news 2018



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Pharmacology - Chemistry - 29.11.2018
’Chemputer’ promises app-controlled revolution for drug production
A radical new method of producing drug molecules, which uses downloadable blueprints to easily and reliably synthesise organic chemicals via a programmable 'chemputer', could be set to democratise the pharmaceutical industry, scientists say. Chemputer In a new paper published online in the journal Science today (November 29) , researchers from the University of Glasgow present for the first time how synthesis of important drug molecules can be achieved in an affordable and modular chemical-robot system they call a chemputer.

Health - Chemistry - 19.11.2018
Glucose binding molecule could transform the treatment of diabetes
Scientists from the University of Bristol have designed a new synthetic glucose binding molecule platform that brings us one step closer to the development of the world's first glucose-responsive insulin which, say researchers, will transform the treatment of diabetes. The World Health Organization estimate that over 382 million people worldwide, including 4.05 million people in the UK, have diabetes - a metabolic disorder affecting blood sugar levels.

Health - Chemistry - 08.11.2018
Draw-your-own electrodes set to speed up development of micro detection devices
Miniature devices for sensing biological molecules could be developed quicker thanks to a rapid prototyping method. Devices that sense and measure biological molecules important for healthcare, such as detecting diseases in blood samples, rely on electrodes to carry out their tasks. We hope this method will allow bioelectronics to benefit from that ecosystem of hackers getting hands-on with problems and solutions in healthcare.

Physics - Chemistry - 19.10.2018
First high-temperature single-molecule magnet
Scientists discover the first high-temperature single-molecule magnet. This could be relevant for molecule-based magnetic information storage materials. The research group reports a new single-molecule magnet (SMM) - a type of material that retains magnetic information up to a characteristic blocking temperature.

Chemistry - Health - 15.10.2018
Modification of amino acids provides new starting point for development of medical treatments
15 October 2018 Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and modifying amino acids chemically allows scientists to develop new molecules that can provide the starting point for developing new medical treatments such as antibiotics. Scientists in the University of Bristol's School of Chemistry have now invented a new way to modify amino acids by attaching a ring of carbon atoms at the very centre of the amino acid molecule.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 15.10.2018
Scientists create synthetic prototissue capable of synchronised beating
15 October 2018 A tissue-like material capable of synchronised beating when heated and cooled has been developed by a team of University of Bristol chemists. The discovery is the first chemically programmed approach to producing an artificial tissue. The findings, which could have major health applications in the future, could see chemically programmed synthetic tissue being used to support failing living tissues and to cure specific diseases.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 27.09.2018
Global success for University of Birmingham in latest World University Rankings
University of Birmingham scientists are paving the way to swap the lithium in lithium-ion batteries with sodium, according to research published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Lithium-ion batteries (LIB) are rechargeable and are widely used in laptops, mobile phones and in hybrid and fully electric vehicles.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 07.09.2018
Protocell guests flee the nest
Researchers at the University of Bristol have shown that resident artificial cells abandon their protocell hosts by displaying antagonistic behaviour on receiving a chemical signal. The work opens new perspectives to develop synthetic soft materials endowed with life-like properties. Living cells cooperate and compete with each other to maximise their survival and optimise their collective behaviour.

Health - Chemistry - 06.09.2018
£5m Imperial-led lab will pioneer new approach to medicines manufacturing
A new collaboration between Imperial, UCL, and global pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company will seek to transform medicines manufacturing. Lilly has committed £5 million to fund research into the more efficient manufacture of medicines - which could ultimately result in better and cheaper treatments for patients.

Chemistry - Environment - 03.09.2018
Scientists pioneer a new way to turn sunlight into fuel
The quest to find new ways to harness solar power has taken a step forward after researchers successfully split water into hydrogen and oxygen by altering the photosynthetic machinery in plants. This could be a great platform for developing solar technologies. Katarzyna Sokó? Photosynthesis is the process plants use to convert sunlight into energy.

Health - Chemistry - 24.08.2018
Garlic extract recreated in lab for the very first time
An antibiotic compound commonly found in garlic has been recreated by researchers for the very first time. A team from Cardiff University, including local South Wales company Neem Biotech, have successfully synthesised the compound, known as ajoene, without the need for garlic as a starting material, opening up the possibility of producing it cheaply and in large volumes.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 20.08.2018
Enzyme-powered protocells rise to the top
20 August 2018 Researchers at the University of Bristol have successfully assembled enzyme-powered artificial cells that can float or sink depending on their internal chemical activity. The work provides a new approach to designing complex life-like properties in non-living materials. Microorganisms have evolved a high degree of control over their locomotion using motility mechanisms that in their simplest form include simple gliding and gas bubble buoyancy.

Chemistry - Physics - 13.08.2018
Liquid battery could lead to flexible energy storage
A new type of energy storage system could revolutionise energy storage and drop the charging time of electric cars from hours to seconds. In a new paper published today , chemists from the University of Glasgow discuss how they developed a flow battery system using a nano-molecule that can store electric power or hydrogen gas giving a new type of hybrid energy storage system that can be used as a flow battery or for hydrogen storage.

Chemistry - Environment - 13.08.2018
Evidence of how Neolithic people adapted to climate change
13 August 2018 Research led by the University of Bristol has uncovered evidence that early farmers were adapting to climate change 8,200 years ago. The study, published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) , centred on the Neolithic and Chalcolithic city settlement of Çatalhöyük in southern Anatolia, Turkey which existed from approximately 7500 BC to 5700 BC.

Earth Sciences - Chemistry - 10.08.2018
Ice sheets of the last ice age seeded the ocean with silica
10 August 2018 New research led by glaciologists and isotope geochemists from the University of Bristol has found that melting ice sheets provide the surrounding oceans with the essential nutrient silica. Silica is needed by a group of marine algae (the microscopic plants of the oceans) called diatoms, who use it to build their glassy cell walls (known as frustules).

Physics - Chemistry - 09.08.2018
Surprise slow electrons are produced when intense lasers hit clusters of atoms
Scientists found that relatively slow electrons are produced when intense lasers interact with small clusters of atoms, upturning current theories. Intense laser cluster interactions occur when small clusters of atoms, nanometres (billionths of a metre) in size, are struck with intense lasers. This happens, for example, when imaging biomedical samples on ultrafast timescales.

Earth Sciences - Chemistry - 06.08.2018
Size matters: if you are a bubble of volcanic gas
The chemical composition of gases emitted from volcanoes - which are used to monitor changes in volcanic activity - can change depending on the size of gas bubbles rising to the surface, and relate to the way in which they erupt. The results , published Geoscience, could be used to improve the forecasting of threats posed by certain volcanoes.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 01.08.2018
Scientists identify exoplanets where life could develop as it did on Earth
Scientists have identified a group of planets outside our solar system where the same chemical conditions that may have led to life on Earth exist. This work brings us just a little bit closer to addressing the question of whether we are alone in the universe. Paul Rimmer The researchers, from the University of Cambridge and the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC LMB), found that the chances for life to develop on the surface of a rocky planet like Earth are connected to the type and strength of light given off by its host star.

Chemistry - Physics - 25.07.2018
New class of materials could be used to make batteries that charge faster
Researchers have identified a group of materials that could be used to make even higher power batteries. The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, used materials with a complex crystalline structure and found that lithium ions move through them at rates that far exceed those of typical electrode materials, which equates to a much faster-charging battery.
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