Archive for the ‘chemistry’ category

Jul 20, 2021

Chemists Found an Effective Remedy for “Aged” Brain Diseases

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, neuroscience

Summary: Newly synthesized compounds can halt the degradation of neurons in a range of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, researchers say.

Source: Ural Federal University

Russian scientists have synthesized chemical compounds that can stop the degeneration of neurons in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other severe brain pathologies. These substances can provide a breakthrough in the treatment of neurodegenerative pathologies.

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Jul 20, 2021

Engineers develop practical way to make artificial skin

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, cyborgs, wearables

Chemical engineer Zhenan Bao and her team of researchers at Stanford have spent nearly two decades trying to develop skin-like integrated circuits that can be stretched, folded, bent and twisted — working all the while — and then snap back without fail, every time. Such circuits presage a day of wearable and implantable products, but one hurdle has always stood in the way.

Namely, “How does one produce a completely new technology in quantities great enough to make commercialization possible?” Bao said. Bao and team think they have a solution. In a new study, the group describes how they have printed stretchable-yet-durable integrated circuits on rubbery, skin-like materials, using the same equipment designed to make solid silicon chips — an accomplishment that could ease the transition to commercialization by switching foundries that today make rigid circuits to producing stretchable ones.

Stanford researchers show how to print dense transistor arrays on skin-like materials to create stretchable circuits that flex with the body to perform applications yet to be imagined.

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Jul 19, 2021

Researchers use high-speed cameras to reveal bubbles popping like blooming flowers

Posted by in categories: chemistry, physics

The oil industry, pharmaceutical companies and bioreactor manufacturers all face one common enemy: bubbles. Bubbles can form during the manufacturing or transport of various liquids, and their formation and rupture can cause significant issues in product quality.

Inspired by these issues and the puzzling physics behind , an international scientific collaboration was born. Stanford University chemical engineer Gerald Fuller along with his Ph.D. students Aadithya Kannan and Vinny Chandran Suja, as well as visiting Ph.D. student Daniele Tammaro from the University of Naples, teamed up to study how different kinds of bubbles pop.

The researchers were particularly interested in bubbles with proteins embedded on their surfaces, which is a common occurrence in the pharmaceutical industry and in bioreactors used for cell culture. In an unanticipated result, the researchers discovered that the protein bubbles they were studying opened up like flowers when popped with a needle. Their findings are detailed in a study published in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on July 19.

Jul 19, 2021

Cheap, sustainable, readily available plasma tech could replace rare iridium

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, mobile phones, sustainability, transportation

A team led by a researcher from the University of Sydney has developed a low-cost, sustainable, and readily available technology that can dim the screens of electronic devices, anti-reflection automobile mirrors, and smart architectural windows at a fraction of the cost of current technology.

It would replace one of the world’s scarcest—yet highly ubiquitous in use—modern materials: indium. A rare chemical element, that it is widely used in devices such as smartphones and computers, windscreen glass and self-dimming windows.

Although small amounts are used to manufacture smart screens, indium is expensive as it is hard to source; it naturally occurs only in small deposits. Industrial indium is often made as a byproduct of zinc mining, which means a shortage could occur if demand for optoelectronic devices—such as LCDs and touch panels—ramps up.

Jul 19, 2021

China unveils design for first waterless nuclear reactor

Posted by in categories: chemistry, engineering, nuclear energy, solar power, space travel, sustainability

CHINA’S NEW THORIUM-BASED NUCLEAR REACTOR is well situated for being adopted for Space applications.

China is slowly but steadily positioning itself to leap ahead of the US Space program. It is doing this without pomp and fanfare, and without the idea of a “space race,” simply based upon what it requires for its future.

1) Recent noteworthy progress on molten salt thorium reactors could be a key component of future Chinese space-worthiness. Originally designed by the USA’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1960’s, they were planned to be used for nuclear powered strategic bomber planes, before the nuclear submarine concept became adopted as more feasible. They were chosen because they can be miniaturized to the size of an aircraft. By the same token, they could conceivably be used in advanced atmospheric or space propulsion.

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Jul 18, 2021

Can Science Cure Death? It Sure Looks Like It

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, genetics, mobile phones, robotics/AI, science

Nick Saraev is 25 years old, far too young, it would seem, to be thinking about death. And yet, since he turned 21, he has taken steps to prevent the infirmities of old age. Every day, he takes 2000 mg of fish oil and 4000 IU of vitamin D to help prevent heart disease and other ailments. He steams or pressure-cooks most of his meals because, he says, charring meats creates chemicals that may increase the risk of cancer. And in the winter, he keeps the humidity of his home at 35 percent, because dry air chaps his skin and makes him cough, both of which he considers manifestations of chronic inflammation, which may be bad for longevity.

Based on the life expectancies of young men in North America, Saraev, a freelance software engineer based near Vancouver, believes he has about 55 years before he really has to think about aging. Given the exponential advances in microprocessors and smartphones in his lifetime, he insists the biotech industry will figure out a solution by then. For this reason, Saraev, like any number of young, optimistic, tech-associated men, believes that if he takes the correct preventative steps now, he might well live forever. Saraev’s plan is to keep his body in good enough shape to hit “Longevity Escape Velocity,” a term coined by English gerontologist Aubrey de Grey to denote slowing down your aging enough to reach each new medical advance as it arrives. If you delay your death by 10 years, for example, that’s 10 more years scientists have to come up with a drug, computer program, or robot assist that can make you live even longer. Keep up this game of reverse leapfrog, and eventually death can’t catch you. The term is reminiscent of “planetary escape velocity,” the speed an object needs to move in order to break free of gravity.

The science required to break free of death, unfortunately, is still at ground level. According to Nir Barzilai, M.D., director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, scientists currently understand aging as a function of seven to nine biological hallmarks, factors that change as we grow older and seem to have an anti-aging effect when reversed. You can imagine these as knobs you can turn up or down to increase or decrease the likelihood of illness and frailty. Some of these you may have heard of, including how well cells remove waste, called proteostasis; how well cells create energy, or mitochondrial function; how well cells implement their genetic instructions, or epigenetics; and how well cells maintain their DNA’s integrity, called DNA repair or telomere erosion.

Jul 18, 2021

The Paradox of a Free-Electron Laser Without the Laser: A New Source of Coherent Radiation

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

A new way of producing coherent light in the ultra-violet spectral region, which points the way to developing brilliant table-top x-ray sources, has been produced in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The scientists have developed a type of ultra-short wavelength coherent light source that does not require laser action to produce coherence. Common electron-beam based light sources, known as fourth-generation light sources, are based on the free-electron laser (FEL), which uses an undulator to convert electron beam energy into X-rays.

Coherent light sources are powerful tools that enable research in many areas of medicine, biology, material sciences, chemistry, and physics.

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Jul 16, 2021

Soldiers, Marines test new chemical, biological systems at Dugway

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, military

Soldiers and Marines teamed up to test new tactical biological detection and chemical contamination systems that aim to keep service members safe. The systems indicate when chemical agents are present so decontamination can take place.

DUGWAY PROVING GROUND, Utah — Soldiers from Fort Drum and Joint Base Lewis-McChord teamed with Marines from Camp Pendleton to test new tactical biological detection and chemical contamination indicator systems here.

Soldiers with the 59th Hazard Response Company and 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion along with Marines from the 3rd Marine Air Wing went hands-on with the Joint Biological Tactical Detection System (JBTDS) and the Contamination Indication Disclosure Assurance System (CIDAS), which indicates chemical agent contaminants so proper decontamination can take place.

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Jul 14, 2021

Scientists predict an out-of-this-world kind of ice

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, space travel

Circa 2012 One day ice from could be transformed to metal the be transported anywhere even into space.

Researchers have combined high-powered computing and ‘chemical intuition’ to discover new phases of ice at extremely high pressures nonexistent on Earth, but probably abundant elsewhere in the solar system. (Jan. 16, 2012)

Jul 13, 2021

The First Chameleon Transcriptome: Comparative Genomic Analysis of the OXPHOS System Reveals Loss of COX8 in Iguanian Lizards

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

Recently, we found dramatic mitochondrial DNA divergence of Israeli Chamaeleo chamaeleon populations into two geographically distinct groups. We aimed to examine whether the same pattern of divergence could be found in nuclear genes. However, no genomic resource is available for any chameleon species. Here we present the first chameleon transcriptome, obtained using deep sequencing (SOLiD). Our analysis identified 164000 sequence contigs of which 19000 yielded unique BlastX hits. To test the efficacy of our sequencing effort, we examined whether the chameleon and other available reptilian transcriptomes harbored complete sets of genes comprising known biochemical pathways, focusing on the nDNA-encoded oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) genes as a model. As a reference for the screen, we used the human 86 (including isoforms) known structural nDNA-encoded OXPHOS subunits. Analysis of 34 publicly available vertebrate transcriptomes revealed orthologs for most human OXPHOS genes. However, OXPHOS subunit COX8 (Cytochrome C oxidase subunit 8), including all its known isoforms, was consistently absent in transcriptomes of iguanian lizards, implying loss of this subunit during the radiation of this suborder. The lack of COX8 in the suborder Iguania is intriguing, since it is important for cellular respiration and ATP production. Our sequencing effort added a new resource for comparative genomic studies, and shed new light on the evolutionary dynamics of the OXPHOS system.

Keywords: chameleon, oxidative phosphorylation, transcriptome.

Massive parallel sequencing (MPS) enables identifying the entire set of transcribed genes (transcriptome) of understudied organisms, thus providing novel genomic resources. However, because there is no genomic reference to those organisms, the short reads generated by MPS must be de novo assembled in order to form sequence contigs, which in turn could be annotated (Kusumi et al. 2011), thus creating reference sequences for further analyses.

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