Archive for the ‘chemistry’ category

Jan 21, 2021

Lasers turn pure aluminum … ‘gold’

Posted by in categories: chemistry, physics

The ultimate goal of the Old World alchemist was to turn inexpensive metals into gold. Modern-day physicists at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics (Rochester, NY), have turned aluminum and other metals gold—in color if not chemistry. A femtosecond laser processing technique created by professor Chunlei Guo and his assistant Anatoliy Vorobeyv alters the surface properties of aluminum, platinum, titanium, tungsten, silver, and gold to create tints of gold, blue, gray, black, and even multicolored irridescence.

Jan 21, 2021

Israeli-made mask eliminates over 99% of coronavirus, lab tests suggest

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, nanotechnology, transportation

The SonoMask displayed an ability to neutralize the novel coronavirus at an effectiveness of 99.34% within trials performed by the ATCCR Testing laboratory in China, Ramat Gan-based Israeli fabric maker and developer Sonovia announced on Saturday. Sonovia’s reusable anti-viral masks are coated in zinc oxide nanoparticles that destroy bacteria, fungi and viruses, which it says can help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Results from the most recent round of testing showed that the mask has the ability to neutralize fallen traces of SARS-COV-2 within 30 minutes after making contact with the fabric. The SonoMask was also proven to maintain its protective properties throughout 55 wash cycles.” Following this outstanding result – the product of several months of dedicated anti-viral sonochemistry formulation – we can now assure the public that our SonoMask is working continuously, permanently and rapidly to neutralize the spread of COVID-19,” said Sonovia CEO Joshua Hershcovici. “We are proud of our latest accomplishment that will help people feel safe and protect their loved ones, all the while remaining the most ecologically sound option upon the PPE market.” Sonovia also participated in trials with Adler Plastic in Italy earlier this year, working toward creating a solution for carpets and other types of fabrics. The company boasted a 99.999% efficiency rate against bacteria during the pilot testing round. Furthermore, the Israeli fabric maker has attracted the cooperation of top brands such as Gucci, Chanel and Adidas, working on the Fashion for Good Plug and Play accelerator project – and earning a $250000 investment for their innovation.” We see our breakthrough technology transforming our everyday life, implemented in all textiles surrounding us: from the clothes we wear, to the textiles in our home, the textiles in our public spaces, in public transportation and of course as a protective measure in the workplaces & medical institutes – in a manner that ensures safer surroundings during these unusual times,” said Sonovia’s Chief Technology Officer Liat Goldhammer.

Jan 20, 2021

Multidimensional coherent spectroscopy reveals triplet state coherences in cesium lead-halide perovskite nanocrystals

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nanotechnology, physics, solar power, sustainability

Advanced optoelectronics require materials with newly engineered characteristics. Examples include a class of materials named metal-halide perovskites that have tremendous significance to form perovskite solar cells with photovoltaic efficiencies. Recent advances have also applied perovskite nanocrystals in light-emitting devices. The unusually efficient light emission of cesium lead-halide perovskite may be due to a unique excitonic fine structure made of three bright triplet states that minimally interact with a proximal dark singlet state. Excitons are electronic excitations responsible for the emissive properties of nanostructured semiconductors, where the lowest-energy excitonic state is expected to be long lived and hence poorly emitting (or ‘dark’).

In a new report now published in Science Advances, Albert Liu and a team of scientists in physics and chemistry at the University of Michigan, U.S., and Campinas State University, Brazil, used multidimensional coherent spectroscopy at cryogenic (ultra-cold) temperatures to study the fine structure without isolating the cube-shaped single . The work revealed coherences (wave properties relative to space and time) involving the triplet states of a cesium lead-iodide (CsPbI3) nanocrystal ensemble. Based on the measurements of triplet and inter-triplet coherences, the team obtained a unique exciton fine structure level ordering composed of a dark state, energetically positioned within the bright triplet manifold.

Jan 20, 2021

Red yeast from deep-sea sediment shows anticancer and antibacterial properties

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, genetics

Numerous natural products are awaiting discovery in all kinds of natural habitats. Especially microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi are able to produce diverse natural products with high biomedical application potential in particular as antibiotics and anticancer agents. This includes the so-called red yeast of the species Rhodotorula mucilaginosa, isolated from a deep-sea sediment sample from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and analyzed for its genome and chemical constituents by researchers from GEOMAR Centre for Marine Biotechnology (GEOMAR-Biotech) of GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and Kiel University (CAU). In a joint effort, the scientists succeeded in demonstrating its anticancer and antibacterial effects. This study, partly-funded by Kiel Marine Science (KMS) of Kiel University, was recently published in the renowned scientific journal Marine Drugs.

A unique opportunity arose for researchers in the Department of Botanical Genetics and Molecular Biology at Kiel University, headed by Professor Frank Kempken. Via the Institute of Geosciences at Kiel University, his group had access to sediment samples from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in 1600—4000 m depth collected during a research cruise with the German research vessel MARIA S. MERIAN. From one of these sediment cores taken at a depth of 3600 m, Prof. Kempken´s group succeeded in isolating and cultivating living fungi of the species Rhodotorula mucilaginosa. This slowly growing type of yeast, which belongs to the so-called Basidiomycete yeasts should not be confused with the well-known baker’s yeast. The species originally grows at great depth tolerating high hydrostatic pressure and rather cold temperatures.

“With the applied methodology we have succeeded in cultivating yeast colonies that can withstand and grow at room temperatures and under atmospheric pressure. These experiments have shown once more that microorganisms with specific physiological properties thrive in distinct ecological niches. The experiments have shown us further that special ecological niches can produce microorganisms with special characteristics. The assumption about the adaptability of this special genus has therefore encouraged us to further analyze this species,” says Kempken, whose research group has been analyzing genomes of marine fungi for more than ten years.

Jan 19, 2021

Rethinking spin chemistry from a quantum perspective

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, computing, information science, quantum physics

Researchers at Osaka City University use quantum superposition states and Bayesian inference to create a quantum algorithm, easily executable on quantum computers, that accurately and directly calculates energy differences between the electronic ground and excited spin states of molecular systems in polynomial time.

Understanding how the natural world works enables us to mimic it for the benefit of humankind. Think of how much we rely on batteries. At the core is understanding molecular structures and the behavior of electrons within them. Calculating the energy differences between a molecule’s electronic ground and excited spin states helps us understand how to better use that molecule in a variety of chemical, biomedical and industrial applications. We have made much progress in molecules with closed-shell systems, in which electrons are paired up and stable. Open-shell systems, on the other hand, are less stable and their underlying electronic behavior is complex, and thus more difficult to understand. They have unpaired electrons in their ground state, which cause their energy to vary due to the intrinsic nature of electron spins, and makes measurements difficult, especially as the molecules increase in size and complexity.

Jan 19, 2021

Lasers and molecular tethers create perfectly patterned platforms for tissue engineering

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry

Imagine going to a surgeon to have a diseased or injured organ switched out for a fully functional, laboratory-grown replacement. This remains science fiction and not reality because researchers today struggle to organize cells into the complex 3D arrangements that our bodies can master on their own.

There are two major hurdles to overcome on the road to laboratory-grown organs and tissues. The first is to use a biologically compatible 3D in which cells can grow. The second is to decorate that scaffold with biochemical messages in the correct configuration to trigger the formation of the desired organ or tissue.

In a major step toward transforming this hope into reality, researchers at the University of Washington have developed a technique to modify naturally occurring biological polymers with protein-based biochemical messages that affect cell behavior. Their approach, published the week of Jan. 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses a near-infrared laser to trigger chemical adhesion of protein messages to a scaffold made from biological polymers such as collagen, a connective tissue found throughout our bodies.

Jan 18, 2021

Better diet and glucose uptake in the brain lead to longer life in fruit flies

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, food, genetics, life extension, neuroscience

Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have discovered that fruit flies with genetic modifications to enhance glucose uptake have significantly longer lifespans. Looking at the brain cells of aging flies, they found that better glucose uptake compensates for age-related deterioration in motor functions, and led to longer life. The effect was more pronounced when coupled with dietary restrictions. This suggests healthier eating plus improved glucose uptake in the brain might lead to enhanced lifespans.

The brain is a particularly power-hungry part of our bodies, consuming 20% of the oxygen we take in and 25% of the glucose. That’s why it’s so important that it can stay powered, using the glucose to produce (ATP), the “energy courier” of the body. This , known as glycolysis, happens in both the intracellular fluid and a part of cells known as the mitochondria. But as we get older, our become less adept at making ATP, something that broadly correlates with less glucose availability. That might suggest that more food for more glucose might actually be a good thing. On the other hand, it is known that a healthier diet actually leads to longer life. Unraveling the mystery surrounding these two contradictory pieces of knowledge might lead to a better understanding of healthier, longer lifespans.

A team led by Associate Professor Kanae Ando studied this problem using Drosophila . Firstly, they confirmed that brain cells in older flies tended to have lower levels of ATP, and lower uptake of glucose. They specifically tied this down to lower amounts of the enzymes needed for glycolysis. To counteract this effect, they genetically modified flies to produce more of a glucose-transporting protein called hGut3. Amazingly, this increase in glucose uptake was all that was required to significantly improve the amount of ATP in cells. More specifically, they found that more hGut3 led to less decrease in the production of the enzymes, counteracting the decline with age. Though this did not lead to an improvement in age-related damage to mitochondria, they also suffered less deterioration in locomotor functions.

Jan 17, 2021

Scientists confirm quantum response to magnetism in cells

Posted by in categories: chemistry, quantum physics

University of Tokyo scientists observe predicted quantum biochemical effects on cells.

Jan 15, 2021

Compost Soil Microbial Fuel Cell to Generate Power using Urea as Fuel

Posted by in categories: chemistry, sustainability

Circa 2020

The acute problem of eutrophication increasing in the environment is due to the increase of industrial wastewater, synthetic nitrogen, urine, and urea. This pollutes groundwater, soil and creates a danger to aquatic life. Therefore, it is advantageous to use these waste materials in the form of urea as fuel to generate power using Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC). In this work, we studied the compost soil MFC(CSMFC) unlike typical MFC with urea from the compost as fuel and graphite as a functional electrode. The electrochemical techniques such as Cyclic Voltammetry, Chronoamperometry are used to characterise CSMFC. It is observed that the CSMFC in which the compost consists of urea concertation of 0.5 g/ml produces maximum power. Moreover, IV measurement is carried out using polarization curves in order to study its sustainability and scalability. Bacterial studies were also playing a significant role in power generation. The sustainability study revealed that urea is consumed in CSMFC to generate power. This study confirmed that urea has a profound effect on the power generation from the CSMFC. Our focus is to get power from the soil processes in future by using waste like urine, industrial wastewater, which contains much amount of urea.

Jan 14, 2021

Research breaks new ground in understanding how a molecular motor generates force

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, nanotechnology

A team of biophysicists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Penn State College of Medicine set out to tackle the long-standing question about the nature of force generation by myosin, the molecular motor responsible for muscle contraction and many other cellular processes. The key question they addressed—one of the most controversial topics in the field—was: how does myosin convert chemical energy, in the form of ATP, into mechanical work?

The answer revealed new details into how myosin, the engine of muscle and related motor proteins, transduces energy.

In the end, their unprecedented research, meticulously repeated with different controls and double-checked, supported their hypothesis that the mechanical events of a precede—rather than follow—the biochemical events, directly challenging the long-held view that biochemical events gate the force-generating event. The work, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, was selected as an Editor’s Pick for “providing an exceptional contribution to the field.”

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