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Archive for the ‘chemistry’ category

Jun 26, 2020

Quantum computers could arrive sooner if we build them with traditional silicon technology

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nanotechnology, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Quantum computers have the potential to revolutionise the way we solve hard computing problems, from creating advanced artificial intelligence to simulating chemical reactions in order to create the next generation of materials or drugs. But actually building such machines is very difficult because they involve exotic components and have to be kept in highly controlled environments. And the ones we have so far can’t outperform traditional machines as yet.

But with a team of researchers from the UK and France, we have demonstrated that it may well be possible to build a quantum computer from conventional silicon-based electronic components. This could pave the way for large-scale manufacturing of quantum computers much sooner than might otherwise be possible.

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Jun 25, 2020

Gut Microbiome Could Potentially Make Some Medicines Toxic, Study Finds

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

As part of their studies, the scientists also examined the mechanisms by which some of the modified drugs were altered by the cultured microbiomes. To understand exactly how the transformations occurred, they traced the source of the chemical transformations to particular bacterial species and to genes within those bacteria. They also showed that microbiome-derived metabolic reactions discoverable using their approach could be recapitulated in a mouse model, which is the first step in adapting the approach for human drug development.

The framework could feasibly be used to aid drug discovery by identifying potential drug-microbiome interactions early in development, and so inform on formulation changes. It could also be used during clinical trials to better analyze drug toxicity and efficacy, and be harnessed to help personalize treatment to the microbiome of each patient. This could help to predict how a certain drug will behave, and suggest changes to the therapeutic strategy if undesired effects are predicted. “Our framework identifies novel drug-microbiome interactions that vary between individuals and demonstrates how the gut microbiome might be used in drug development and personalized medicine,” the team concluded.

“This is a case where medicine and ecology collide,” said Jaime Lopez, a graduate student in the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics and a co-first author on the study, who contributed the computational and quantitative analysis of the data. “The bacteria in these microbial communities help each other survive, and they influence each other’s enzymatic profiles. This is something you would never capture if you didn’t study it in a community.”

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Jun 23, 2020

An experiment suggested by a Ph.D. student may rewrite chemistry textbooks

Posted by in categories: chemistry, innovation

Yan McMullen had never heard of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences when he started casting about for a graduate chemistry program. But on the recommendation of one of his professors, he sent an email to the College’s Professor of Chemistry Stephen Bradforth proposing an experiment to tease out what makes a metal really a metal.

The proposal would not only turn into his Ph.D. thesis but a major scientific breakthrough.

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Jun 23, 2020

Scientists produce first open source all-atom models of COVID-19 ‘spike’ protein

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

The virus SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the known cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The “spike” or S protein facilitates viral entry into host cells.

Now a group of researchers from Seoul National University in South Korea, University of Cambridge in UK, and Lehigh University in USA, have worked together to produce the first open-source all-atom models of a full-length S . The researchers say this is of particular importance because the S protein plays a central role in viral entry into cells, making it a main target for vaccine and antiviral drug development.

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Jun 23, 2020

‘Janus’ nanorods convert light to heat that can destroy pollutants in water

Posted by in categories: chemistry, engineering, health, nanotechnology, particle physics, sustainability

With a new nanoparticle that converts light to heat, a team of researchers has found a promising technology for clearing water of pollutants.

Trace amounts of contaminants such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals and perfluorooctanoic acid in drinking water sources have posed significant health risks to humans in recent years. These micropollutants have eluded conventional treatment processes, but certain chemical processes that typically involve ozone, hydrogen peroxide or UV light have proven effective. These processes, however, can be expensive and energy-intensive.

A new nanoparticle created by Yale University engineers as part of an effort for the Rice-based Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) could lead to technologies that get around those limitations. The particle is described in a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Jun 21, 2020

Molecular robot swarms

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

Rapid progress has been made in recent years to build these tiny machines, thanks to supramolecular chemists, chemical and biomolecular engineers, and nanotechnologists, among others, working closely together. But one area that still needs improvement is controlling the movements of swarms of molecular robots, so they can perform multiple tasks simultaneously.

Jun 18, 2020

Scientists Found a Way to Make Brain Tissue Indestructible

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

:ooooooo.


Superhero-like stretching capabilities aren’t just for Elastigirl. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have come up with a new technology that can make any tissue sample exceptionally flexible.

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Jun 18, 2020

Biochemical Quantitative Phase Imaging Delivers Unprecedented 3D Images of Live Cells Plus Details of Molecules Inside

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

No damage caused by strong light, no artificial dyes or fluorescent tags needed.

The insides of living cells can be seen in their natural state in greater detail than ever before using a new technique developed by researchers in Japan. This advance should help reveal the complex and fragile biological interactions of medical mysteries, like how stem cells develop or how to deliver drugs more effectively.

“Our system is based on a simple concept, which is one of its advantages,” said Associate Professor Takuro Ideguchi from the University of Tokyo Research Institute for Photon Science and Technology. The results of Ideguchi’s team were published recently in Optica, the Optical Society’s research journal.

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Jun 17, 2020

Lithium-ion batteries take chemistry Nobel

Posted by in categories: chemistry, electronics

Chemistry Nobel

Olof Ramström, from the Nobel Committee, said lithium-ion batteries had “enabled the mobile world”.


Three scientists have been awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of lithium-ion batteries.

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Jun 16, 2020

MIT Makes Tissue – Such as Human Brain – Stretchable, Compressible, and Nearly Indestructible

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

Chemical process called ELAST allows labeling probes to infuse more quickly, and makes samples tough enough for repeated handling.

When there’s a vexing problem to be solved, people sometimes offer metaphorical advice such as “stretching the mind” or engaging in “flexible” thinking, but in confronting a problem facing many biomedical research labs, a team of MIT researchers has engineered a solution that is much more literal. To make imaging cells and molecules in brain and other large tissues easier while also making samples tough enough for years of handling in the lab, they have come up with a chemical process that makes tissue stretchable, compressible, and pretty much indestructible.

“ELAST” technology, described in a new paper in Nature Methods, provides scientists a very fast way to fluorescently label cells, proteins, genetic material, and other molecules within brains, kidneys, lungs, hearts, and other organs. That’s because when such tissues can be stretched out or squished down thin, labeling probes can infuse them far more rapidly. Several demonstrations in the paper show that even after repeated expansions or compressions to speed up labeling, tissues snap back to their original form unaltered except for the new labels.

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