Chemistry News

New Model Could Help Scientists Design Materials for Artificial Photosynthesis

January 18, 2017

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How Photosynthetic Pigments Harvest Light

Researchers from MIT have developed a new model that could help scientists design materials for artificial photosynthesis. Plants and other photosynthetic organisms use a wide variety of pigments to absorb different wavelengths of light. MIT researchers have now developed a theoretical model to predict the spectrum of light absorbed by aggregates of these pigments, based […]

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MIT Engineers Create Synthetic Cells to Isolate Genetic Circuits

November 17, 2016

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Engineers Create Synthetic Cells to Isolate Genetic Circuits

Engineers from MIT have developed a way to isolate genetic circuits within individual synthetic “cells,” preventing the circuits from disrupting each other. Synthetic biology allows scientists to design genetic circuits that can be placed in cells, giving them new functions such as producing drugs or other useful molecules. However, as these circuits become more complex, […]

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MIT Chemists Reveal Bacterial Enzyme That Can Produce Biodegradable Plastics

November 15, 2016

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Chemists Discover Structure of Bacterial Enzyme That Generates Useful Polymers

Researchers at MIT have determined the structure of a bacterial enzyme that can produce biodegradable plastics, an advance that could help chemical engineers tweak the enzyme to make it even more industrially useful. The enzyme generates long polymer chains that can form either hard or soft plastics, depending on the starting materials that go into […]

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New Catalyst Promotes Carbon Dioxide Conversion into Fuels

November 15, 2016

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Turning Greenhouse Gas Into Gasoline

Scientists at MIT have developed a new catalyst material that provides design principles for producing fuels from carbon dioxide emissions. The findings suggest a route toward using the world’s existing infrastructure for fuel storage and distribution, without adding net greenhouse emissions to the atmosphere. The new catalyst takes the process only through its first stage […]

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Electricity-Powered Molecular Catalysts May Improve Fuel Cells

November 14, 2016

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Better Catalysts Make Better Fuel Cells

A team of chemists from Yale University have developed a framework for designing electricity-powered molecular catalysts that may prove vital for a new generation of fuel cells. Also called electrocatalysts, these substances boost the rate of a chemical reaction by decreasing the energy input along the way. In fuel cells, electrocatalysts can be used to […]

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Researchers Develop a New Approach Against Pathogens

November 8, 2016

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Researchers Develop a New Approach Against Salmonella and Other Pathogens

A newly developed immunization strategy may someday offer an alternative to antibiotics against microbes that invade the gastrointestinal tract. Researchers from MIT and the University of California at Irvine have developed a new strategy to immunize against microbes that invade the gastrointestinal tract, including Salmonella, which causes more foodborne illness in the United States than […]

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Researchers Develop Shape-Programmable Miniscule Robots

September 27, 2016

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Scientists Develop Shape-Programmable Magnetic Soft Matter

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute have developed functional elastomers that can be activated by magnetic fields. One day, microrobots may be able to swim through the human body like sperm or paramecia to carry out medical functions in specific locations. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have developed functional […]

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UCLA Researchers Reveal New Insights About Properties of Matter at the Nanoscale

September 22, 2016

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Chemists Report New Insights About Properties of Matter at the Nanoscale

Scientists from UCLA reveal that a fluid that behaves similarly to water in our day-to-day lives becomes as heavy as honey when trapped in a nanocage of a porous solid, offering new insights into how matter behaves in the nanoscale world. “We are learning more and more about the properties of matter at the nanoscale […]

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New Nanoparticle Catalysts Improve Reactivity with Much Less Platinum

May 23, 2016

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MIT Develops New Nanoparticle Catalysts

Using an atomically-thin coating of noble metal over a tiny particle made of a much more abundant and inexpensive material, MIT engineers have developed new nanoparticle catalysts that could reduce need for precious metals. Materials that speed up a chemical reaction without getting consumed in the process, known as catalysts, lie at the heart of […]

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New Microfluidic Screening Device May Speed Up DNA Insertion in Bacteria

February 22, 2016

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New Microfluidic Device May Speed Up DNA Insertion in Bacteria

In search of the ideal bacteria for use in a microbial fuel cell, researchers from MIT have developed a new microfluid device to quickly sort and identify the various strains. This technology, which could lead to a carbon-neutral method of harvesting energy for the grid from wastewater, may also be useful to doctors in identifying […]

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New Device Harnesses the Energy of Small Bending Motions

January 6, 2016

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New Device Harnesses the Energy of Small Bending Motions

Using a new method based on electrochemical principles, engineers at MIT have developed a new device that could provide electrical power source from walking and other ambient motions. For many applications such as biomedical, mechanical, or environmental monitoring devices, harnessing the energy of small motions could provide a small but virtually unlimited power supply. While […]

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Scientists Develop a New Class of Superhydrophobic Nanomaterials

December 10, 2015

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New Superhydrophobic Coating Protects Without the Price

Scientists at Rice University have developed a new class of superhydrophobic nanomaterials that might simplify the process of protecting surfaces from water. A material made by scientists at Rice University, the University of Swansea, the University of Bristol and the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis is inexpensive, nontoxic and can be applied to a variety […]

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MIT Chemists Create New Adaptable Metallic-Cage Gels

November 19, 2015

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MIT Chemists Create a New Type of Gel

By combining the flexibility of polymer gels with the rigid structure provided by metal-based clusters, chemists from MIT have created a new material that could be well-suited for a range of possible functions, including drug release, gas storage, or water filtration. These new gels, known as polyMOCs, are a hybrid of two materials called metallogels […]

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MIT Engineers Develop a Shockwave-Based Process for Desalination of Water

November 12, 2015

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New Shockwave-Based Process for Desalination of Water

Chemical engineers from MIT have developed an efficient shockwave-based process to treat salty, brackish or contaminated water to make it usable. As the availability of clean, potable water becomes an increasingly urgent issue in many parts of the world, researchers are searching for new ways to treat salty, brackish or contaminated water to make it […]

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New Synthetic Hydrogel is Tougher Than Natural Adhesives

November 9, 2015

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New Hydrogel is Tougher Than Natural Adhesives

Engineers from MIT have developed a method to make synthetic, sticky hydrogel that is more than 90 percent water. The hydrogel, which is a transparent, rubber-like material, can adhere to surfaces with a toughness comparable to the bond between tendon and cartilage on bone. Nature has developed innovative ways to solve a sticky challenge: Mussels […]

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Scientists Reveal New Lithium-Oxygen Battery Design

October 30, 2015

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New Design May Lead to the Ultimate Battery

Using a highly porous graphene electrode, scientists have developed a lab-based demonstrator of a lithium-oxygen battery which has higher capacity, increased energy efficiency and improved stability over previous designs. Scientists have developed a working laboratory demonstrator of a lithium-oxygen battery which has very high energy density, is more than 90% efficient, and, to date, can […]

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New Synthetic Process Provides a Better View of Diabetes, Inflammation, and Human Aging

October 19, 2015

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New Process Provides a Better View of Diabetes, Inflammation, and Human Aging

In a newly published study, scientists describe the new synthesis, as well as a new synthetic methodology, that offers a better glimpse into diabetes and the aging process. A synthetic process developed at Yale University will allow researchers to study a key molecule involved in diabetes, inflammation, and human aging. The new process synthesizes glucosepane, […]

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Enhanced-Sensitivity NMR Reveals New Details on Protein Structure

October 8, 2015

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MIT Researchers Reveal New Clues to How Proteins Fold

Using a new technique based on dynamic nuclear polarization, scientists hope to gain more insight into protein structure and function. Proteins can fold in different ways depending on their environment. These different configurations change the function of the protein; misfolding is frequently associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Until now, it has been […]

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