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The Lead

Herb Molecule Holds Potential for Drug Development

October 21, 2014 9:01 am | by Nanyang Technological Univ. | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered a new molecule that can join together chains of amino acids. Only three other known molecules have been discovered to perform this function, which is an important process in the development of new drugs. A key difference is that the new molecule can do the same process 10,000 times faster than the other three and “cleanly,” without leaving any residue behind.

Tracers Spot Fracking Fluids in Nature

October 21, 2014 8:55 am | by NSF | News | Comments

Scientists have developed new geochemical tracers that can identify hydraulic fracturing flow...

Research Yields Possible Precursor to Life

October 21, 2014 8:48 am | by Univ. of Southern Denmark | News | Comments

Researchers working toward the technology of the future are interested in the origin of life. If...

Proteins Linked to Drug Side Effects

October 21, 2014 8:29 am | by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory | News | Comments

Researchers have discovered a high-tech method of using supercomputers to identify proteins that...

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Tarantula Toxin Exposes Activity in Live Cells

October 21, 2014 8:06 am | by UC Davis | Videos | Comments

Researchers have created a cellular probe that combines a tarantula toxin with a fluorescent compound to help scientists observe electrical activity in neurons and other cells. The probe binds to a voltage-activated potassium ion channel subtype, lighting up when the channel is turned off and dimming when it is activated.

Study Charts Fate of Chemicals Affecting Human Health, Environment

October 20, 2014 2:49 pm | by Arizona State Univ.'s Biodesign Institute | News | Comments

In a new study a researcher at Arizona State Univ.'s Biodesign Institute examines the trajectory of chemicals appearing as emergent threats to human or environmental health. The study reveals that around 14 years typically elapse from the onset of initial safety concerns about a given chemical to the height of concern and appropriate action. This extended timeline implies protracted exposure to CECs for a large number of people.

Starfish-like Shells Advance 3-D Printing of Pharmaceuticals

October 20, 2014 2:34 pm | by Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

In a design that mimics a hard-to-duplicate texture of starfish shells, Univ. of Michigan engineers have made rounded crystals that have no facets. The process used to manufacture them—organic vapor jet printing—might lend itself to 3D-printing medications that absorb better into the body and make personalized dosing possible.

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New Hydrogen Mixture Sees Wild Molecular Interactions

October 20, 2014 2:27 pm | by Carnegie Institution | News | Comments

Scientists have combined hydrogen with its heavier sibling deuterium—which has an added neutron in its nucleus—and created a novel, disordered, "Phase IV"-material where the molecules interact differently than have been observed before.

Green Buildings Contaminate Drinking Water

October 20, 2014 2:12 pm | by Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

Several types of plastic pipes in eco-friendly green buildings in the United States have been found to leach chemicals into drinking water that can cause odors and sometimes exist at levels that may exceed health standards.

Chemists Tackle Battery Fires, Explosions

October 17, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Kentucky | News | Comments

New research will help batteries resist overcharging, improving the safety of electronics from cellphones to airplanes. This work focused on the design, synthesis and testing of organic compounds that can be incorporated into the electrolytes of lithium-ion batteries to improve their safety profiles.

Flies Can Help Sniff Out Drugs, Bombs

October 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Sussex | News | Comments

Fruit flies can identify odors from illicit drugs and explosive substances almost as accurately as wine odor, which the insects are naturally attracted to because it smells like their favorite food, fermenting fruit.

Sleep Hormone May Be Linked to Earth's Biggest Migration

October 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Inside Science News Service, Peter Gwynne | News | Comments

Each day, plankton rise from deep underwater to the ocean's surface during the night and then return to the depths in daytime. Zoologists describe this movement as Earth’s biggest migration. The stimulus for this mass migration has long puzzled scientists but it may be the sleep hormone melatonin.

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Paper is Sensitive Chemical, Biological Detector

October 17, 2014 7:00 am | by AVS: Science & Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing | News | Comments

Using a common laboratory filter paper decorated with gold nanoparticles, researchers have created a unique platform, known as “plasmonic paper,” for detecting and characterizing even trace amounts of chemicals and biologically important molecules— from explosives, chemical warfare agents and environmental pollutants to disease markers.

Geochemist Gets View into Center of the Earth

October 17, 2014 7:00 am | by UC Santa Barbara | News | Comments

A geochemist studying Samoan volcanoes has found evidence of the planet’s early formation still trapped inside the Earth. Known as hotspots, volcanic island chains such as Samoa can hold ancient primordial signatures from the early solar system that have somehow survived billions of years.

Catalyst May Improve Biofuels

October 16, 2014 2:00 pm | by Washington State Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a new catalyst, by mixing inexpensive iron with a tiny amount of rare palladium, which could lead to making biofuels cheaply and more efficiently.

Materials Make ‘Warmer’ LEDs

October 16, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Researchers have designed a family of materials to make LEDs that don’t include rare earths but instead are made out of copper iodide, which is an abundant compound. They tuned them to glow a warm white shade or various other colors using a low-cost solution process.

EPA OKs Weed Killer for GM Crops

October 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Mary Jalonick | News | Comments

The EPA has approved a new version of a popular weed killer to be used on genetically modified corn and soybeans. The EPA says that it will allow the use of a 2,4-D weed killer called Enlist Duo.

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'Breathalyzer' May Help Monitor Dolphin Health

October 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Alcohol consumption isn't the only thing a breath analysis can reveal. Scientists have been studying its possible use for diagnosing a wide range of conditions in humans— and now in the beloved bottlenose dolphin.

Cigarette Ash Finds Use as Water Cleaner

October 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Arsenic, a well-known poison, can be taken out of drinking water using sophisticated treatment methods. Now, scientists have come up with a new low-cost, simple way to remove arsenic using leftovers from another known health threat— cigarettes.

Nerve Cells Key to Environment-sensitive Material

October 15, 2014 7:00 am | by UC Berkeley | News | Comments

Scientists have taken proteins from nerve cells and used them to create a “smart” material that is extremely sensitive to its environment. This marriage of materials science and biology could give birth to a flexible, sensitive coating that is easy and cheap to manufacture in large quantities.

Chemical in Blood Helps Power Pests' Immune System

October 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Kansas State Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers looked at how protein molecules in the blood of insects function in insects' immune system. Pest may be sickened to learn to that the scientists have discovered a genetic mechanism that helps compromise their immune system.

Design Key to Improved Nuclear Plants

October 14, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

A university is playing a key role in an international project to develop a radical new type of nuclear power station that is safer, more cost-effective, more compact and much quicker and less disruptive to build than any previously constructed. Researchers are exploring whether the element thorium could help to meet the new design’s fuel needs.

Kids Are Being Accidentally Exposed to Liquid Nicotine

October 14, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Lindsay Whitehurst | News | Comments

Poison control workers say that as the e-cigarette industry has boomed, the number of children exposed to the liquid nicotine that gives hand-held vaporizing gadgets their kick also has spiked. More than 2,700 people have called poison control this year to report an exposure to liquid nicotine, over half of those cases in children younger than six.

Fluorescent Sensor Detects Milk Fat

October 14, 2014 2:00 pm | by National Univ. of Singapore | News | Comments

A team of researchers has pioneered the world’s first fluorescent sensor to rapidly identify the presence of fat in milk. When the light purplish sensor is mixed with a milk sample, it transmits fluorescent signals of orange hues instantly under light when fat is detected, with brighter shades when the concentration of fat in the milk sample increases.

Broccoli Sprouts Chemical May Treat Autism

October 14, 2014 7:00 am | by Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine | News | Comments

Results of a small clinical trial suggest that a chemical derived from broccoli sprouts— and best known for claims that it can help prevent certain cancers— may ease classic behavioral symptoms in those with autism spectrum disorders.

Compound has Strange Combination of Properties

October 14, 2014 7:00 am | by Ludwig Maximilians Univ. | News | Comments

Chemists have synthesized a ferromagnetic superconducting compound that is amenable to chemical modification, opening the route to detailed studies of this rare combination of physical properties.

Battery Charges in Two Minutes, Lasts 20 Years

October 14, 2014 7:00 am | by Nanyang Technology Univ. | News | Comments

Scientists have developed ultra-fast-charging batteries that can be recharged up to 70 percent in only two minutes. The new generation batteries also have a long lifespan of over 20 years, more than 10 times compared to existing lithium-ion batteries.

Atomic Map Sheds Light on Creation of Cholesterol

October 14, 2014 7:00 am | by Rockefeller Univ. | News | Comments

In spite of its dangerous reputation, cholesterol is in fact an essential component of human cells. Manufactured by the cells themselves, it serves to stiffen the cell’s membrane, helping to shape the cell and protect it. By mapping the structure of a key enzyme involved in cholesterol production, researchers have gained new insight into this complex molecular process.

Slurry-based Process is Cheap, Green Approach to Carbon Capture

October 14, 2014 7:00 am | by EPFL | News | Comments

Scientists have developed a slurry-based process that can revolutionize carbon capture. The slurry, consisting of a porous powder suspended in glycol, offers the efficient large-scale implementation of a liquid while maintaining the lower costs and energy efficiency of solid carbon-capturing materials.

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