Chemistry articlesMaking a pseudo-natural shark repellent
A Temple University chemistry professor, calling on his childhood experiences, is using a derivate of cholesterol, the most common animal steroid, to make a class of compounds called mosesins and pavoninins that have been known to act as shark repellents.
Beetle-inspired switch for bonding
Imagine this: A tiny, fast switch that uses water droplets to create adhesive bonds almost as strong as aluminum by borrowing a mechanism found in palm beetles.
Chemical could revolutionize polymer fuel cells
Heat has always been a problem for fuel cells. There's usually either too much (ceramic fuel cells) for certain portable uses, such as automobiles or electronics, or too little (polymer fuel cells) to be efficient.
New method uses 'test tubes' far smaller than the width of a hair
Using a water droplet 1 trillion times smaller than a liter of club soda as a sort of nanoscale test tube, a University of Washington scientist is conducting chemical analysis and experimentation at unprecedented tiny scales.
Nanocoating could eliminate foggy windows and lenses
Foggy windows and lenses are a nuisance, and in the case of automobile windows, can pose a driving hazard. Now, a group of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) may have found a permanent solution to the problem. The team has developed a unique polymer coating — made of silica nanoparticles — that they say can create surfaces that never fog.
Fuel cells might get hydrogen from water, organic material
A novel technique for producing hydrogen from water and organic material has been found recently at Purdue University, a discovery that could help speed the creation of viable hydrogen storage technology.
Protein behind color splendor identified
In September the chlorophyll starts to disappear from the leaves of plants. This reveals the yellow and red pigments that bring us the explosion of colors we now have in store. A research team at Umeå Plant Science Center (UPSC) has now identified a protein that helps bring out the color splendor of plants in the fall.
Research shows how water may enhance catalysis
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have uncovered important evidence that explains how water, usually an inhibitor of catalytic reactions, can sometimes promote them. The findings could lead to fewer constraints on reaction conditions potentially leading to the development of lower cost techniques for certain industrially important catalytic reactions.
Aloe vera coating may prolong freshness, safety of fruits and vegetables
Aloe vera gel is best known for its therapeutic effect on burned or irritated skin, but in the future you could be eating the gel as a healthful additive to your fruits and veggies.
Scientists see biochemistry's future
Chemists who have trouble predicting how some large, complex biological molecules will react with others may soon have a solution from the world of computational quantum physics, say Purdue University researchers.
Molecule walks like a human
A research team, led by UC Riverside's Ludwig Bartels, is the first to design a molecule that can move in a straight line on a flat surface. It achieves this by closely mimicking human walking. The "nano-walker" offers a new approach for storing large amounts of information on a tiny chip and demonstrates that concepts from the world we live in can be duplicated at the nanometer scale – the scale of atoms and molecules.
Closing in on quantum chemistry
Researchers in the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley have simulated the process by which a quantum computer could calculate to high precision an important basic property of two small molecules. Simulated quantum calculations of the ground-state energies of water (H 2O) and lithium hydride (LiH) are the first of this kind ever done for specific molecules.
Research advances understanding of how hydrogen fuel is made
Oxygen may be necessary for life, but it sure gets in the way of making hydrogen fuel cheaply and abundantly from a family of enzymes present in many microorganisms. Blocking oxygen's path to an enzyme's production machinery could lead to a renewable energy source that would generate only water as its waste product.
Now you can extend that truism about oil and water to water and itself. Water and water don't always mix, either.
Bugs expose underground carbon system 10 times more important than fossil fuel burning
The flow of carbon through soil is ten times greater than the amount of carbon moved around by the burning of fossil fuel but until now how this happens was at best poorly understood. Soil was almost literally a black box to scientists interested in carbon. Now researchers at the University of Warwick have been able to shed light in that black box by getting a particular class of insects to expose the key underground carbon traffic system - by eating it.
Modifications render carbon nanotubes nontoxic
In follow-on work to last year's groundbreaking toxicological study on water-soluble buckyballs, researchers at Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) find that water-soluble carbon nanotubes are significantly less toxic to begin with. Moreover, the research finds that nanotubes, like buckyballs, can be rendered nontoxic with minor chemical modifications.
Methane found in desert soils bolsters theories that life could exist on Mars
Evidence of methane-producing organisms can be found in inhospitable soil environments much like those found on the surface of Mars, according to experiments undertaken by scientists and students from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and the University of Arkansas and published online in the journal Icarus.
Building a better hydrogen trap
Using building blocks that make up ordinary plastics, but putting them together in a whole new way, University of Michigan researchers have created a class of lightweight, rigid polymers they predict will be useful for storing hydrogen fuel.
Plastic diode could lead to flexible, low power computer circuits, memory
Ohio State University researchers have invented a new organic polymer tunnel diode – an electronic component that could one day lead to plastic computer memory and plastic logic circuits on computer chips. Today, computer chips use mainly inorganic silicon.
Oxygen in ancient atmosphere rose gradually to modern levels
The history of life on Earth is closely linked to the appearance of oxygen in the atmosphere. The current scientific consensus holds that significant amounts of oxygen first appeared in Earth's atmosphere some 2.4 billion years ago, with a second large increase in atmospheric oxygen occurring much later, perhaps around 600 million years ago.