news 2021



Results 1 - 20 of 40.

Chemistry - Astronomy / Space Science - 20.12.2021
Could acid-neutralising life-forms make habitable pockets in Venus' clouds?
Could acid-neutralising life-forms make habitable pockets in Venus’ clouds?
A new study shows it's theoretically possible. The hypothesis could be tested soon with proposed Venus-bound missions. If life is there, how does it propagate in an environment as dry as the clouds of Venus? Paul Rimmer It's hard to imagine a more inhospitable world than our closest planetary neighbour.

Chemistry - Physics - 09.12.2021
Precision sieving of gases through atomic pores in graphene
Precision sieving of gases through atomic pores in graphene
By crafting atomic-scale holes in atomically thin membranes, it should be possible to create molecular sieves for precise and efficient gas separation, including extraction of carbon dioxide from air, University of Manchester researchers have found. If a pore size in a membrane is comparable to the size of atoms and molecules, they can either pass through the membrane or be rejected, allowing separation of gases according to their molecular diameters.

Physics - Chemistry - 02.12.2021
Colour-changing magnifying glass gives clear view of infrared light
Colour-changing magnifying glass gives clear view of infrared light
By trapping light into tiny crevices of gold, researchers have coaxed molecules to convert invisible infrared into visible light, creating new low-cost detectors for sensing. It's like listening to slow-rippling earthquake waves by colliding them with a violin string to get a high whistle that's easy to hear, and without breaking the violin Jeremy Baumberg Detecting light beyond the visible red range of our eyes is hard to do, because infrared light carries so little energy compared to ambient heat at room temperature.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 30.11.2021
Miniature grinding mill closes in on the details of 'green' chemical reactions
Miniature grinding mill closes in on the details of ’green’ chemical reactions
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have developed a new approach for observing mechanochemical reactions - where simple ingredients are ground up to make new chemical compounds and materials that can be used in anything from the pharmaceutical to the metallurgical, cement and mineral industries.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 25.11.2021
'Super jelly' can survive being run over by a car | University of Cambridge
’Super jelly’ can survive being run over by a car | University of Cambridge
Researchers have developed a jelly-like material that can withstand the equivalent of an elephant standing on it, and completely recover to its original shape, even though it's 80% water. At 80% water content, you'd think it would burst apart like a water balloon, but it doesn't: it stays intact and withstands huge compressive forces Oren Scherman The soft-yet-strong material, developed by a team at the , looks and feels like a squishy jelly, but acts like an ultra-hard, shatterproof glass when compressed, despite its high water content.

Pharmacology - Chemistry - 17.11.2021
Chemistry breakthrough leads way to more sustainable pharmaceuticals
Chemistry breakthrough leads way to more sustainable pharmaceuticals
Scientists at Bath have developed a more sustainable way of making pharmaceuticals that will cut waste and energy usage significantly. Chemistry researchers at the University of Bath have developed a new method using blue light to create pharmaceuticals in a more sustainable way, significantly reducing the amount of energy needed and the chemical waste created in the manufacture process.

Chemistry - Environment - 02.11.2021
Electric vehicles could be powered by Hydrogen harvested from sewage
Hydrogen is valuable as it is a renewable source, and could be sold to the chemicals and plastics industry or used in hydrogen fuel cells for energy storage or electric vehicles The ability to take hydrogen from waste water provides a new economic and environmental opportunity, however until now it has been incredibly expensive to suffice Using a recycled carbon fibre mat, researchers from WMG, University of Warwick, have been able to produce Hydrogen from wastewater for Severn Trent Wastewater treatment is vital to remove pathogens, but is incredibly energy intensive.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 29.10.2021
Plastic-eating bacteria could help aid global recycling efforts
Bacteria which have been shown to degrade and assimilate plastic, has been a key area of international research since 2016. Now a University of Manchester -based team of scientists have made a biotechnological breakthrough which may help humans to call on engineered bacteria cells to reduce our plastic waste.

Chemistry - Environment - 29.09.2021
Researchers identify and clear efficiency hurdle for organic solar cells | University of Cambridge
Researchers identify and clear efficiency hurdle for organic solar cells | University of Cambridge
Researchers have identified a key mechanism responsible for the lower efficiencies of organic solar cells and shown a way that this hurdle might be overcome. Organic solar cells can do lots of things that inorganic solar cells can't, but their commercial development has plateaued in recent years, in part due to their inferior efficiency Alexander Gillett The researchers, led by the , identified a loss pathway in organic solar cells which makes them less efficient than silicon-based cells at converting sunlight into electricity.

Chemistry - Pharmacology - 24.09.2021
Assembly theory could spell good news for drug discovery
A new method of exploring chemical space could help create scientific breakthroughs in areas including drug design and discovery, its creators say. The concept, known as assembly theory, is outlined in a new paper published today Advances by a team from the University of Glasgow's School of Chemistry.

Physics - Chemistry - 02.09.2021
Nano 'camera' made using molecular glue allows real-time monitoring of chemical reactions
Nano ’camera’ made using molecular glue allows real-time monitoring of chemical reactions
Researchers have made a tiny camera, held together with 'molecular glue' that allows them to observe chemical reactions in real time. This platform is a really big toolbox - it opens up lots of new possibilities for imaging chemical reactions Kamil Sokolowski The device, made by a team from the University of Cambridge, combines tiny semiconductor nanocrystals called quantum dots and gold nanoparticles using molecular glue called cucurbituril (CB).

Physics - Chemistry - 26.08.2021
Atomic snapshots show fast ion migration in ultra-thin clays
Research led by The University of Manchester has found that ions diffuse 10,000 times faster inside atomically thin clays than in bulk clay crystals. Clays are used in a wide variety of membrane applications, so this result offers the potential to achieve vastly improved desalination or fuel cell performance simply by switching to ultra-thin clays when producing the membranes.

Chemistry - Physics - 23.08.2021
Scientists report breakthrough in actinide metal-metal bonding
Scientists from The University of Manchester have managed to successfully make actinide metals form molecular actinide-actinide bonds for the first time, opening up a new field of scientific study in materials research. Reported in the journal Nature , a group of scientists from Manchester and Stuttgart universities have successfully prepared and characterised long-sought actinide-actinide bonding in an isolable compound.

Chemistry - Innovation - 22.07.2021
Smartphone screens effective sensors for soil or water contamination
The touchscreen technology used in billions of smartphones and tablets could also be used as a powerful sensor, without the need for any modifications. Instead of interpreting a signal from your finger, what if we could get a touchscreen to read electrolytes, since these ions also interact with the electric fields? Ronan Daly Researchers from the University of Cambridge have demonstrated how a typical touchscreen could be used to identify common ionic contaminants in soil or drinking water by dropping liquid samples on the screen, the first time this has been achieved.

Chemistry - Health - 07.07.2021
New approach will help identify drugs that can ’glue’ proteins together
A new screening method that can test the effectiveness of therapeutic molecules designed to 'glue' proteins together in the body has been developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham and the University of Leicester. The research paves the way for drug developers to screen large numbers of potential new drug compounds to discover new treatments for diseases such as breast cancer and Parkinson's disease.

Chemistry - 01.07.2021
Instant water cleaning method ’millions of times’ better than commercial approach
A water disinfectant created on the spot using just hydrogen and the air around us is millions of times more effective at killing viruses and bacteria than traditional commercial methods, according to scientists from Cardiff University. Reporting their findings today Catalysis, the team say the results could revolutionise water disinfection technologies and present an unprecedented opportunity to provide clean water to communities that need it most.

Chemistry - Physics - 24.06.2021
Lowering the carbon footprint of fabric and plastic manufacturing
Manufacturing of plastics and fabrics could become greener and have a lower carbon footprint, thanks to a new catalyst architecture developed by a team of experts including UCL academics. Propylene, produced from propane, is critical to the manufacture of plastics, fabrics and other chemicals, and is in short supply.

Physics - Chemistry - 16.06.2021
A sharper focus on protein behaviour
A sharper focus on protein behaviour
Scientists have developed a new computational technique that allows them to see in finer detail the way protein molecules behave. Currently, they have relied on laboratory techniques such as X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy, but those laboratory procedures can disrupt the normal functioning of the molecule.

Chemistry - Computer Science - 10.06.2021
Robot chemist offers insight into the origins of life
A robotic 'evolution machine' capable of exploring the generational development of chemical mixtures over long periods of time could help cast new light on the origins of life, scientists say. A team of chemists from the University of Glasgow developed the robot, which uses a machine-learning algorithm to make decisions about which chemicals from a selection of 18 to combine in a reactor, and how to set conditions under which the reaction occurs.

Environment - Chemistry - 10.06.2021
'Vegan spider silk' provides sustainable alternative to single-use plastics
’Vegan spider silk’ provides sustainable alternative to single-use plastics
Researchers have created a plant-based, sustainable, scalable material that could replace single-use plastics in many consumer products. It was a surprise to find our research could also address a big problem in sustainability: that of plastic pollution Tuomas Knowles The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, created a polymer film by mimicking the properties of spider silk, one of the strongest materials in nature.