The virus wreaking havoc on our lives is an efficient infection machine. Comprised of only 29 proteins (compared to our 400,000), with a genome 1/200,000 the size of ours, SARS-CoV-2 is expertly evolved to trick our cells to contribute its machinery to assist in its propagation.
Some people love spicy food—the hotter, the better. Others go out of their way to avoid the palate-singeing burn of capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their kick. Now, researchers have developed a portable device (whimsically shaped like a chili pepper) that can reveal how much capsaicin a pepper contains, before biting into it. They report their results in ACS Applied Nano Materials.
A new study led by scientists at IUPUI and Indiana University Bloomington is the first to describe a biochemical mechanism that increases the activity of a molecule whose presence is observed in many types of cancer.
With one of the more awe-inspiring names in the animal kingdom, the diabolical ironclad beetle is one formidable insect. Birds, lizards and rodents frequently try to make a meal of it but seldom succeed. Run over it with a car, and the critter lives on.
Slightly reducing the amount of disinfectant residuals we use to maintain clean drinking water could deliver significant improvements to water quality while making our drinking water systems more sustainable, according to new research from engineers at the University of Sheffield.
The use of biomass-derived plastics is one of the prime concerns to establish a sustainable society, which is incorporated as one of the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the use of most of the biomass-derived plastics is limited due to their low heat resistance. Collaborative research between JAIST and U-Tokyo has successfully developed the white-biotechnological conversion from cellulosic biomass into the aromatic polymers having the highest thermodegradation of all the plastics reported ever.
Research from ITMO suggests using urchin-like particles controlled by a magnetic field to accelerate chemical reactions in cells. This new technology will allow them to increase cell membrane permeability and at the same time preserve the cell's initial structure. This can simplify substance delivery and increase the rate of biocatalysis. The research was published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.
Purdue University innovators are taking cues from nature to develop 3-D photodetectors for biomedical imaging.
Chemists at the University of Bayreuth have developed a material that could well make an important contribution to climate protection and sustainable industrial production. With this material, the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO₂) can be specifically separated from industrial waste gases, natural gas, or biogas, and thereby made available for recycling. The separation process is both energy efficient and cost-effective. In the journal Cell Reports Physical Science the researchers present the structure and function of the material.
An international team of scientists from NUST MISIS (Russia), Linköping University (Sweden) and University of Bayreuth (Germany) found that, contrary to the usual physical and chemical laws, the structure of some materials does not condense at ultrahigh pressures. Actually, it forms a porous framework filled with gas molecules. This happened with samples of Os, Hf, and W put together with N in a diamond anvil at a pressure of one million atmospheres. The discovery is described in Angewandte Chemie.
The discovery and formulation of new drugs, antivirals, antibiotics and in general chemicals with tailored properties is a long and painstaking process. Interdisciplinary research at the crossroads of biochemistry, physics and computer science can change this. The development of machine learning (ML) methods, combined with first principles of quantum and statistical mechanics and trained on increasingly available molecular big datasets, has the potential to revolutionize the process of chemical discovery.
With a little tweak of the color palette, University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers have made it easier for scientists to understand biological processes, track happenings inside individual cells, unravel the mysteries of disease and develop new treatments.
The Ebola virus causes a serious infection with a mortality rate between 50% and 90%. Nucleoproteins in the virus assemble into a helical arrangement and encapsulate a single stranded RNA genome, ssRNA, to form a rodlike complex known as a nucleocapsid, which is critical to the function of the virus. Rodlike nucleocapsids are also found in other viruses, like SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.
When COVID-19 attacks, the immune system produces a cytokine, or protein, called Interleukin-6 (IL-6), whose concentrations can offer vital information about a patient's level and stage of infection.
Luminescent textiles can be created by using a bioluminescent reaction system. This is something that Sweta Iyer, with her newly-minted doctorate, has established. Her doctoral thesis in the field of Textile Technology at the University of Borås can now be useful in a number of different areas in society.
Researchers from Helmholtz Zentrum München and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), jointly developed new imaging tools to allow non-invasive imaging of distinct structures, like blood vessels, in multicolor and in real-time. The new imaging system is based on an approach widely used in other industries and allows the monitoring of multiple parameters (multiplexing)—a technical challenge which could disrupt future clinical imaging applications.
Membranes with microscopic pores are useful for water filtration. The effect of pore size on water filtration is well-understood, as is the role of ions, charged atoms that interact with the membrane. For the first time, researchers have successfully described the impact water molecules have on other water molecules and on ions as part of the filtration mechanism. The researchers detail a feedback system between water molecules that opens up new design possibilities for highly selective membranes. Applications could include virus filters.
Researchers in Australia have resolved a fundamental challenge preventing the wide uptake of next-generation perovskite solar cells.
Leiden chemists Marc Koper and Ian McCrum have discovered that the degree to which a metal binds to the oxygen atom of water is decisive for how well the chemical conversion of water to molecular hydrogen takes place. This insight helps to develop better catalysts for the production of sustainable hydrogen, an important raw material for the chemical industry and the fuel needed for environmentally friendly hydrogen cars. Publication in Nature Energy.
Changing the surface chemistry of electrodes leads to the preferential growth of a novel electroactive bacterium that could support improved energy-neutral wastewater treatment.
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