Chemistry



19 December 2013

Text messages coded into booze vapor


A team of scientists from the UK and Canada have demonstrated a system to code any generic message into evaporated alcohol molecules. The researchers believe their molecular communications system, which works in a similar fashion to how animals communicate with pheromones, could be used for the transmission of messages and data in challenging environments such as tunnels, pipelines, underwater, and within the body...

27 June 2013

Cheap and simple desalination unit runs from battery


Using a small electrical field that removes the salts from seawater, German and American scientists have invented a new method for the desalination of seawater that consumes much less energy and is dramatically simpler than conventional desalination techniques...

21 August 2012

Bucky ball "cage" imprisons smaller molecules


A quantum parlor trick where smaller molecules are "caged" inside the nano-meter sized cavity of a hollow spherical bucky ball (C60 Buckminsterfullerene) molecule could point the way to advanced molecular electronics...

9 May 2012

Entropy the major player in chirality conundrum


Why many of the important molecules in our bodies almost always occur in just one chiral form (either right or left handed) when they could potentially exist in either is a mystery that has confounded researchers for years...

26 April 2012

Top chemical suspects in autism identified


US medical researchers have published their list of the top 10 chemicals implicated in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders...

16 April 2012

Water not necessary for life?


The proteins that are vital to living creatures evolved in Earth's water-rich environment and it was thought that water was vital for proteins to function, but some intriguing new findings from the UK challenge this belief...

30 August 2011

Reverse engineering chocolate yields flavor surprise


The aroma of roasted cocoa beans - the key ingredient of chocolate - comes from substances that individually smell like potato chips, cooked meat, peaches, raw beef fat, cooked cabbage, human sweat, dirt and an improbable palate of other distinctly un-cocoa-like aromas. That's among the discoveries emerging from an effort to reverse engineer the essential aroma and taste ingredients in the world's favorite treat...

4 April 2011

Penn State researchers uncover new type of symmetry


The discovery of a new type of symmetry - dubbed rotation reversal - in the structure of materials will greatly expand the options available for designing (or discovering) new materials with desirable properties. The finding has broad relevance to the fields of physics, chemistry, biology and engineering...

21 February 2011

Scientists accidentally discover "astounding" hair growth compound


Investigating how stress affects gastrointestinal function, scientists say they've unwittingly stumbled upon a chemical compound that induces hair growth by blocking a stress-related hormone associated with hair loss...

8 October 2010

Cheap-and-cheerful spectrometer for cell phones


A US chemistry professor has written software that turns a cell phone with a camera into a spectrometer, one of the most widely used instruments in chemistry for identifying and quantifying materials...

12 August 2010

French boffins find optimum way to pour champagne


French scientists may have finally settled a long-standing disagreement over the best way to pour a glass of champagne, reporting that pouring a well-chilled bubbly in an angled, down-the-side way is best for preserving taste and fizz...

5 July 2010

Super-high pressures used to create super "battery"


Using super-high pressures similar to those found deep in the Earth, researchers have created a compact, never-before-seen material that they say is the "most condensed form of energy storage outside of nuclear energy"...

2 July 2010

Hair we are! Hair-strands record travels


Scientists can now identify the geographic locations you have visited by measuring the chemical traces in your hair strands left by the food and beverages you consume...

24 May 2010

First observation of Brownian instantaneous velocity


A hundred years after Albert Einstein said we would never be able to observe the instantaneous velocity of tiny particles undergoing Brownian motion, a group of Texan physicists has done so...

8 April 2010

Molecular gastronomy gets nod from scientists


A sweeping review of molecular gastronomy has identified what the researchers believe is an emerging scientific discipline which they say will foster a revolution in restaurant and home kitchens...

16 April 2009

Folk-medicine herbal alkaloid synthesized


The moss Lycopodium serratum is a creeping, flowerless plant containing a potent brew of alkaloids that have attracted scientific interest thanks to their possible anti-cancer properties. Until now, however, analyzing the medicinal properties of these chemicals has been next to impossible...

23 March 2009

Carbohydrate synthesizer opens door to new field of medicine


German scientists have reported a major advance toward opening the doors of a carbohydrate-based medicine chest for the 21st Century. Much more than just bread and pasta, these carbohydrates may form the basis of revolutionary new vaccines and drugs to battle malaria, HIV, and a plethora of other diseases...

9 May 2008

Folding Proteins For Fun And Profit


A new computer game, called Foldit, turns protein folding into a competitive sport for anyone with a computer. Its creators say Foldit capitalizes on people's natural 3-D problem-solving skills and they hope to get a significant fraction of the world's population working on solving critical health problems...

20 March 2008

Roll-Your-Own Enzymes A Reality


UCLA chemists have created designer enzymes for reactions not normally catalyzed in nature, opening the door for scientists to control the reactions that sustain life...

1 November 2007

Evidence of "Memory" In Molecular Interactions


Evidence has been uncovered that some molecular interactions on cell surfaces may have a "memory" that affects their future interactions...

22 March 2007

Getting Physical With Molecules


Mechanical force applied to molecules could turn out to be a potent new tool for chemists, allowing them to steer chemical reactions in the direction they want...

13 March 2007

Chemists Take Step Toward Artificial Photosynthesis


We may be getting closer to achieving what plants do with ease. German chemists have managed to activate carbon dioxide for use in a chemical reaction by using a special new type of metal-free catalyst...

22 February 2007

Bacteria Used To Reinforce Buildings


Natural soil bacteria could be used to stabilize buildings against earthquakes, turning loose sand around the building's foundations into sandstone...

1 February 2007

Composite Material Dogma Gets Stiffed


Composite materials with virtually limitless performance capabilities could be in the offing thanks to a rethink of stiffness and stability theory...

5 January 2007

Periodic Puzzling


The periodic table, which has symbolized chemistry ever since its controversial conception during the 1860s, is largely thought of as a fixed reference work, but the table is yet to be completed, and some lucky scientists' careers involve running high-energy tests to fill in the gaps and perhaps catch a glimpse of the table's ultimate limits...

22 November 2006

Pitch Black The New Black


Pitch black metal created with a super-intense laser blast can absorb virtually all the light falling on it, opening up a number of exciting applications...

23 October 2006

Magnetic Bacteria Maintain Their Mystery


Scientists have demonstrated that magnetic bacteria use the Earth's magnetic field to navigate more efficiently, but just how they do it is still not clear...

11 October 2006

Peptide Cocktail Stops Bleeding In Seconds


A biodegradable liquid made up of protein fragments can stop bleeding in wounds within seconds by self-assembling into a nanoscale protective barrier gel...

4 July 2006

Matrix Turns Stem Cells Into Neural Components


Embryonic stem cells have astonished scientists with their facility to develop into any kind of cell in the human body, but our understanding of how stem cells make this transformation has been sketchy at best until now...

29 June 2006

Second Agricultural Revolution In The Offing


Scientists have managed to trigger nodulation in legumes, a key part of the nitrogen fixing process. The research has the potential to dramatically reduce the world's need for inorganic fertilizers...

26 June 2006

Scientists Fuse Spider Silk And Silica To Create Novel New Material


New techniques in genetic engineering have allowed the creation of a new protein that combines the toughness of spider-silk with the intricate structure of silica...

22 June 2006

Switchable Stickiness


An "optically switchable" material has been developed that changes from sticky to slippery when exposed to ultraviolet light...

12 June 2006

UCLA Announces Breakthrough In Protein Engineering


A new approach to protein engineering that harnesses essential cellular control mechanisms using nano-mechanical devices could lead to smart medicines...

2 March 2006

New Sorting Algorithm Aims To Sift Through All Possible Molecules


A new computer method that relies on a universal property of all molecules could help chemists identify the best suited molecules for new drugs, electronic devices and other applications...

14 February 2006

Scientists Manufacture Synthetic Collagen


Aside from being a beauty treatment, collagen is one of the most important structural proteins in our bodies, which is what makes this new artificial collagen so significant...

22 September 2005

Proteins Reverse Engineered


Researchers believe they have cracked the code that nature uses to design proteins, allowing them to create artificial proteins...

8 September 2005

Brownian Motion Used To Power Molecular Motor


In a breakthrough that could be used to power all sorts of nano-machines, chemists have developed a way of controlling Brownian motion so that molecule movements are no longer random...

29 January 2002

Researchers Turn Viruses Into Nano Building Blocks


Using a combination of chemistry and molecular genetics, researchers have found a way to attach a wide range of molecules to the surface of a virus...

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