolution using electron microscopy.

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

The origin of water's unusual properties found

Using x-ray lasers, researchers have been able to map out how water fluctuates between two different states when it is cooled. At -44°C these fluctuations reach a maximum pointing to the fact that water can exist as two different distinct liquids.

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Now entering, lithium niobate valley

Lithium niobate is already one of the most widely used optical materials, well-known for its electro-optic properties but it is notoriously difficult to fabricate high-quality devices on a small scale using lithium niobate, an obstacle that has so far ruled out practical integrated, on-chip applications. Now, researchers have developed a technique to fabricate high-performance optical microstructures using lithium niobate, opening the door to ultra-efficient integrated photonic circuits, quantum photonics, microwave-to-optical conversion and more.

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Project helps assemble complex molecules

Nucleosides are fundamental building blocks of genetic material which makes them attractive for a number of biologically relevant applications and as potential pharmaceuticals. Scientists are developing facile methods for modifying nucleoside structures to make chemical processes more efficient.

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Tracking a solvation process step by step

Chemists have tracked with unprecedented spatial resolution how individual water molecules attach to an organic molecule. They used low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy to visualize the processes at a scale smaller than one nanometer. This allowed them to investigate the phenomena of hydrophilicity and hydrophobicity at the molecular level, i.e. why certain parts of organic molecules attract or repel water.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Paving the way for a non-electric battery to store solar energy

Materials chemists have been trying for years to make a battery that can store solar energy in chemical bonds rather than electrons, releasing the energy later as heat. Now a group of materials chemists report that they have solved a major hurdle by developing a polymer-based system.

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Early disease diagnosis could be dramatically improved with new detection system

By attaching specialized molecules to the backbone of DNA, researchers have made it easier to detect rare molecules associated with early disease.

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Halogens can increase solar cell performance by 25 per cent

New research shows that using halogens -- a class of elements that include fluoride, bromine, chlorine and iodine -- in a dye-sensitized solar cell can increase conversion efficiency by 25 per cent. The discovery could set the stage for improved solar cell designs.

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Powerful new tool for looking for life beyond Earth

NASA has developed an innovative new spectroscopy instrument to aid the search for extraterrestrial life. The new instrument is designed to detect compounds and minerals associated with biological activity more quickly and with greater sensitivity than previous instruments.

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New catalyst meets challenge of cleaning exhaust from modern engines

As cars become more fuel-efficient, less heat is wasted in the exhaust, which makes it harder to clean up the pollutants being emitted. Researchers have created a catalyst capable of reducing pollutants at the lower temperatures expected in advanced engines.

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Secrets of ancient Egypt may spark better fuel cells for tomorrow's cars

To make modern-day fuel cells less expensive and more powerful, a team of chemical engineers has drawn inspiration from the ancient Egyptian tradition of gilding.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Using DNA strands to design new polymer materials

Researchers have chemically imprinted polymer particles with DNA strands -- a technique that could lead to new materials for applications ranging from biomedicine to the promising field of 'soft robotics.'

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New molecular printing technology could recreate complex chemical environments that resemble the human body

New patterning technology which could open opportunities to recreate complex biological environments has been developed.

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A radical approach to methane oxidation into methanol

Researchers have converted methane into valuable chemicals. The reaction occurs under ambient conditions in a novel two-phase system. Chlorine radicals are generated by light irradiation in water solvent, while methane is dissolved in perfluorohexane. Methyl radicals then react with oxygen, producing industrially useful methanol and formic acid. This is the first aerobic oxidation of methane without using high temperature/pressure, and the concept could allow industry-scale reactions with reduced environmental impact.

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Process to transition two-layer graphene into diamond-hard material on impact discovered

Scientists worked to theorize and test how two layers of graphene -- each one-atom thick -- could be made to transform into a diamond-like material upon impact at room temperature.

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Getting under graphite’s skin: method of layering metals with 2D material may lead to new properties

Scientists have discovered a new process to sheathe metal under a single layer of graphite which may lead to new and better-controlled properties for these types of materials.

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Monday, December 18, 2017

Designer nanoparticles destroy a broad array of viruses

Researchers have designed new anti-viral nanoparticles that bind to a range of viruses. Unlike other broad-spectrum antivirals, the new nanoparticles destroy viruses.

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Thermally activated delayed photoluminescence from semiconductor nanocrystals

Researchers have found that the transfer of triplet excitons from nanomaterials to molecules also creates a feedback mechanism that returns some energy to the nanocrystal, causing it to photoluminesce on long time scales. The mechanism can be adjusted to control the amount of energy transfer, which could be useful in optoelectronic applications.

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

New technique could make captured carbon more valuable

Carbon capture could help coal plants reduce emissions if economic challenges can be overcome. Turning captured carbon into a useable product is one solution. Scientists have developed an efficient process for turning captured carbon dioxide into syngas that can be used to make fuels and chemicals.

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

More electronic materials opened up with new metal-organic framework

More materials for electronic applications could be identified, thanks to the discovery of a new metal-organic framework (MOF) that displays electrical semiconduction with a record high photoresponsivity, by a global research collaboration.

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Heavy-petroleum fuels raising vanadium emissions

Human emissions of the potentially harmful trace metal vanadium into Earth's atmosphere have spiked sharply since the start of the 21st century due in large part to industry's growing use of heavy oils, tar sands, bitumen and petroleum coke for energy, a new Duke study finds. These emissions now exceed those from all natural sources combined. Growing evidence suggests exposure to vanadium-rich aerosols can impair respiratory functions and exacerbate conditions such as asthma or COPD.

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A new theory to describe widely used material

A new theoretical model explains the coupling between ions and electrons in the widely used conducting polymer PEDOT:PSS. The model has profound implications for applications in printed electronics, energy storage in paper, and bioelectronics.

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Shoe-box-sized chemical detector

A chemical sensor prototype will be able to detect 'single-fingerprint quantities' of substances from a distance of more than 100 feet away, and its developers are working to shrink it to the size of a shoebox.

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Engineers create plants that glow

By embedding nanoparticles into the leaves of watercress, engineers have induced the plant to give off dim light for nearly four hours. They believe engineered plants will one day be bright enough to act as desk lamps or street lights.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

New catalyst meets challenge of cleaning exhaust from modern engines

Researchers have created a catalyst capable of reducing pollutants at the lower temperatures expected in advanced engines.

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One in five materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

Can companies rely on the results of one or two scientific studies to design a new industrial process or launch a new product? In at least one area of materials chemistry, the answer may be yes -- but only 80 percent of the time.

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First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

Researchers successfully constructed a first-of-its-kind chemical oscillator that uses DNA components. DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

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Drug discovery could accelerate hugely with machine learning

Drug discovery could be significantly accelerated thanks to a new high precision machine-learning model.

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Spaghetti-like, DNA 'noodle origami' the new shape of things to come for nanotechnology

Scientists have invented a major new advance in DNA nanotechnology. Dubbed 'single-stranded origami,' their new strategy uses one long, thin noodle-like strand of DNA, or its chemical cousin RNA, that can self-fold -- without even a single knot -- into the largest, most complex structures to date. The strands forming these structures can be made inside living cells, opening up the potential for nanomedicine.

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New material lowers the energy consumption associated with ethylene production

Researchers are developing a zeolite which will allow users to separate ethylene using 25 per cent less energy than with current methods.

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The wet road to fast and stable batteries

An international team of scientists has discovered an anode battery material with superfast charging and stable operation over many thousands of cycles.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A metallopeptide targets and disrupts mitochondrial function in breast cancer stem cells

Killing malignant mitochondria is one of the most promising approaches in the development of new anticancer drugs. Scientists have now synthesized a copper-containing peptide that is readily taken up by mitochondria in breast cancer stem cells, where it effectively induces apoptosis. The study also highlights the powerful therapeutic potential of the metallopeptides.

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Converting waste water from dairies to animal feed and aviation fuel

Scientists have developed a bioprocess that enables conversion of acid whey, a dairy by-product, without the use of additional chemicals. Scientists used microbiome cultures similar to those in the human gut. The new bio-oil can be used in animal feed or, after further refinement, as a fuel for airplanes.

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A single sand grain harbors up to 100,000 microorganisms from thousands of species

Just imagine, you are sitting on a sunny beach, contentedly letting the warm sand trickle through your fingers. Millions of sand grains. What you probably can't imagine: at the same time, billions upon billions of bacteria are also trickling through your fingers. Between 10,000 and 100,000 microorganisms live on each single grain of sand, as revealed in a new study. This means that an individual grain of sand can have twice as many residents as, say, the city of Fairbanks, Alaska!

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Cocktail effects of pesticides and environmental chemicals

Researchers have addressed an international environmental problem by developing a model that can predict how certain chemicals amplify the effects of pesticides and other chemical compounds. Pesticide expert hopes that it will make environmental legislation easier.

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North Sea water and recycled metal combined to help reduce global warming

Scientists have used sea water collected from Whitby in North Yorkshire, and scrap metal to develop a technology that could help capture more than 850 million tons of unwanted carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

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Precision nanomaterials may pave new way to selectively kill cancer cells

Researchers have succeeded in taking the next step toward using human-made nanoscale compounds in the fight against cancer. A recent proof-of-concept study showed that dendrimers -- which were first introduced in the 1980s -- may be used to introduce compounds that essentially trick cancer cells into performing self-destructive tasks.

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Nanotexturing creates bacteria-killing spikes on stainless steel surfaces

By using an electrochemical etching process on a common stainless steel alloy, researchers have created a nanotextured surface that kills bacteria while not harming mammalian cells. If additional research supports early test results, the process might be used to attack microbial contamination on implantable medical devices and on food processing equipment made with the metal.

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Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes

A molecular-sized brush that looks like a shoe brush has properties with great potential for the materials industry and medicine, but polyelectrolyte brushes can be sensitive, and getting them to work right tricky. New research shows what can make them break down, but also what can get them to systematically recover.

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Researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces

New research has identified a major obstacle to advancing solid-state lithium-ion battery performance in small electronics: the flow of lithium ions across battery interfaces.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Bacteria development marks new era in cellular design

Scientists have built a miniature scaffold inside bacteria that can be used to bolster cellular productivity, with implications for the next generation of biofuel production. Because there is a growing need for agricultural or renewable production of biofuels and other commodity chemicals to move away from fossil fuels, scientists have long sought to enhance the internal organization of bacteria and improve the efficiency of the cells for making nutrients, pharmaceuticals and chemicals.

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Shatter-proof mobile phone screens a step closer

An international study on glass could lead to the development of shatter-proof mobile phone screens.

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