Chemistry, News

Growing graphene nanoribbons jut got a lot easier, spelling great news for electronics


University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers devised a new method that grows graphene nanoribbons directly on a germanium wafer. The ribbons are of excellent quality and the technique is compatible with current manufacturing methods. These sort of ribbons have been heralded by industry experts as the component of the future which will make electronics faster and more efficient. The only thing that’s been missing until now was a sound way to make them.

Chemistry, Environmental Issues, News

Copper clusters could revolutionize CO2 capture and turn it into fuel to boot

The copper tetramer catalyst created by researchers at Argonne National Laboratory may help capture and convert carbon dioxide in a way that ultimately saves energy.
Credit: Image courtesy Larry Curtiss, Argonne National Laboratory

The chemical reactions used to make methanol from carbon dioxide rely on a catalyst to speed up the conversion, and scientists identified a new material that could fill this role. With its unique structure, this catalyst can capture and convert carbon dioxide in a way that ultimately saves energy.

Biology, Chemistry, News

First species of venomous frog found in Brazil

A closeup of C. greeningi frog skin that reveals the spikes on its head. Image credits: Carlos Jared.

The first venomous (yes, venomous – not poisonous) frog was discovered in Brazil by mistake. A frog head-butted Carlos Jared in the hand, and after a while he started feeling a strange pain; it took him a while to connect the dots and realize that the frog was responsible for the pain he was feeling and decided to find out what

Chemistry, News

Introducing stanene: just like graphene, except it’s a 2D tin honeycomb


After graphene proved to be one of the greatest discovery of the century, material scientists became inspired to see if other 2D meshes (just one atom thick layer of material) could be made from other elements. In time, we’ve heared about silicene, phosphorene or germanene. Now, a group from China reports for the first time stanene: a honeycomb 2D arrangement of tin (Sn) atoms, with a a bismuth telluride support that buckles the whole structure. Stanene is extremely exciting because it’s been previously theorized that it could transfer electricity without heat loss, implying huge energy savings and increased performance for semiconductor applications.

Chemistry, News, Nutrition

Sugar with that? Sweetening coffee or tea really changes your drink


Coffee and tea taste bitter to most people because of the caffeine. Of course, some like their coffee dark, but most people, including yours truly, can’t have a sip without at least a lump of sugar inside. Apparently, we’re on to something. Adding sugar to coffee or tea not only cuts the bitterness, but changes the chemistry of the drink at a fundamental level, according to Dr. Seishi Shimizu at University of York.

Chemistry, News

This may look like wool yarn, but it’s actually made from slaughterhouse waste


Most of the yarn used today is synthetic, but in the last couple of years yarn sourced from biological raw materials have been making a comeback as manufacturers look for renewable alternatives. A PhD student at ETH Zurich developed one such promising alternative after he devised an innovative process to make fibers out of gelatine. Gelatine is mostly made of collagen, a main component of skin, bone and tendons which can be found in plentiful amount in slaughterhouse waste.

Biology, Chemistry, Climate, News

Carbon emissions threaten to destroy pink salmon population


The effects of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are great and long reaching – a new study has found that pink salmon in the Pacific Ocean are threatened by increasing ocean acidification.

Chemistry, Feature Post

Chemical Reactions You’re Not Going to Believe Are Real


This is the article that’s gonna make you regret you weren’t paying attention in the chemistry class. Here are 16 reactions that will blow your mind: Mercury reacting with aluminum   Aluminum, when it combines with oxygen, forms aluminum oxide, an incredibly hard substance that is scratch resistant. It doesn’t flake off (like iron oxide), sealing the rest of aluminum. But

Biology, Chemistry, News

Key findings help unravel journey from inanimate chemistry to life

RNA strand

In the beginning, the Earth’s surface was a lifeless, hot, but chemically rich place. In these harsh conditions, the first amino acids synthesized from inorganic compounds, and from them, proteins formed. They built the first single cells, which went on to form plants and animals. Recent research helped us understand the process that created amino acids, and there is a widespread consensus in the scientific community as to the path cells took to evolve to complex life as we know it today.

Archaeology, Chemistry, News

Bronze Age Priestess Traveled Huge Distances

Image via Wikipedia.

In 1921, archaeologists found the remains of a Bronze Age priestess, dubbed the Egtved Girl. Now, a new study reveals that the priestess, who was found in Denmark, likely traveled hundreds of kilometers and was born somewhere in Germany. The Egtved Girl was, according to all clues, an extraordinary person. She only lived to be 16-18. She was slim, 160 cm tall