Chemistry

New insights on photosynthesis bring us one step closer to solar fuels

For billions of years, nature has been harnessing the energy from the sun through photosynthesis. This way, plants, algae and cyanobacteria use sunlight to split water and produce energy-rich chemical compounds from carbon dioxide (CO2). This energy is then transferred to animal that eat these plants, and animals that eat plant-eating animals, including us humans. It’s […]

One third of fracking chemicals are of unknown toxicity

A while ago I wrote about the disheartening status quo of energy today: frack now, ask questions later. In the article, I argue that there’s a disproportion between the amount of hydraulic fracturing (9 out of 10 wells in the US are fracking wells) and the number of research articles that discuss the bio impact […]

Chemists uncover powerful reactivity, paving the way for a new class of molecules

Chemists led by Nobel laureate K. Barry Sharpless have used what is called click chemistry to uncover unprecedented, powerful reactivity. This opens a new “chemical galaxy” of molecules, potentially paving the way for making drugs, plastics and unprecedented smart materials. Click chemistry is a term applied to chemical synthesis tailored to generate substances quickly and reliably by joining […]

Killing cancer with salt: chlorine payload brings destruction to cancer cells

A group of international researchers have demonstrated a novel technique for destroying cancer cells. By inserting a chloride payload that penetrates the cancer cell's sodium membrane, the cells become flushed with salt causing a self-destruction response.

Copper foam turns CO2 into useful chemicals

Brown University researchers reported the development of a copper foam which could turn CO2 into useful chemicals such as formic acid – a preservative and antibacterial agent in livestock feed. As CO2 emissions continue to grow, scientists are trying to find potential uses to it. The problem with carbon dioxide is that it is extremely […]

New material allows ultra-thin, transparent solar cells

Austrlian researchers have successfully developed transparent, ultra-thin, foldable solar cells.

Cheap self-assemling anti-cancer molecules created in minutes

Researchers have found a cheap and quick way of producing peptides in a laboratory. Producing one of the body's natural defenses against cancer and then implanting it into patients can prove pivotal in the fight against cancer.

New Catalyst converts CO2 to methanol 90 times faster than current options

Scientists have found a much more efficient way of converting CO2 into methanol, using a catalyst with oxide nanoparticles. The resulting system makes the conversion almost 90 times faster than currently existing systems.

First naturally occuring ionic liquids found in ant venom mix

Ionic liquids (IL) are basically liquid salts with very low melting points, that are extensively used in industry. It's only recently that an ionic liquid has been found to occur in nature, after a team of researchers at University of South Alabama found that the substances forms when two ant species mix their venom.

Popeye’s secret: spinach provides key insight that might one day lead to artificial photosynthesis

While scientists have been studying and incrementally increasing solar cell efficiency, we’ve yet to reach nature’s magnitude of solar energy conversion through photosynthesis. Artificial photosynthesis is a goal in alternative energy research, yet the process is extremely difficult to mimic since, in nature, the process involves numerous stages and transformation of matter and energy. Purdue University […]

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