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Protons Key to More Efficient Chemistry, Catalysts

August 1, 2014 7:00 am | by PNNL | News | Comments

Renewable energy. Available food. Effective medicines. The reactions behind these products and countless more are not as efficient or effective as we want. To improve the reactions, scientists must first understand and then design catalysts, the molecules that drive reactions without being consumed by them. Understanding the in's and out's of how the complexes react with protons could lead to more efficient catalysts.

Chemists Show Bricks-and-Mortar Assembly of Molecules

July 31, 2014 12:00 pm | by Indiana Univ. | News | Comments

Chemists have described the self-assembly of large, symmetrical molecules in bricks-and-mortar...

Washing Your Hands May Not be as Safe as You Think

July 31, 2014 12:00 pm | by Christine Carson, The Conversation | News | Comments

Questions about the safety of triclosan have been raised recently, as evidence suggests some...

DDT Linked to Obesity, Diabetes in Offspring

July 31, 2014 7:00 am | by UC Davis | News | Comments

Exposure of pregnant mice to the pesticide DDT is linked to an increased risk of obesity,...

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Pipetting Gets New-age Upgrade

July 31, 2014 7:00 am | by Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research | News | Comments

A team of researchers is bringing new levels of efficiency and accuracy to pipetting. And, in an effort to aid the scientific community at large, the group has established an open source system that enables anyone to benefit from this development free of charge. Dubbed “iPipet,” the system converts an iPad or any tablet computer into a “smart bench” that guides the execution of complex pipetting protocols. 

A Greener Way to Make Colorful Plastics

July 30, 2014 11:39 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

Long before humans figured out how to create colors, nature had already perfected the process. Now, scientists are tapping into those secrets to develop a more environmentally friendly way to make colored plastics- without the dyes.                      

A Home Test for Detecting Dangerous Caffeine Levels

July 30, 2014 11:31 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

The shocking news of an Ohio teen who died of a caffeine overdose in May highlighted the potential dangers of the normally well-tolerated and mass-consumed substance. To help prevent serious health problems that can arise from consuming too much caffeine, scientists are reporting progress toward a rapid, at-home test to detect even low levels of the stimulant in most beverages and even breast milk.

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'Smart Labels' Detect Contaminated Meat

July 30, 2014 8:44 am | by Univ. of Alberta | News | Comments

Researchers have created new smart materials, which will be incorporated into food packaging, to help improve safety at every stage of food processing, from the packaging facility, to transport to stores, all the way to consumers’ refrigerators.

Different Gut Microbes Suggest Gender-specific Health Approaches

July 30, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Texas at Austin | News | Comments

The microbes living in the guts of males and females react differently to diet, even when the diets are identical, according to a new study. These results suggest that any therapies designed to improve human health through diet should take into account whether the patient is male or female.

'Killer Sperm' Prevents Mating Between Worm Species

July 30, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Maryland | News | Comments

The vast majority of the time, mating across species is merely unsuccessful in producing offspring. However, when researchers mated Caenorhabditis worms of different species, they found that the lifespan of the female worms and their number of progeny were drastically reduced compared with females that mated with the same species.

Brain Marker Explains Stress Susceptibility

July 29, 2014 3:05 pm | by Duke Univ. | News | Comments

Some people can handle stressful situations better than others, and it's not all in their genes: Even identical twins show differences in how they respond. Researchers have identified a specific electrical pattern in the brains of genetically identical mice that predicts how well individual animals will fare in stressful situations.

ISS Discovery of Cool Flames Aids Engines

July 29, 2014 7:00 am | by UC, San Diego | News | Comments

A team of international researchers has discovered a new type of cool-burning flames that could lead to cleaner, more efficient engines for cars. The discovery was made during a series of experiments on the International Space Station.             

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Common Mineral Can Make, Break Bonds

July 29, 2014 7:00 am | by Arizona State Univ. | News | Comments

Reactions among minerals and organic compounds in hydrothermal environments are critical components of the Earth's deep carbon cycle: they provide energy for the deep biosphere and may have implications for the origins of life. However, very little is known about how minerals influence organic reactions. A team of researchers has demonstrated how a common mineral acts as a catalyst for specific hydrothermal organic reactions.

STEM Teachers Learning from Industry

July 28, 2014 1:50 pm | by Emery Dalesio, Associated Press | News | Comments

A small but growing number of science and math teachers aren't spending the summer at the beach or catching up on books, they're toiling at companies, practicing the principles they teach. As American education focuses on closing the gap between the classroom and employers' needs, programs in North Carolina, California and elsewhere are putting teachers temporarily in the workplace.

Glow in Space is a Hot Bubble in Our Galaxy

July 28, 2014 1:33 pm | by Univ. of Miami | Videos | Comments

A recent study shows that diffuse X-ray background is dominated by the local hot bubble of gas (1 million degrees), with, at most, 40 percent of emission originating within the solar system. The findings should put to rest the disagreement about the origin of the X-ray emission and confirm the existence of the local hot bubble.

Sweet Discovery: Sugar Transporters Key to 'Fuel Crops'

July 28, 2014 1:26 pm | by Berkeley Lab | News | Comments

A powerful new tool that can help advance the genetic engineering of “fuel” crops for clean, green and renewable bioenergy has been developed. Researchers created an assay that enables the identification and characterization of the function of nucleotide sugar transporters, critical components in the biosynthesis of plant cell walls.

Simple Blood Test Can Diagnose Cancer

July 28, 2014 1:15 pm | by Univ. of Bradford | News | Comments

Researchers have devised a simple blood test that can be used to diagnose whether people have cancer or not. The test will enable doctors to rule out cancer in patients presenting with certain symptoms, saving time and preventing costly and unnecessary invasive procedures, such as colonoscopies and biopsies.

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Industrial Lead Pollution Beat Explorers to the South Pole

July 28, 2014 9:03 am | by Desert Research Institute | News | Comments

Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole in December of 1911. More than 100 years later, an international team of scientists have proven that air pollution from industrial activities arrived long before.                   

Chemists Create Greener Green Flame

July 25, 2014 3:01 pm | by LMU | News | Comments

Chemists have developed a new formulation for the generation of green flames. Unlike conventional mixtures, the new blend of reactants is environmentally benign, and it produces a green flame of previously unattained purity.                   

Molecule Puts Scientists Closer to Hydrogen Storage

July 25, 2014 1:21 pm | by ANSTO | News | Comments

Scientists say that the newly discovered “28copper15hydride” puts us on a path to better understanding hydrogen, and potentially even how to get it in and out of a fuel system, and is stored in a manner that is stable and safe – overcoming Hindenburg-type risks.

Ruling on Antibiotics in Livestock Reversed

July 25, 2014 9:04 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration isn't required to hold public hearings to evaluate the health risks of widespread use of antibiotics in animal feed, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. The decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a ruling in 2012 by a district court that sided with several health and consumer organizations that sued the FDA after the agency decided against holding the hearings.

Antioxidant Biomaterial Promotes Healing

July 25, 2014 7:00 am | by Northwestern Univ. | News | Comments

For the first time ever, researchers have created a biodegradable biomaterial that is inherently antioxidant. The material can be used to create elastomers, liquids that turn into gels, or solids for building devices that are more compatible with cells and tissues.                  

Modern Cells Still Perform Ancient Reactions

July 24, 2014 3:01 pm | by Univ. of East Anglia | News | Comments

Parts of the primordial soup in which life arose have been maintained in our cells today. Research reveals how cells in plants, yeast and very likely also in animals still perform ancient reactions thought to have been responsible for the origin of life- some four billion years ago.

Immune Response Worsens Brain Injuries, Disorders

July 24, 2014 2:35 pm | by Cleveland Clinic | News | Comments

Could the body's own immune system play a role in memory impairment and cognitive dysfunction associated with conditions like chronic epilepsy, Alzheimer's, dementia and concussions? According to a new study, yes.                                

Chemist Develops X-ray Vision for QA

July 24, 2014 2:20 pm | by Technical Univ. of Denmark | News | Comments

A researcher has developed a method that uses X-rays for the rapid identification of substances present in an indeterminate powder. The new technique has the capacity to recognize advanced biological molecules, such as proteins.                  

Scientist of the Week: Jeffrey Bada

July 24, 2014 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Jeffrey Bada and a team from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego analyzed samples of prebiotic materials created in 1958 by the famous chemist Stanley Miller.

Student Develops Screw-on Filter for Clean Water

July 23, 2014 2:18 pm | by ETH Zurich | News | Comments

According to the World Health Organization, 3.4 million people die from water-related diseases every year. A research team spent a year researching a membrane filter and developing a prototype. What makes the DrinkPure filter unique is that you can screw it on to virtually any plastic bottle. It doesn't require a pump or a reservoir.

Nano-chip Sniffs Out Explosives Better than Dogs

July 23, 2014 1:47 pm | by American Friends of Tel Aviv Univ. | News | Comments

Security forces worldwide rely on sophisticated equipment, trained personnel, and detection dogs to safeguard airports and other public areas against terrorist attacks. A revolutionary new electronic chip with nano-sized chemical sensors is about to make their job much easier.  

Popeye-approved: Spinach as Alternative Fuel

July 23, 2014 1:44 pm | by Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

Spinach gave Popeye super strength, but it also holds the promise of a different power for a group of scientists: the ability to convert sunlight into a clean, efficient alternative fuel.                              

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