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General Chemistry

Potassium gives perovskite-based solar cells an efficiency boost

A simple potassium solution could boost the efficiency of next-generation solar cells, by enabling them to convert more sunlight into electricity. …read more

Source:: PhysOrg Chemistry


Researchers observe the switching of Ras protein in detail

Ras proteins are molecular switches that decide if and when cells divide inside our bodies. An impairment of their function may result in the formation of a tumour. The process of switching the proteins on and off has been observed in detail by a research team headed by Prof Dr. Klaus Gerwert from the Department of Biophysics at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB); using a combination of methods, the team confirmed the hypothesis that the binding partner of Ras in its bonded form does not contain any hydrogen atoms in the phosphate groups. The renowned Journal of Biological Chemistry has published the report as its cover story on March 16, 2018. …read more

Source:: PhysOrg Chemistry


‘Wiggling and jiggling’: Study explains how organisms evolve to live at different temperatures

The brilliant physicist Richard Feynman famously said that, in principle, biology can be explained by understanding the wiggling and jiggling of atoms. For the first time, new research from the University of Bristol, UK and the University of Waikoto, New Zealand explains how this ‘wiggling and jiggling’ of the atoms in enzymes – the proteins that make biological reactions happen – is ‘choreographed’ to make them work at a particular temperature. Enzyme catalysis is essential to life, and this research sheds light on how enzymes have evolved and adapted, enabling organisms to evolve to live at different temperatures. …read more

Source:: PhysOrg Chemistry


Novel adhesive and thermally stable epoxy resins

Epoxy resins or epoxies are organic compounds that can be hardened into adhesive materials with excellent thermal stability, mechanical strength, and chemical resistance. The hardening or ‘curing’ results from cross-linking either within the resin itself or between the resin and a co-reactant. Epoxies are produced by polymerization of epoxides—organic molecules with one or more three-atomic, triangluar carbon–oxygen–carbon (C–O–C) rings. Such rings exhibit a high strain, resulting in the easy polymerization of epoxies. …read more

Source:: PhysOrg Chemistry


Investigation of metal deposition in organs after joint replacement

The hip replacement is considered to be one of the most successful orthopaedic interventions, with 75,000 performed each year by the NHS alone. However, the implants used to replace hips contain metals, such as chromium and cobalt, which are potentially toxic and which can be deposited into tissues around the implant site due to wear and corrosion. A team of researchers used X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) on the I18 beamline to show that these metals can also find their way into organ tissues. Their results suggest that chronic diseases, such as diabetes, may create conditions in which mildly toxic trivalent chromium (CrIII) particles from replacement joints are reoxidised within the body to form carcinogenic hexavalent chromium (CrVI). Their results have been published in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology. …read more

Source:: PhysOrg Chemistry


Researchers create new low-cost, sustainable material for reducing air and water pollution

A new class of low-cost and sustainable hybrid materials could possibly displace activated carbon as the preferred choice for reducing wastewater and air pollution. The material, described in Frontiers in Chemistry, is synthesized inexpensively from solid wastes and a naturally abundant polymer—and can cut down pollutants in air and wastewater with more success than activated carbon, the current gold standard adsorbent. …read more

Source:: PhysOrg Chemistry


‘Candy cane’ polymer weave could power future functional fabrics and devices

If scientists are ever going to deliver on the promise of implantable artificial organs or clothing that dries itself, they’ll first need to solve the problem of inflexible batteries that run out of juice too quickly. They’re getting closer, and today researchers report that they’ve developed a new material by weaving two polymers together in a way that vastly increases charge storage capacity. …read more

Source:: PhysOrg Chemistry



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