Nanosilver in wastewater can cause severe environmental damage if it occurs as a metal. A study recently conducted in Switzerland. now shows that nanosilver is quickly transformed into less problematic substances on its way to the wastewater treatment plant. In addition, it is efficiently retained in the sewage sludge so that only a small portion of it reaches the water systems.
An international team of researchers may have found what cause a dramatic cooling near...
Until recently people believed much of the rain...
Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have discovered that DNA "linker" strands...
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have devised a powerful new technique for finding antibodies that have a desired biological effect. Antibodies, which can bind to billions of distinct targets, are already used in many of the world’s best-selling medicines, diagnostics, and laboratory reagents. The newly reported technique should greatly speed the process of discovering such products.
In the wake of the sobering news that atmospheric carbon dioxide is now at its highest level in at least three million years, an important advance in the race to develop carbon-neutral renewable energy sources has been achieved. Scientists with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have reported the first fully integrated nanosystem for artificial photosynthesis.
Frustration led to revelation when Rice University scientists determined how graphene might be made useful for high-capacity batteries. Calculations by the Rice laboratory of theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson found a graphene-boron anode should be able to hold a lot of lithium and perform at a proper voltage for use in lithium-ion batteries.
The production of biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass would benefit on several levels if carried out at temperatures between 65 and 70 C. Researchers with the Energy Biosciences Institute have employed a promising technique for improving the ability of enzymes that break cellulose down into fermentable sugars to operate in this temperature range.
Scientists sampling 127 shallow drinking water wells in areas overlying Fayetteville Shale gas production in north-central Arkansas found no evidence of groundwater contamination. The team of scientists at Duke University and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) analyzed the samples for major and trace elements and hydrocarbons, and used isotopic tracers to identify the sources of possible contaminants.
Alloys like bronze and steel have been transformational for centuries, yielding machines necessary for industry. As scientists move toward nanotechnology, however, the focus has shifted toward creating alloys at the nanometer scale—producing materials with properties unlike their predecessors. Now, research demonstrates that nanometer-scale alloys possess the ability to emit light so bright they could have medical applications.
Described as the "most beautiful experiment in physics," Richard Feynman emphasized how the diffraction of individual particles at a grating is an unambiguous demonstration of wave-particle duality and contrary to classical physics. A research team recently used carefully made fluorescent molecules and nanometric detection accuracy to provide clear and tangible evidence of the quantum behavior of large molecules in real time.
Cells are the basic unit of life and are separated from the outside world by a thin organic membrane. A major function of this membrane is to allow certain molecules to enter or leave the cell whilst other molecules are blocked from the cell interior. This allows metabolic processes to take place. Controlling membrane permeability is therefore a key challenge when building artificial cells in the form of enclosed chemical systems.
U.S. Department of Energy Joint BioEnergy Institute researchers have developed an enzyme-free ionic liquid pretreatment of cellulosic biomass that makes it easier to recover fermentable sugars for biofuels and to recycle the ionic liquid.
The latest research from a Kansas State University chemical engineer may help improve humidity and pressure sensors, particularly those used in outer space. A research team is using graphene quantum dots to improve sensing devices in a two-fold project. The first part involves producing the graphene quantum dots. The second part of the project involves incorporating these quantum dots into electron-tunneling based sensing devices.
Physicists working with optical tweezers have conducted work to provide an all-in-one guide to help calculate the effect the use of these tools has on the energy levels of atoms under study. This effect can change the frequency at which atoms emit or absorb light and microwave radiation and skew results; the new findings should help physicists foresee effects on future experiments.
Even without certification by Guinness World Records, it would be easy to believe a short, 250-frame film recently created by an IBM Research team is the world’s smallest. Named “A Boy and His Atom,” the movie was created by precisely placing thousands of atoms using a scanning tunneling microscope. This type of atomic-level control is the result of years of efforts by IBM to determine the lower limits for storing data.
Using uniquely sensitive experimental techniques, scientists have found that laws of quantum physics—believed primarily to influence at only sub-atomic levels—can actually impact on a molecular level. The study shows that movement of the ring-like molecule pyrrole over a metal surface runs counter to the classical physics that govern our everyday world.
University of Wisconsin-Madison chemists have identified an approach to use oxygen gas to convert lignin, a byproduct of biofuel production, into a form that could allow it to replace fossil fuels as a source of chemical feedstocks. Lignin is a complex organic material found in trees and other plants and is associated with cellulose, the valuable plant matter used to make paper or biofuels.
A team of researchers from Japan and Germany have recently developed the world’s first 2D organic sheets from the heterocyclic compound thiophene, resulting in a 3.5-nm thick surfaces that are much more easily controlled in terms of size than similar graphene sheets. The sheets, which have been assembled for the first time in a simple, low-cost method, can also be chemically functionalized.
Coating medical supplies with an antimicrobial material is one approach that bioengineers are using to combat the increasing spread of multidrug-resistant bacteria. A research team in Singapore has now developed a highly effective antimicrobial coating based on cationic polymers. The coating can be applied to medical equipment, such as catheters.
In 2011, Yale University undergraduates asked a question: How does a Siberian beetle survive some of the cruelest winters on earth? Their answer appears in the Journal Biological Chemistry in the form of a peculiarly shaped protein with an ability to prevent ice from forming.
The most comprehensive evaluation of temperature change on Earth’s continents over the past 1,000 to 2,000 years indicates that a long-term cooling trend—caused by factors including fluctuations in the amount and distribution of heat from the sun, and increases in volcanic activity—ended late in the 19th century.
In recently published online paper, researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory describe details of a low-cost, stable, effective catalyst that could replace costly platinum in the production of hydrogen. The catalyst, made from renewable soybeans and abundant molybdenum metal, produces hydrogen in an environmentally friendly, cost-effective manner, potentially increasing the use of this clean energy source.
Using a new laboratory geochemical technique to analyze heavy isotopes of carbon and oxygen in fossil snail shells, scientists have gained insights into an abrupt climate shift that transformed the planet nearly 34 million years ago. At that time, the Earth switched from a warm and high-carbon dioxide "greenhouse" state to the lower-carbon dioxide, variable climate of the modern "icehouse" world.
As an energy-storage material for batteries and capacitors, manganese dioxide has a lot going for it. However, chemical capacitors made with manganese dioxide have lacked the power of the typical carbon-based physical capacitor. A Michigan Technological University theorized that the situation could be improved if the manganese dioxide were made into nanorods, which are like nanotubes, only solid instead of hollow.
Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley have discovered new materials to capture methane, the second highest concentration greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere. The research team performed systematic computer simulation studies on the effectiveness of methane capture using two different materials—liquid solvents and nanoporous zeolites.
How do nerve cells—which can each be up to three feet long in humans—keep from rupturing or falling apart? Recent research reports that axons, the long, cable-like projections on neurons, are made stronger by a unique modification of the common molecular building block of the cell skeleton. The finding may help guide the search for treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.
A Purdue University-led team of researchers discovered sunlit snow to be the major source of atmospheric bromine in the Arctic, the key to unique chemical reactions that purge pollutants and destroy ozone. The team's findings suggest the rapidly changing Arctic climate—where surface temperatures are rising three times faster than the global average—could dramatically change its atmospheric chemistry.
Researchers have announced a full-scale field test of an innovative process that gently but quickly destroys some of the world’s most pervasive and problematic pollutants. The technology, called PGClear, originated from basic scientific research at Rice during a 10-year, federally funded initiative to use nanotechnology to clean the environment.