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Researchers isolate smallest unit of sleep to date

June 9, 2015 9:39 am | News | Comments

Washington State University Spokane scientists have grown a tiny group of brain cells that can be induced to fall asleep, wake up and even show rebound sleep after "staying up late."

Catalyst removes cancer-causing benzene in gasoline

June 8, 2015 8:02 am | by Megan Fellman, Northwestern Univ. | News | Comments

Northwestern Univ. scientists are experimenting with ways to eliminate a cancer-causing agent from gasoline by neutralizing the benzene compound found in gasoline. They developed a catalyst that effectively removed benzene from the other aromatic compounds in gasoline, making it cleaner and more efficient.

Past failures pave way for promising Alzheimer’s treatments

June 5, 2015 7:43 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

Since 2002, close to 300 drug candidates to treat Alzheimer’s have run into clinical dead ends. But now, having learned from those failures, researchers are testing—and retesting—a batch of the most promising compounds designed to slow the disease’s progression. An article in Chemical & Engineering News describes what made this possible and what lies ahead.

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Maximizing the Value of Scientific Literature

June 4, 2015 1:18 pm | by Jaqui Hodgkinson, VP Product Development, Elsevier | Articles | Comments

Reading through the more than one million articles published annually isn’t an option for life sciences researchers that want to keep on top of the constantly growing body of medical literature. That leaves two primary strategies for sifting through the burgeoning literature and extracting meaningful information: manual curation or automated curation.

a team of Canadian researchers from the University of British Columbia and National Research Council of Canada is studying the role that methane nanobubbles might play in the formation and dissociation of natural gas hydrate

Nanobubbles: The invisible key to methane hydrates

June 4, 2015 11:26 am | by Laurel Hamers, American Institute of Physics (AIP) | News | Comments

Like carbon dioxide in a fizzing glass of soda, most bubbles of gas in a liquid don't last long. But nanobubbles persist. These bubbles are thousands of times smaller than the tip of a pencil lead, and their stability makes them useful in a variety of applications, from targeted drug delivery to water treatment procedures. Researchers are studying the role methane nanobubbles might play in formation and dissociation of natural gas hydrate

Mixing liquid in microchannels: How to cut a vortex into slices

June 4, 2015 10:35 am | by Lomonosov Moscow State University | News | Comments

A lot of problems, associated with the mixing liquid in microchannels, could be solved via proper organization of the inhomogeneous slip on the walls of these channels. This is the conclusion made by the joint group of Russian and German scientists. This work is related to the field of microfluidics, which is promising and rapidly developing interdisciplinary field of research, studying the fluid flow in the microchannels.

Recovering a rare metal from LCDs to avoid depleting key resource

June 4, 2015 9:00 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

Life without bright screens on our smartphones and TVs is hard to imagine. But in 20 years, one of the essential components of the liquid-crystal displays, or LCDs, that make many of our gadgets possible could disappear. To address the potential shortage of this component—the element indium—scientists report a new way to recover the valuable metal so it could be recycled.

Keeping astronauts in space longer with better air, water

June 4, 2015 8:00 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

As astronauts embark on increasingly ambitious space missions, scientists have to figure out how to keep them healthy for longer periods far from Earth. That entails assuring the air they breathe and the water they drink are safe—not an easy task given their isolated locations. But scientists are now reporting a new method to monitor the quality of both in real time with one system.

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Enhancing biofuel production

June 4, 2015 7:44 am | by Ron Walli, Oak Ridge National Laboratory | News | Comments

Biofuels pioneer Mascoma LLC and the BioEnergy Science Center have developed a revolutionary strain of yeast that could help significantly accelerate the development of biofuels from nonfood plant matter. The approach could provide a pathway to eventual expansion of biofuels production beyond the current output limited to ethanol derived from corn.

Together with his son Niklas Prof. Dr. Steffen Glaser (Technische Universitaet Muenchen) developed an app that visualizes quantum-mechanical properties of spin systems in the form of three-dimensional, droplet like objects. Courtesy of Steffen Glaser / TU

Visualizing the matrix: App provides insight into quantum world of coupled nuclear spins

June 3, 2015 11:43 am | by Technische Universitaet Muenchen | News | Comments

Magnetic resonance tomography images are an important diagnostic tool. The achievable contrast depends on how well the nuclear spins that form the basis of the imaging signals can be controlled. Mathematically, the properties of nuclear spins are described by special matrices. Now, researchers developed an intuitive graphical representation of the information contained in these matrices for coupled spins in arbitrary quantum states.

Chemists weigh intact virus mixture with mass spectrometer

June 3, 2015 7:41 am | by Jocelyn Duffy, Carnegie Mellon Univ. | News | Comments

Carnegie Mellon Univ. chemists have separated and weighed virus particles using mass spectrometry (MS). This is the first time that researchers successfully used matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization MS to analyze a mixture of intact virus particles.

Essential Instruments for Open-Access Environment

June 2, 2015 3:55 pm | by Russell Scammell,PhD, Group Leader, Physical Chemistry, Charles River Laboratories | Articles | Comments

Pharmaceutical companies, like other industries, face frequent and mounting requirements to resolve complex mixtures of active pharmaceutical ingredients into their unique components. Given the demands being placed on medicinal chemistry departments to deliver high-quality new drug candidates, the speed at which separations can be achieved is of utmost importance.

Pinholes be gone!

June 2, 2015 11:39 am | by Kaoru Natori, OIST | News | Comments

Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate Univ. have eliminated problematic pinholes in the top layer of next-generation solar cells in development. At the same time, they have significantly improved the lifetime of the solar cell and made it thinner.

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New material accelerates healing

June 2, 2015 8:50 am | by Matthew Chin, Univ. of California, Los Angeles | Videos | Comments

Researchers from the Univ. of California, Los Angeles have developed an injectable hydrogel that helps skin wounds heal more quickly. The material creates an instant scaffold that allows new tissue to latch on and grow within the cavities formed between linked spheres of gel.

Using robots to assemble promising antimicrobial compounds

June 2, 2015 8:14 am | by Dan Krotz, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

There’s an urgent demand for new antimicrobial compounds that are effective against constantly emerging drug-resistant bacteria. Two robotic chemical-synthesizing machines, named Symphony X and Overture, have joined the search. Their specialty is creating custom nanoscale structures that mimic nature’s proven designs. They’re also fast, able to assemble dozens of compounds at a time.

All shook up for greener chemistry

June 1, 2015 9:57 am | by Dawn Fuller, Univ. of Cincinnati | Videos | Comments

Solvent-free chemistry, more common in Europe and Asia, is gaining notice among American manufacturers due to environmental concerns and rising costs in reducing toxic waste. Research out of the Univ. of Cincinnati finds that this sustainable approach to chemistry, while noisier, can be just as reliable for chemical reactions without the drawbacks. Plus, its recycling ability cuts costs on investing in expensive reagents.

Who needs water to assemble DNA?

May 28, 2015 7:42 am | by John Toon, Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

Scientists around the world are using the programmability of DNA to assemble complex nanometer-scale structures. Until now, however, production of these artificial structures has been limited to water-based environments, because DNA naturally functions inside the watery environment of living cells. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have now shown that they can assemble DNA nanostructures in a solvent containing no water.

Expanding the code of life with new “letters”

May 28, 2015 7:29 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

The DNA encoding all life on Earth is made of four building blocks called nucleotides, commonly known as “letters,” that line up in pairs and twist into a double helix. Now, two groups of scientists are reporting for the first time that two new nucleotides can do the same thing, raising the possibility that entirely new proteins could be created for medical uses.

DNA mutations get harder to hide

May 26, 2015 7:34 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | News | Comments

Rice Univ. researchers have developed a method to detect rare DNA mutations with an approach hundreds of times more powerful than current methods. The technique allows the researchers to find a figurative needle in a haystack that’s smaller than any needle.

Slinky lookalike “hyperlens” helps us see tiny objects

May 22, 2015 10:27 am | by Cory Nealon, Univ. at Buffalo | News | Comments

It looks like a Slinky suspended in motion. Yet this photonics advancement, called a metamaterial hyperlens, doesn’t climb down stairs. Instead, it improves our ability to see tiny objects. The hyperlens may someday help detect some of the most lethal forms of cancer.

Modern alchemy

May 21, 2015 3:58 pm | by The Scripps Research Institute | News | Comments

Chemists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered a broad and strikingly inexpensive method for synthesizing “amines,” a class of organic compounds prominent in drugs and other modern products. The new reaction is particularly useful for synthesizing complex amines that would be highly valuable in pharmaceuticals, but are impractical—or impossible—to make with standard methods.

Survey on academic diversity shows little progress

May 21, 2015 10:49 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

Despite efforts over decades to diversify the ranks of university faculty, only 4% of chemistry professorships at 50 leading U.S. colleges and universities are held by underrepresented minorities. That key finding and others related to diversity in academia came from a new survey conducted by a program called Open Chemistry Collaborative in Diversity Equity (OXIDE) in partnership with Chemical & Engineering News.

Gauging materials’ physical properties from video

May 21, 2015 10:42 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Last summer, MIT researchers published a paper describing an algorithm that can recover intelligible speech from the analysis of the minute vibrations of objects in video captured through soundproof glass. In June, researchers from the same groups will describe how the technique can be adapted to infer material properties of physical objects, such as stiffness and weight, from video.

Experimental Ebola treatment boosts survival in mice

May 21, 2015 8:25 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

The number of new Ebola cases is tapering off, but the search for new treatments continues. Now, one research team has found potential drug candidates that successfully treated up to 90% of mice exposed to the Ebola virus. They report their findings in ACS Infectious Diseases.

Mesoscale atoms (structures formed by microdroplets of water trapped in a drop of oil) produced at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland. Courtesy of IPC PAS

Amazing microdroplet structures may lead to new technologies

May 20, 2015 11:47 am | by IPC PAS | News | Comments

A team of researchers has unveiled a new method of controlling the shapes of structures—so called mesoatoms—formed by microdroplets placed inside another drop. The work increases the possibilities of controlling the processes of self-organization of matter. During their research, the scientists also managed for the first time to observe the formation of microdroplet structures with unexpected shapes.

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