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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.

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.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 08.06.2021
Efficiently ’switching on’ bacteria to produce high-value chemicals
Most high-value chemicals are currently produced using fossil fuels - industrial chemistry's use of petroleum accounts for 14% of all greenhouse gas emissions. An exciting alternative is to engineer bacteria as -cell-factories- with a genetic switch that reroutes their chemistry to produce high-value chemicals, such as biofuels, polymers and pharmaceuticals.

Chemistry - Physics - 24.05.2021
Complex molecules could hold the secret to identifying alien life
A new system capable of identifying complex molecular signatures could aid in the search for alien life in the universe and could even lead to the creation of new forms of life in the laboratory, scientists say. University of Glasgow researchers have developed a new method called Assembly Theory which can be used to quantify how assembled or complex a molecule is in the laboratory using techniques like mass spectrometry.

Chemistry - 12.05.2021
Scientists pioneer creation of programmable artificial tissues from synthetic cells
Scientists pioneer creation of programmable artificial tissues from synthetic cells
Scientists have created new artificial tissues that mimic some of the complex characteristics and abilities of living tissues, paving the way towards unprecedented advances in medicine, soft-robotics, and micro-engineering. The University of Bristol-led breakthrough, published in Advanced Materials , reports the first way to produce centimetre-sized artificial tissues of any shape and with complex internal structures.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 10.05.2021
Discovery of methanol in a 'warm' planet-forming disk
Discovery of methanol in a ’warm’ planet-forming disk
Astronomers have identified the molecule methanol in the 'warm zones' of a protoplanetary disk circling a star about 360 light years from Earth. The finding is significant because although methanol - CH3OH - is one of the simpler complex carbon-based molecules, it is a precursor chemical involved in the creation of more complex substances such as amino acids and proteins, the building blocks of life.

Environment - Chemistry - 29.04.2021
Hidden air pollutants on the rise in India and UK
Levels of air pollutants in cities in India and the UK are on the rise, according to a new study led by UCL and the University of Birmingham. Published today in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, researchers analysed satellite data to estimate trends in a range of air pollutants for 2005 to 2018.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 20.04.2021
From extravagant to achievable - pushing the boundaries of research to find life beyond Earth
From extravagant to achievable - pushing the boundaries of research to find life beyond Earth
The University of Cambridge is creating a new research initiative, bringing together physicists, chemists, biologists, mathematicians, and earth scientists to answer fundamental questions on the origin and nature of life in the Universe.

History / Archeology - Chemistry - 14.04.2021
Ancient pottery reveals the first evidence for honey hunting in prehistoric West Africa
Ancient pottery reveals the first evidence for honey hunting in prehistoric West Africa
A team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, with colleagues from Goethe University, Frankfurt, has found the first evidence for ancient honey hunting, locked inside pottery fragments from prehistoric West Africa, dating back some 3,500 years ago. Honeybees are an iconic species, being the world's most important pollinator of food crops.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 30.03.2021
Research given significant boost to develop lithium-rich battery cathodes
A team of scientists, including those based at the University of Oxford as part of the Faraday Institution CATMAT project, researching next-generation cathode materials have made a significant breakthrough in understanding oxygen-redox processes involved in lithium-rich cathode materials.  The paper proposes strategies that offer potential routes to increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries.

Chemistry - Environment - 30.03.2021
Researchers aim to reduce emissions of process which feeds 40% of the world
A new research project is setting out to investigate how to make an industrial process which helps feed nearly half the world's population more sustainable. The Haber-Bosch process, developed in the early 20th Century, was the first economically-viable large-scale ammonia production process. It works by combining nitrogen and hydrogen under high pressures, with the addition of an iron-based catalyst which helps the process work at a moderate temperature.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 22.03.2021
Recyclable ’veggie’ battery could power future devices
A new type of 3D-printed battery which uses electrodes made from vegetable starch and carbon nanotubes could provide mobile devices with a more environmentally-friendly, higher-capacity source of power. A team of engineers led from the University of Glasgow have developed the battery in a bid to make more sustainable lithium-ion batteries capable of storing and delivering power more efficiently.

Earth Sciences - Chemistry - 12.03.2021
Traces of Earth's early magma ocean identified in Greenland rocks
Traces of Earth’s early magma ocean identified in Greenland rocks
New research led by the University of Cambridge has found rare evidence - preserved in the chemistry of ancient rocks from Greenland - which tells of a time when Earth was almost entirely molten. It's astonishing that we can even hold these rocks in our hands - let alone get so much detail about the early history of our planet Helen Williams The study, published in the journal Science Advances , yields information on an important period in our planet's formation, when a deep sea of incandescent magma stretched across Earth's surface and extended hundreds of kilometres into its interior.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 03.03.2021
New facility at University of Birmingham accelerates battery recycling research
Researchers working on the Faraday Institution ReLiB (Recycling and Reuse of Li-ion Batteries) project have completed the installation of new battery testing and storage facilities at the University of Birmingham. The new facilities will allow battery scientists and engineers to speed up their research to develop safe, economic and environmentally sound recycling routes that recover large volumes of valuable materials contained in batteries at the end of their first life.

Physics - Chemistry - 02.03.2021
Through the looking glass: artificial ’molecules’ open door to ultrafast devices
Researchers from the University of Cambridge and Skoltech in Russia have shown that polaritons, the quirky particles that may end up running the quantum supercomputers of the future, can form structures that behave like molecules - and these 'artificial molecules' can potentially be engineered on demand.
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