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Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 14.09.2020
Hints of life discovered on Venus
Hints of life discovered on Venus
A UK-led team of astronomers has discovered a rare molecule - phosphine - in the clouds of Venus, pointing to the possibility of extra-terrestrial 'aerial' life. The presence of life is the only known explanation for the amount of phosphine inferred by observations Paul Rimmer Astronomers have speculated for decades that high clouds on Venus could offer a home for microbes - floating free of the scorching surface, but tolerating very high acidity.

History / Archeology - Chemistry - 27.08.2020
Ceramic cooking pots record history of ancient food practices
Ceramic cooking pots record history of ancient food practices
Analysing three components of ceramic cooking pots - charred remains, inner surface residues and lipids absorbed within the ceramic walls - may help archaeologists uncover detailed timelines of culinary cooking practices used by ancient civilisations. The findings, from a year-long cooking experiment led by the University of California, University of Bristol and the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Hawaii, are published this week in the journal Scientific Reports .

Materials Science - Chemistry - 24.08.2020
New insights into lithium-ion battery failure mechanism
Researchers have identified a potential new degradation mechanism for electric vehicle batteries - a key step to designing effective methods to improve battery lifespan. The researchers, from the Universities of Cambridge and Liverpool, and the Diamond Light Source, have identified one of the reasons why state-of-the-art 'nickel-rich' battery materials become fatigued, and can no longer be fully charged after prolonged use.

Environment - Chemistry - 24.08.2020
Wireless device makes clean fuel from sunlight, CO2 and water
Researchers have developed a standalone device that converts sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into a carbon-neutral fuel, without requiring any additional components or electricity. We hope this technology will pave the way toward sustainable and practical solar fuel production Erwin Reisner The device, developed by a team from the University of Cambridge, is a significant step toward achieving artificial photosynthesis - a process mimicking the ability of plants to convert sunlight into energy.

Chemistry - 30.07.2020
Reveals origin of Stonehenge’s great sarsen stones
The giant sarsen stones that form the primary architecture of Stonehenge originate from West Woods on the edge of Wiltshire's Marlborough Downs, according to new research involving UCL. While the smaller 'bluestones' near the centre of the monument have been traced to Wales, the origin of the sarsen stones used to construct Stonehenge around 2,500 BC have remained a mystery for over four centuries.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 17.07.2020
New membrane could cut emissions and energy use in oil refining
New membrane could cut emissions and energy use in oil refining
Imperial has co-developed the first synthetic membrane to separate crude oil and crude oil fractions, which could help reduce carbon emissions. Crude oil is refined to create fuels like diesel, petrol and jet fuel, as well as lubricants and plastics. However, the processes used to create these byproducts are a major source of pollutants to the air, water, and soil.

Chemistry - 10.07.2020
Spinning chemicals for faster reactions
Cardiff University scientists have devised a new way of making reactions up to 70 times faster by using state-of-the-art equipment to spin chemicals around. They found that efficient mixing within a chemical reaction could be achieved by spinning chemicals and catalysts around in a small tube, causing the reactions to happen much quicker.

Physics - Chemistry - 06.07.2020
Flashes bright when squeezed tight: how single-celled organisms light up the oceans
Flashes bright when squeezed tight: how single-celled organisms light up the oceans
Research explains how a unicellular marine organism generates light as a response to mechanical stimulation, lighting up breaking waves at night. Our findings show how elegant decision-making can be on a single-cell level Maziyar Jalaal Every few years, a bloom of microscopic organisms called dinoflagellates transforms the coasts around the world by endowing breaking waves with an eerie blue glow.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 29.05.2020
New materials could make greener fast-charging batteries
New materials could make greener fast-charging batteries
Researchers have created a fast-charging battery prototype that uses sodium instead of lithium, potentially leading to more sustainable batteries. The prototype is one of the first to successfully use sodium in an organic battery that can be quickly charged and discharged hundreds of times without losing any capacity.

Chemistry - 21.05.2020
Chemical recycling makes useful product from waste bioplastic
A faster, more efficient way of recycling plant-based “bioplastics? has been developed by a team of scientists at the Universities of Birmingham and Bath. The team has shown how their chemical recycling method not only speeds up the process, it can also be converted into a new product - a biodegradable solvent - which can be sold for use in a wide variety of industries including cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 14.05.2020
Reveals the extent of grey seals’ maternal sacrifice
Research reveals the extent of grey seals' maternal sacrifice Atlantic grey seals, the largest of the two seal species found around British, northern European and North American and Canadian shores, make a huge maternal sacrifice for their pups, new research has revealed. A collaboration of Scottish scientists, led by the University of Glasgow along with St Andrews and Strathclyde universities, has discovered new aspects of the fast that seal mothers go through for around 20 days while nursing their pups.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 11.05.2020
Chemical evidence of dairying by hunter-gatherers in highland Lesotho in the first millennium AD
Chemical evidence of dairying by hunter-gatherers in highland Lesotho in the first millennium AD
Extensive archaeological evidence shows that Early Iron Age agricultural communities settled in the coastal regions of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa from around AD 400. Although these farmers appear to have been in contact with local lowland hunter-gatherer groups, it was long assumed that they had little or no direct contact with hunter-gatherers already occupying the mountainous regions of Lesotho, as they did not settle the region until the 19 th century due to the unsuitability of the mountains for crop cultivation.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 29.04.2020
MRI scanning assists with next generation battery design
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can provide an effective way of supporting the development of the next generation of high-performance rechargeable batteries, according to research led by the University of Birmingham. The technique, which was developed to detect the movement and deposition of sodium metal ions within a sodium battery, will enable faster evaluation of new battery materials, and help to accelerate this type of battery's route to market.

History / Archeology - Chemistry - 13.04.2020
Molecular and isotopic evidence for milk, meat, and plants in prehistoric eastern African herder food systems
Molecular and isotopic evidence for milk, meat, and plants in prehistoric eastern African herder food systems
The development of pastoralism is known to have transformed human diets and societies in grasslands worldwide. Cattle-herding has been (and still is) the dominant way of life across the vast East African grasslands for thousands of years. This is indicated by numerous large and highly fragmentary animal bone assemblages found at archaeological sites across the region, which demonstrate the importance of cattle, sheep and goat to these ancient people.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 09.04.2020
’Freeze frame’ chemistry to unlock drugs of the future
Researchers are taking snapshots of chemical reactions in a trillionth of a second in the hope of developing the next generation of antibiotics and anti-viral drugs. Using state-of-the-art laser technology, scientists at Cardiff University and the Rosalind Franklin Institute are creating ‘freeze frame movies' of chemical reactions, with a starring role for a specific enzyme that could be used to make new drugs that are active against viruses, such as COVID-19.

Environment - Chemistry - 18.03.2020
Common treatments used on cattle have devastating impacts on wildlife
Common treatments used on cattle have devastating impacts on wildlife
Experts have stressed an urgent need to find alternatives to wormers and anti-ectoparasitic products used widely on cattle, following the findings of a study just published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Researchers from the University of Sussex looked at a body of published evidence into the environmental impact of anthelmintics — products used as wormers and anti-parasitic agents and widely applied across the world.

Pharmacology - Chemistry - 11.03.2020
Bristol pioneers use of VR for designing new drugs
Bristol pioneers use of VR for designing new drugs
The findings, published in the journal PLOS One describe how researchers used VR to understand how common medications work on a molecular level. Many drugs are small molecules, and discovering new drugs involves finding molecules that bind to biological targets like proteins. In the study, users were able to use VR to ‘step inside' proteins and manipulate them, and the drugs binding to them, in atomic detail, using interactive molecular dynamics simulations in VR (iMD-VR).

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 11.03.2020
EPSRC New Investigator Award 2020 for research on protocellular materials
EPSRC New Investigator Award 2020 for research on protocellular materials
Dr Pierangelo Gobbo said: "Currently, the research field of bottom-up synthetic biology is trying to fill the gap between biology and chemistry to better understand how the non-living becomes alive. To do this, attempts have been made to construct what are called protocells. These are cell-like entities created from scratch using only a limited toolbox of molecules, materials, and chemical reactions.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 02.03.2020
New tools show a way forward for large-scale storage of renewable energy
New tools show a way forward for large-scale storage of renewable energy
A technique based on the principles of MRI and NMR has allowed researchers to observe not only how next-generation batteries for large-scale energy storage work, but also how they fail, which will assist in the development of strategies to extend battery lifetimes in support of the transition to a zero-carbon future.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 17.02.2020
Fast-charging, long-running, bendy energy storage breakthrough
A new bendable supercapacitor made from graphene, which charges quickly and safely stores a record-high level of energy for use over a long period, has been developed and demonstrated by UCL and Chinese Academy of Sciences researchers. While at the proof-of-concept stage, it shows enormous potential as a portable power supply in several practical applications including electric vehicles, phones and wearable technology.
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