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  • December 19, 2014
  • 11:05 AM
  • 47 views

The Chemistry of Christmas

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

What are the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the textures that you associate with Christmas? Perhaps it is Christmas trees with their lovely green shape, color and wonderful pine smell. Maybe it’s the smells of cooking, the savory smells of turkey or the sweet smell of warm cookies. Or what about all of the cozy feelings you get with big sweaters or a roaring fire? Did you know that there is a lot of chemistry that goes into all of the senses we associate with this holiday?I was browsing t........ Read more »

Jackson, D., & Dicks, A. (2012) The Five Senses of Christmas Chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, 89(10), 1267-1273. DOI: 10.1021/ed300231z  

  • December 14, 2014
  • 12:47 PM
  • 84 views

Sulfur hydride blows away previous critical temperature limits for conventional superconductivity

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Researchers at Max Planck have revived interest in conventional BCS superconductivity after finding a zero resistance phase of H2S at 190 K!... Read more »

A. P. Drozdov, M. I. Eremets, & I. A. Troyan. (2014) Conventional superconductivity at 190 K at high pressures. arXiv. arXiv: 1412.0460v1

  • December 12, 2014
  • 02:13 PM
  • 85 views

A new type of memory storage on the horizon

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

For those of us old enough to remember the days of the Apple II, you know that storage has exponentially increased. Even just 10 years ago 20+ gigs of data seemed huge, now my cellphone has 64 gigs. Yet we still need more data storage and we are looking for new ways to get it. Now a way to use weak molecular bonding interactions to create well-ordered and stable metal–organic monolayers with optoelectronic properties has been found. The development could form the basis for the scalable fabrica........ Read more »

  • December 11, 2014
  • 12:08 PM
  • 76 views

What makes us fat, OR food vs. physiology

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

There is a heir of mystery surrounding weight loss and fat in general. Have you ever heard you have all the fat cells you’ll ever have — that’s false by the way. Then there is fad diets like gluten free — proven to do nothing unless you actually have a diagnosed gluten allergy — or adkins, but now researchers believe they’re on track to solve the mystery of weight gain – and it has nothing to do with indulging in holiday eggnog.... Read more »

Woeller CF, O'loughlin CW, Pollock SJ, Thatcher TH, Feldon SE, & Phipps RP. (2014) Thy1 (CD90) controls adipogenesis by regulating activity of the Src family kinase, Fyn. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. PMID: 25416548  

  • December 10, 2014
  • 03:54 PM
  • 94 views

Depressed? Laughing gas might help

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, has shown early promise as a potential treatment for severe depression in patients whose symptoms don’t respond to standard therapies. In other words, it might actually live up to it’s name and as they say laughter is the best medicine. The pilot study is believed to be the first research in which patients with depression were given laughing gas.... Read more »

Nagele P, Duma A, Kopec M, Gebara MA, Parsoei A, Walker M, Janski A, Pahagopoulos VN, Cristancho P, Miller JP, Zorumski CF, Conway C . (2014) Nitrous oxide for treatment-resistant major depression: a proof-of-concept trial. Biological Psychiatry. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.11.016  

  • December 5, 2014
  • 03:58 PM
  • 133 views

Move over solar pannels, introducing spray-on solar cells

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Solar panels, they are big, heavy, cannot flex, and are still very inefficient. While efficiency isn’t the big issue, flexibility has relegated solar panels to rooftops and solar farms. Well that is until now, researchers have just invented a new way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using miniscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots (CQDs)—a major step toward making spray-on solar cells easy and cheap to manufacture.... Read more »

Kramer, I., Moreno-Bautista, G., Minor, J., Kopilovic, D., & Sargent, E. (2014) Colloidal quantum dot solar cells on curved and flexible substrates. Applied Physics Letters, 105(16), 163902. DOI: 10.1063/1.4898635  

Carey GH, Kramer IJ, Kanjanaboos P, Moreno-Bautista G, Voznyy O, Rollny L, Tang JA, Hoogland S, & Sargent EH. (2014) Electronically active impurities in colloidal quantum dot solids. ACS nano, 8(11), 11763-9. PMID: 25376698  

Kramer, I., Minor, J., Moreno-Bautista, G., Rollny, L., Kanjanaboos, P., Kopilovic, D., Thon, S., Carey, G., Chou, K., Zhitomirsky, D.... (2014) Efficient Spray-Coated Colloidal Quantum Dot Solar Cells. Advanced Materials. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201403281  

  • December 3, 2014
  • 02:58 AM
  • 122 views

5 Best Places To Look For Life Outside Earth

by jeffrey daniels in United Academics

Where in our Solar System most of the ingredients for life have been found, and thus stand a good chance of harbouring life that evolved completely separate from Earth?... Read more »

McKay, C. (2010) An Origin of Life on Mars. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology, 2(4). DOI: 10.1101/cshperspect.a003509  

Waite JH Jr, Combi MR, Ip WH, Cravens TE, McNutt RL Jr, Kasprzak W, Yelle R, Luhmann J, Niemann H, Gell D.... (2006) Cassini ion and neutral mass spectrometer: Enceladus plume composition and structure. Science (New York, N.Y.), 311(5766), 1419-22. PMID: 16527970  

Iess L, Stevenson DJ, Parisi M, Hemingway D, Jacobson RA, Lunine JI, Nimmo F, Armstrong JW, Asmar SW, Ducci M.... (2014) The gravity field and interior structure of Enceladus. Science (New York, N.Y.), 344(6179), 78-80. PMID: 24700854  

  • December 2, 2014
  • 04:31 PM
  • 127 views

Synthetic biology breakthrough: The world’s first artificial enzymes

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Like mad scientists working away in some secret location we have created life… well sort of. It may sound like something out of a Sci fi movie, but scientists have created the world’s first enzymes made from artificial genetic material. Their synthetic enzymes (which are made from molecules that do not occur anywhere in nature) are capable of triggering chemical reactions in the lab and are the building blocks for life.... Read more »

Taylor, A., Pinheiro, V., Smola, M., Morgunov, A., Peak-Chew, S., Cozens, C., Weeks, K., Herdewijn, P., & Holliger, P. (2014) Catalysts from synthetic genetic polymers. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature13982  

Pinheiro, V., Taylor, A., Cozens, C., Abramov, M., Renders, M., Zhang, S., Chaput, J., Wengel, J., Peak-Chew, S., McLaughlin, S.... (2012) Synthetic Genetic Polymers Capable of Heredity and Evolution. Science, 336(6079), 341-344. DOI: 10.1126/science.1217622  

  • December 2, 2014
  • 12:51 PM
  • 126 views

Our Increased carbon dioxide output causes global warming and now we have proof

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Global warming, it’s a bigger deal than some people seem to realize. For years science has pointed to the increased carbon dioxide output as the main reason for man-made global warming. However, there has been no evidence to directly link CO2 output to global warming, well until now. Research has identified, for the first time, how global warming is related to the amount of carbon emitted.... Read more »

  • November 21, 2014
  • 04:09 PM
  • 126 views

EPA Clean Power Plan Explained!

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

The EPA announced a plan to cut power plant emissions by 30% in about 15 years - get the details here!... Read more »

Fowlie, M., Goulder, L., Kotchen, M., Borenstein, S., Bushnell, J., Davis, L., Greenstone, M., Kolstad, C., Knittel, C., Stavins, R.... (2014) An economic perspective on the EPA's Clean Power Plan. Science, 346(6211), 815-816. DOI: 10.1126/science.1261349  

  • November 14, 2014
  • 11:19 AM
  • 129 views

Worm Defies Tradition, Stores Gut Bacteria in Gills Instead

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

What—just because they’re called gut microbes, you’ve been keeping them in your colon? How unoriginal. This is Bankia setacea, also called the Northwest or feathery shipworm. Humans usually pay attention to shipworms only when they perform their namesake activity: burrowing face-first into our boats or docks and eating their way through. Shipworms are bivalves, like clams […]The post Worm Defies Tradition, Stores Gut Bacteria in Gills Instead appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

O'Connor, R., Fung, J., Sharp, K., Benner, J., McClung, C., Cushing, S., Lamkin, E., Fomenkov, A., Henrissat, B., Londer, Y.... (2014) Gill bacteria enable a novel digestive strategy in a wood-feeding mollusk. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1413110111  

  • November 12, 2014
  • 06:26 AM
  • 124 views

Organic solar cells are heating up!

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

A new processing method with a novel donor materials allows for more material combinations for high PV efficiency in organic solar cells!... Read more »

Liu Yuhang, Zhao Jingbo, Li Zhengke, Mu Cheng, Ma Wei, Hu Huawei, Jiang Kui, Lin Haoran, Ade Harald, & Yan He. (2014) Aggregation and morphology control enables multiple cases of high-efficiency polymer solar cells. Nature communications. PMID: 25382026  

  • November 9, 2014
  • 12:43 PM
  • 131 views

Will anyone follow this route to low emission, low cost farming?

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

Can we stop cheap, climate-friendly fertiliser via the STEP process being like transport by jetpack – a promise destined to remain unkept? ... Read more »

  • November 5, 2014
  • 04:08 PM
  • 116 views

A Big Break for Bio-Gasoline

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

While the world waits for a better battery (and a energy grid system that doesn't require constant power making), scientists are hard at work trying to teach old fuels a new trick. Thankfully an international team of bioengineers has boosted the ability of bacteria to produce isopentenol, a compound with desirable gasoline properties. The finding, if it is not obvious, is a significant step toward developing a bacterial strain that can yield industrial quantities of renewable bio-gasoline.... Read more »

  • November 4, 2014
  • 05:46 PM
  • 158 views

Steak is bad for the Heart and now We Know why

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

“Red meat is bad for your heart”, that is typically the story we hear from people. While some might take this as meat is bad for us, or that it is wrong to eat red meat, science has been trying to find a better answer to that question. After all it wouldn’t do for science to say, it just does. Well as luck may have it, new research provides details on how gut bacteria turn a nutrient found in red meat into metabolites that increase the risk of developing heart disease. The findings may lea........ Read more »

Koeth RA, Wang Z, Levison BS, Buffa JA, Org E, Sheehy BT, Britt EB, Fu X, Wu Y, Li L.... (2013) Intestinal microbiota metabolism of L-carnitine, a nutrient in red meat, promotes atherosclerosis. Nature medicine, 19(5), 576-85. PMID: 23563705  

Robert A. Koeth, Bruce S. Levison, Miranda K. Culley, Jennifer A. Buff, Zeneng Wang, Jill C. Gregory, Elin Org, Yuping Wu, Lin Li, Jonathan D. Smith, W.H. Wilson Tang, Joseph A. DiDonato.... (2014) g-Butyrobetaine is a proatherogenic intermediate in gut microbial metabolism of L-carnitine to TMAO. Cell Press. info:/10.1016/j.cmet.2014.10.006.

  • November 2, 2014
  • 09:54 AM
  • 160 views

Understanding the past to know more about our future: study finds spikes in carbon dioxide levels correlated with end of last glacial cycle

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

We've always thought that the last glacial cycle correlated with a slow rise in CO2, however new data from Antarctica shows quick spikes in CO2 and methane lasting under 100 years. This data could provide new insights into the carbon cycles useful for understanding today's CO2 increases.... Read more »

Marcott, S., Bauska, T., Buizert, C., Steig, E., Rosen, J., Cuffey, K., Fudge, T., Severinghaus, J., Ahn, J., Kalk, M.... (2014) Centennial-scale changes in the global carbon cycle during the last deglaciation. Nature, 514(7524), 616-619. DOI: 10.1038/nature13799  

  • October 31, 2014
  • 11:14 AM
  • 132 views

NS1: It’s all about location, location, location

by Clay Clark in Biochem Blogs

  Viruses are minimalists when it comes to genomic data. This light packing of genetic information requires that every protein the virus codes for needs to be as versatile as possible. The flavivirus genus is no exception to this; its genome encodes for three structural proteins (capsid, membrane, and envelope) and seven nonstructural proteins (NS1, […]... Read more »

  • October 30, 2014
  • 03:45 PM
  • 173 views

Zombies: Science Fiction vs. Fact

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Well in the spirit of Halloween I thought I would make a nice little zombie post. Zombies, those brain loving little guys, [and girls] are everywhere. From shows like The Walking […]... Read more »

Lafferty KD. (2006) Can the common brain parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, influence human culture?. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 273(1602), 2749-55. PMID: 17015323  

Vyas A, Kim SK, Giacomini N, Boothroyd JC, & Sapolsky RM. (2007) Behavioral changes induced by Toxoplasma infection of rodents are highly specific to aversion of cat odors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(15), 6442-7. PMID: 17404235  

Thomas, F., Schmidt-Rhaesa, A., Martin, G., Manu, C., Durand, P., & Renaud, F. (2002) Do hairworms (Nematomorpha) manipulate the water seeking behaviour of their terrestrial hosts?. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 15(3), 356-361. DOI: 10.1046/j.1420-9101.2002.00410.x  

W. Wesołowska T. Wesołowski. (2014) Do Leucochloridium sporocysts manipulate the behaviour of their snail hosts?. Journal of Zoology , 292(3), 151-155. info:/10.1111/jzo.12094

  • October 29, 2014
  • 05:40 PM
  • 160 views

Electron Paramagnetic Resonance of hair!

by mrsitandspin in Sit and Spin

I wanted to switch gears a bit and do a paper on Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR), also know as Electron Spin Resonance (ESR). The paper for this weeks is

Electron spin resonance (ESR/EPR) of free radicals observed in human red hair: a new, simple empirical method of determination of pheomelanin/eumelanin ratio in hair.

by

Chikvaidze EN, Partskhaladze TM and Gogoladze TV... Read more »

  • October 19, 2014
  • 01:43 PM
  • 182 views

DNA Nanotech: The First Large DNA Crystals

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

DNA is the stuff of life as we know it, but it is the potential as a programmable material platform that could spawn entire new and revolutionary nanodevices in computer science, microscopy, biology, and more. Researchers have been working to master the ability to coax DNA molecules to self assemble into the precise shapes and sizes needed in order to fully realize these nanotechnology dreams. A dream that been going on for 20 years now and was just realized.... Read more »

Ke, Y., Ong, L., Sun, W., Song, J., Dong, M., Shih, W., & Yin, P. (2014) DNA brick crystals with prescribed depths. Nature Chemistry. DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2083  

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