Chemists have been using
the SPring-8 synchrotron at the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute
to get a detailed look at enzymes that could help power the green economy.
One option for powering clean, environment friendly vehicles is to run them on hydrogen fuel rather than carbon-based fuels. Cheap catalysts to prepare hydrogen gas (H2) are a necessity if this future "hydrogen economy" is to become a reality.
Current man-made catalysts are based on platinum, a rare and precious metal. However, living cells contain enzymes called hydrogenases, based on the abundant metals nickel and iron, which can do the same job. Chemists are very interested in figuring out how these natural catalysts work and trying to mimic them.
They would have made sculptors drop their chisels. The two women were preparing lunch for us when my friend suddenly became self-conscious of his armpits' stench. There was no deodorant in sight, but I assured him we could easily concoct something before they returned from the kitchen. A bit of ashes and soap should do the trick, I told him.
The wetting model is a classical problem in surface and biomimetic science. Wettability is determined by the balance between adhesive and cohesive forces, adhesive which is when a liquid tries to spread on a surface and cohesive when it forms into a ball.
The resultant between adhesive and cohesive forces is called the contact angle. As the tendency of a drop to spread out over a surface increases, the contact angle decreases, making the contact angle an inverse measure of wettability.
Birch bark, which is found in many parts of the U.S., Canada, Europe and China, is a great way to start a campfire. Rich in terpenoids, the paper-thin material ignites easily. The heat it releases provides enough activation energy to set small twigs ablaze, which of course should be placed in a tee-pee arrangement, so as to let in more oxygen. All of this should take place in a pit surrounded by stones, not to let wind take heat away from the young fire and not to burn the forest down.
Researchers have unveiled a new way to use sunlight to produce steam and other vapors without heating an entire container of fluid to the boiling point. The research could lead to inexpensive, compact devices for purification of drinking water, sterilization of medical instruments and sanitizing sewage.
Metallic nanoparticles - so small that 1,000 would fit across the width of a human hair - absorb large amounts of light, resulting in a dramatic rise in their temperature. That ability to generate heat has fostered interest among scientists in using nanoparticles in a range of applications. These include photothermal treatment of certain forms of cancer, laser-induced drug release and nanoparticle-enhanced bioimaging.
Thanks to a couple of Breaking Bad episodes from seasons 1 and 4, it's possible that more people know about enantiomers than ever before. If you're not a fan of the show or if you have forgotten a bit of organic chemistry, enantiomers are molecules that are non-superimposable mirror images of one another. As Walter mentions before losing his chemistry-teaching job, enantiomers are like a left and right hand. Try to wear a left glove on your right hand, and it does not fit. This is relevant to chemistry because although enantiomers share the same properties in a non-chiral environment, only one molecular version will bind to something like a neural or nasal receptor.
The Price Revolution in Europe, the runaway inflation that occurred during the years between 1515 to 1650, has been attributed to the sudden influx of silver from Mexico and Peru after discovery of the New World, which led to the decline in the value of of silver, and the growth of the European population and therefore competition for goods, which drove up prices.
There’s irony in having small bits of floatable plastic debris in the Pacific, even if the trash, although worrisome, doesn’t look like anything most of the public imagines
. Millions of years ago, many of the hydrogen and carbon atoms within these man-made polymers were part of marine life. Death, deposition and pressure simplified the organic molecules of the dead. Then a species that indirectly evolved from these oceanic ancestors accidentally stumbled upon a crude liquid.
Eventually they learned to use not only its energy content but its building blocks.
The yeast used to make beer has yielded what may be the first gene for beer foam, CFG1, scientists are reporting in a new study. The discovery opens the door to new possibilities for improving the frothy "head" so critical to the aroma and eye appeal of the world's favorite alcoholic beverage, beer. And it gives Science 2.0 another reason to write about beer.
We often associate awards with recent accomplishments, which is far from the case with Nobel Prizes. They're more akin to Hall of Fame inductions than batting titles. For some time they have been awarded for discoveries that are between one to five decades old. The committee tries to reward an achievement that has withstood the test of time, one that has created a key concept in the field and has opened up new avenues in research and science-related technologies.