A single molecule contains a wealth of information. It includes not only the number of each kind of constituent atom, but also how they're arranged and how they attach to each other. And during chemical reactions, that information determines the outcome and becomes transformed. Molecules collide, break apart, reassemble, and rebuild in predictable ways.
Bent concrete beams, cracks on the undersides of bridges, risk of rust for the reinforcement: In Switzerland, many structures are getting on in years. Take national roads, for example: According to the 2019 report of the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO), a large proportion of bridges were built between the mid-1960s to the 1980s—with significantly lower traffic loads than today.
A hidden, newly discovered molecular dance could hold the answer to the problem of soot pollution.
Despite remarkable medical advances over the last years, cystic fibrosis remains the most prevalent lethal genetic disease. It is due to mutations in the CFTR protein which is normally required to maintain proper fluid balances in key organs such as lungs, pancreas or the digestive system.
Research from the School of Biosciences and the University of Manchester has uncovered an essential mechanism coordinating the processes of cell division and adhesion within humans. This discovery has profound potential for advancing understanding of cell adhesion signaling in cancerous tumor progression and metastasis.
Plastics sustainability has come a long way in recent years thanks in large part to scientific advances. But even as plastics become more and more environmentally friendly, the world continues to be polluted as many industries rely on them for their widely used products.
Agglutination assays are widely used immunological sensors based on antigen-antibody interactions that result in clumping of antibody-coated microscopic particles. Once the sample—for example, a patient's serum—is introduced, the corresponding target antigens in the sample rapidly attach to the antibody binding sites and the particles start to form clusters due to the target antigen's capability of binding to different sites simultaneously. The level of clustering among the particles is indicative of the amount of antigen present in a sample. These particle-based sensors have been used to test for antigens in a number of bodily fluids, and to diagnose a wide range of diseases. Its major advantages in point-of-care diagnostics include short reaction time, low sample volume, low-cost, and high specificity. One of the barriers to its wider adoption lies in the assay's low sensitivity and lack of quantitative measurements.
To take advantage of the growing abundance and cheaper costs of renewable energy, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists and engineers are 3D printing flow-through electrodes (FTEs), core components of electrochemical reactors used for converting CO2 and other molecules to useful products.
Researchers working with Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed a new method to observe how proteins, at the single-molecule level, bind with other molecules and more accurately pinpoint certain molecular behavior in complex physiological environments.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a new catalyst for converting ethanol into C3+ olefins—the chemical building blocks for renewable jet fuel and diesel—that pushes the amount produced to a record-high 88%, a more than 10% gain over their previously developed catalyst.
The adsorption of ions from the electrolyte at an electrode surface is a ubiquitous process, of use for both existing and emerging electrochemical energy technologies. But what happens when these ions penetrate very small spaces? To address this question, researchers at NC State re-examined the behavior of a "classic" material, birnessite.
University of Basel researchers have reached an important milestone in their quest to produce more sustainable luminescent materials and catalysts for converting sunlight into other forms of energy. Based on the cheap metal manganese, they have developed a new class of compounds with promising properties that until now have primarily been found in noble metal compounds.
Perseverance, NASA's 2020 Mars rover, is powered by something very desirable here on Earth: a thermoelectric device, which converts heat to useful electricity.
The effective control of heat transfer is important in improving energy efficiency. The thermal diode is one of the key elements of heat flow control. Like the current rectification effect found in electronic diodes, heat flow is easily maintained in one direction in a thermal diode, while it is obstructed in the opposite direction. Sizable heat rectification can be obtained using a junction of two solid materials with opposite trends in thermal conductivity as a function of temperature. This type of thermal diode offers scalability and a simple analogy of electrical diode design.
Scientists are using machine learning to speed up development of materials that can harness energy from sunlight.
Carbon dioxide is one of the main drivers of climate change—which means that we need to reduce CO2 emissions in the future. Fraunhofer researchers are highlighting a possible way to lower these emissions: They use the greenhouse gas as a raw material, for instance to produce plastics. To do this, they first produce methanol and formic acid from CO2, which they convert via microorganisms into building blocks for polymers and the like.
An international team of scientists has proposed a method of production of high-quality gypsum binders based on synthetic calcium sulfate dihydrate produced from industrial waste. Tests of the obtained material have shown that it not only meets all the requirements for materials of this class, but also surpasses binders based on natural gypsum in several parameters. The work has been published in the Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry.
Green manufacturing is becoming an increasingly critical process across industries, propelled by a growing awareness of the negative environmental and health impacts associated with traditional practices. In the biomaterials industry, electrospinning is a universal fabrication method used around the world to produce nano- to microscale fibrous meshes that closely resemble native tissue architecture. The process, however, has traditionally used solvents that not only are environmentally hazardous but also pose a significant barrier to industrial scale-up, clinical translation, and, ultimately, widespread use.
Chemists create catalysts for use in industry and other applications. One of the methods to create these catalysts is by using light to break down organometallic compounds—substances that include both metals and carbon. These types of compounds are called photocatalysts. Scientists call the process of breaking down molecules with light, photodissociation. Researchers often study the photodissociation of iron pentacarbonyl as a model for understanding other catalysts. This study used a method called ultrafast infrared (IR) spectroscopy to study how ultraviolet light photodissociates gas phase iron pentacarbonyl.
Arguably the most important (if least well known) industrial advancement of the 20th century, the Haber-Bosch ammonia synthesis process essentially conquered food scarcity by creating the means to mass produce fertilizer—fertilizer then used to fortify food harvests around the world.
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