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Scientists Provide Novel Tools to Study Enzyme Catalysis

April 23, 2015

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Controlling Enzyme Reactions at Atomic Level

A newly published study details how scientists used a chemical probe to dissect individual catalytic steps of enoyl-thioester reductases, validating an active site tyrosine as the cryptic proton donor and explaining how it had eluded definitive identification. Enzymes are naturally existing biocatalysts of great potential for application in sustainable chemistry. Yet, controlling enzyme reactions at […]

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Researchers Develop a Better Method for Making Perovskite Solar Cells

March 23, 2015

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Faster, Cooler, Thinner, Better Perovskite Solar Cells

Using perovskite, engineers from Brown University have developed a cheap, efficient alternative to silicon-based solar cells. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — Research led by a Brown University Ph.D. student has revealed a new way to make light-absorbing perovskite films for use in solar cells. The new method involves a room-temperature solvent bath to create […]

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Detection of Sugars in Laboratory Simulation of Interstellar Organic Matter

January 13, 2015

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Detection of Sugars in Laboratory Simulation of Interstellar and Pre-Cometary Organic Matter

Using multidimensional gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry, researchers have detected 10 aldehydes laboratory samples which were created to simulate material found in interstellar molecular clouds. Ten aldehydes, including two sugars potentially important for prebiotic chemistry, have for the first time been identified in organic residues issued from photochemistry of interstellar ice analogues, produced […]

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New Synthetic Molecules (SyAMs) Mimic Antibodies

December 17, 2014

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New Class of Synthetic Molecules Mimics Antibodies

Researchers from Yale University have created the first synthetic molecules that have both the targeting and response functions of antibodies. The new molecules — synthetic antibody mimics (SyAMs) — attach themselves simultaneously to disease cells and disease-fighting cells. The result is a highly targeted immune response, similar to the action of natural human antibodies. “Unlike […]

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New Research Shows Molecular Decoys Help Overcome Drug Resistance

December 12, 2014

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Research Shows Molecular Decoys Help Overcome Drug Resistance

By using molecular fragments administered alongside antimicrobial agents, researchers at Brown University have shown that the efflux pumps are kept busy pumping out the fragments while the antimicrobial agents are able to stay inside the cell. Providence, Rhode Island – Brown University – Harmful bacteria have evolved some ingenious mechanisms to resist antibiotics. One of […]

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Scientists Synthesize an Entirely New Form of Silicon

November 17, 2014

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Scientists Synthesize a New Form of Silicon

Using a novel high-pressure precursor process, scientists from the Carnegie Institution for Science have synthesized an entirely new form of silicon. Washington, D.C. — Silicon is the second most-abundant element in the earth’s crust. When purified, it takes on a diamond structure, which is essential to modern electronic devices—carbon is to biology as silicon is […]

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New Sodium-Conducting Material Significantly Outperforms All Others in Its Class

November 5, 2014

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New Sodium-Conducting Material Could Improve Rechargeable Batteries

Scientists have discovered a sodium-based complex metal hydride material that has the potential to be a much cheaper alternative to the lithium-based conductors used in many rechargeable batteries today. Rechargeable battery manufacturers may get a jolt from research performed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and several other institutions, where a team […]

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Chemists Reveal How Synthetic Collagen Fibers Self-Assemble

October 27, 2014

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How Synthetic Collagen Fibers Self-Assemble

Two new researcher papers from Rice University detail how synthetic collagen fibers self-assemble via their sticky ends. Collagen is the most common protein in mammals, a major component of bone and the fibrous tissues that support cells and hold organs together. Discovering its secrets may lead to better synthetic collagen for tissue engineering and cosmetic […]

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Certain Peptides Exposed to UV Radiation Transition to More Reactive Triplet Quantum States

October 21, 2014

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Peptides Exposed to UV Radiation Transition to More Reactive Triplet Quantum States

New research shows that certain peptides degrade under UV light by first passing through a triplet quantum state, a reactive arrangement that can cause greater damage than fragmentation alone. The most obvious effects of too much sun exposure are cosmetic, like wrinkled and rough skin. Some damage, however, goes deeper—ultraviolet light can damage DNA and […]

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New Hybrid Materials Could Far Surpass the Current Solar Efficiency Limits

October 13, 2014

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New Hybrid Materials Could Smash the Solar Efficiency Ceiling

Scientists from the University of Cambridge have developed a new method for transferring energy from organic to inorganic semiconductors that could boost the efficiency of widely used inorganic solar cells. Researchers have developed a new method for harvesting the energy carried by particles known as ‘dark’ spin-triplet excitons with close to 100% efficiency, clearing the […]

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MIT Chemists Use Modified Anthrax Toxin to Deliver Cancer Drugs

September 25, 2014

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MIT Chemists Use Anthrax to Deliver Cancer Drugs

In a newly published study, researchers from MIT show that a modified version of the anthrax toxin can be used to deliver antibody drugs to kill cancer cells. Bacillus anthracis bacteria have very efficient machinery for injecting toxic proteins into cells, leading to the potentially deadly infection known as anthrax. A team of MIT researchers […]

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Copper Foam Provides a New Way to Turn CO2 into Useful Chemicals

September 16, 2014

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Copper Foam Could Provide a New Way of Converting Excess CO2 into Useful Industrial Chemicals

A team of researchers at Brown University’s Center for Capture and Conversion of CO2 have discovered that copper foam could provide a new way of converting excess CO2 into useful industrial chemicals, including formic acid. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — A catalyst made from a foamy form of copper has vastly different electrochemical properties […]

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Scientists Generate Renewable Propane Using Bacteria

September 5, 2014

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Researchers Engineer Gut Bacteria to Generate Renewable Propane

Researchers used Escherichia coli to interrupt the biological process that turns fatty acids into cell membranes, channeling the fatty acids along a different biological pathway so that the bacteria made engine-ready renewable propane instead of cell membranes. The development is a step towards commercial production of a source of fuel that could one day provide […]

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A New class of Materials Called Protein Crystalline Frameworks

August 22, 2014

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Researchers Characterized a New Class of Materials

An international team of scientists has characterized a new class of materials called protein crystalline frameworks (PCFs). Thanks to certain helper substances, in PCFs proteins are fixated in a way so as to align themselves symmetrically, forming highly stable crystals. Next, the HZB and Fudan University researchers are planning on looking into how PCFs may […]

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MIT Engineers Develop Coated Tissue Scaffolds That Help Stimulate New Bone Growth

August 21, 2014

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Coated Tissue Scaffolds Help the Body Grow New Bone

Chemical engineers from MIT have developed coated tissue scaffolds that help the body grow new bone to repair injuries or congenital defects. MIT chemical engineers have devised a new implantable tissue scaffold coated with bone growth factors that are released slowly over a few weeks. When applied to bone injuries or defects, this coated scaffold […]

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The Prospects for the Development of Clean Fuels Are Improving

August 20, 2014

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The Development of Clean Fuels Based on Water and Sunlight are Improving

New insights into the details of photosynthetic water splitting have provided a blueprint for synthetic systems that could store sunlight energy in chemical energy carriers. Society’s energy supply problems could be solved in the future using a model adopted from nature. During photosynthesis, plants, algae and some species of bacteria produce sugars and other energy-rich […]

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Researchers Develop “Bionic Liquids,” Pave the Way for Closed Loop Biofuel Refineries

August 18, 2014

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New Results Pave the Way for Closed Loop Biofuel Refineries

Researchers have developed “bionic liquids” from lignin and hemicellulose, two by-products of biofuel production from biorefineries, paving the way closed loop biofuel refineries. While the powerful solvents known as ionic liquids show great promise for liberating fermentable sugars from lignocellulose and improving the economics of advanced biofuels, an even more promising candidate is on the […]

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Scientists Discover Method of Using Cost-Effective Biocatalysts in Fuel Cells

August 14, 2014

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Using Cost Effective Biocatalysts in Fuel Cells

Scientists at the Center for Electrochemical Sciences and the Max Planck Institute have discovered a way of using cost-effective biocatalysts in fuel cells, a step forward to using hydrogen to generate electricity. In the future, it could be more economical and environmentally friendly to use hydrogen to generate electricity. Scientists at the Center for Electrochemical […]

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