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Researchers achieve long-sought goal of using lasers to break specific molecular bonds
A team of researchers has achieved a long-sought scientific goal: using laser light to break specific molecular bonds. The process uses laser light, instead of heat, to strip hydrogen atoms from silicon surfaces. This is a key step in the manufacture of computer chips and solar cells, so the achievement could reduce the cost and improve the quality of a wide variety of semiconductor devices. (2006-05-18)

New laser technique that strips hydrogen from silicon surfaces
A team of researchers have achieved a long-sought scientific goal: using laser light to break specific molecular bonds. The process uses laser light, instead of heat, to strip hydrogen atoms from silicon surfaces, a key step in the manufacture of computer chips and solar cells. (2006-05-18)

'Pinball protons' created by ultraviolet rays and other causes can lead to DNA damage
Computational chemists at the University of Georgia have discovered for the first time that when a proton is knocked off one of the pairs of bases that make up DNA, a chain of damage begins that causes (2006-05-17)

Discoveries should aid research into cause of ALS
Two teams of researchers at Northwestern University have found a novel pathological hallmark of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at the molecular level. The neurologists and biochemists show how and why the mutated superoxide dismutase (SOD1) protein, which is associated with a familial form of ALS, becomes vulnerable and prone to aggregation and also provide evidence linking disease onset with the formation of intermolecular aggregates. (2006-04-25)

Rutgers team's coal-to-diesel breakthrough could drastically cut oil imports
Researchers have developed a practical way to convert carbon sources, such as coal to diesel fuel, that could significantly cut America's dependence on foreign oil. The breakthrough technology employs a pair of catalytic chemical reactions that operate in tandem, one of which captured the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. They have revamped the Fischer-Tropsch process to the point where, for the first time, it becomes commercially viable for coal conversion. (2006-04-13)

Making alternative fuel becomes more efficient with dual-catalyst system: UNC-Rutgers study
As the United States' oil reserves dwindle, some say the nation will have to rely on synthetic petroleum fuel made from its large stores of coal. A two-step chemical process augments a method of making cleaner-burning alternative fuel from coal and other carbon sources by transforming some of its waste products into diesel fuel, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, report. (2006-04-13)

Chameleon T-shirts
Soon you won't need to buy different coloured T-shirts to match your wardrobe, just flick a switch on your new chameleon shirt to change its colour based on your mood or outfit. American researchers have developed the first threads that can change colour in response to an applied electric field. Different coloured threads, made of electrochromic polymers, would be woven into a T-shirt along with a small number of thin metal wires connected to a battery and controller. (2006-04-05)

Virginia Tech studies reveal reaction pathways for ozone on organic surfaces
Virginia Tech chemistry researchers have made a discovery about how ozone degrades organic surfaces such as biological surfactants and polymeric coatings. (2006-03-30)

Cellular scale drug delivery from the inside out
Using tiny silica particles call mesoporous nanospheres to carry drugs inside living cells, Ames Laboratory chemist Victor Lin is studying different methods to control whether or not the particle delivers its pharmaceutical payload (2006-03-29)

Computer model maps strengths, weaknesses of nanotubes
In theory, carbon nanotubes are 100 times stronger than steel, but in practice they've proven much weaker, raising questions about precisely how they break and why. A new computer modeling approach described in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences offers new clues. The model creates a (2006-03-27)

Creation of antibiotic in test tube holds promise for better antibiotics
Scientists have made nisin, a natural antibiotic used for more than 40 years to preserve food, in a test tube for the first time using nature's toolbox. They also identified the structure of the enzyme that makes nisin and gives it its unique biological power. (2006-03-09)

Brandeis chemist wins Sloan Research Fellowship
Chemist Oleg Ozerov has won a 2006 Sloan Reserach Fellowship, a highly competitive award given to the very best young faculty in specific scientific disciplines. (2006-03-02)

Radical proposal to speed development of stem cell therapies
The proliferation of patents in the emerging stem cell field may impede scientists from developing new treatments, says Merrill Goozner of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in the open access journal PLoS Medicine. (2006-02-27)

NIST method may help optimize light-emitting semiconductors
Physicists at JILA, a joint institute of NIST and the University of Colorado, have demonstrated an ultrafast laser technique for (2006-02-16)

Hydrogen bonds shown to play 'conserved' role in protein folding
By changing individual atoms in key places in proteins, Duke University chemists have found new evidence for the importance of comparatively weak (2006-02-10)

Stable polymer nanotubes may have a biotech future
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have created polymer nanotubes that are unusually long (about 1 centimeter) as well as stable enough to maintain their shape indefinitely. Described in a new paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the nanotubes may have biotechnology applications, for example, as the (2006-02-02)

Baboons in mourning seek comfort among friends
According to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, baboons physiologically respond to bereavement in ways similar to humans, with an increase in stress hormones called glucocorticoids. Baboons can lower their glucocorticoid levels through friendly social contact, expanding their social network after the loss of specific close companions. (2006-01-30)

Rutgers researchers create tiny chemical cages to enclose drug, pesticide molecules
Tiny chemical cages created by Rutgers researchers show potential for delivering drugs to organs or tissues where they're needed and making pesticides less hazardous to handle. These cage-like molecules measure a mere 3.2 nanometers wide. Researchers have shown a way to securely link component molecules together in a cage using an efficient, one-step process. (2006-01-18)

Ames lab alloy could boost next generation jet fighter
The next generation of jet fighter aircraft could fly farther and faster thanks to a new high-strength aluminum alloy prepared at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory. The new alloy is one material being developed for use in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a cutting-edge aircraft that will see widespread use as the primary fighter for the US Navy, Air Force, and Marines as well as US allies abroad. (2006-01-04)

Computer simulation shows buckyballs deform DNA
A new study published in December 2005 in Biophysical Journal raises a red flag regarding the safety of buckyballs when dissolved in water. It reports the results of a detailed computer simulation that finds buckyballs bind to the spirals in DNA molecules in an aqueous environment, causing the DNA to deform, potentially interfering with its biological functions and possibly causing long-term negative side effects in people and other living organisms. (2005-12-06)

Building a better hydrogen trap
Using building blocks that make up ordinary plastics, but putting them together in a whole new way, University of Michigan researchers have created a class of lightweight, rigid polymers they predict will be useful for storing hydrogen fuel. (2005-11-17)

For the first time, a five-fold bond
Chemists at UC Davis have made the first stable compound with a five-fold bond between two metal atoms. The work with chromium could give researchers new insights into the nature of chemical bonding. (2005-10-13)

Scientist uses form to explain function of key building blocks of life
University of Wisconsin-Madison biochemists have developed an approach that allows them to measure with unprecedented accuracy the strengths of hydrogen bonds in a protein. The scientists were then able to predict the function of different versions of the protein based on structural information, a novel outcome that was published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (2005-09-30)

Research shows how water may enhance nanocatalysis
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have uncovered important evidence that explains how water, usually an inhibitor of catalytic reactions, can sometimes promote them. The findings could lead to fewer constraints on reaction conditions potentially leading to the development of lower cost techniques for certain industrially important catalytic reactions. (2005-09-12)

Discovery will aid identification of misregulated genes in Rett Syndrome
Adrian Bird of the University of Edinburgh and colleagues report today in the online issue of Molecular Cell that the (2005-09-02)

Argonne researchers create new diamond-nanotube composite material
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have combined the world's hardest known material - diamond - with the world's strongest structural form - carbon nanotubes. This new process for (2005-08-30)

New look at DNA hints at origin of ultraviolet damage
Chemists at Ohio State University have gained new insight into how sunlight affects DNA. And what they found overturns ideas about genetic mutation that originated decades ago. In the current issue of the journal Nature, Bern Kohler and his colleagues report that DNA dissipates the energy from ultraviolet (UV) radiation in a kind of energy wave that travels up the edge of the DNA molecule, as if the energy were climbing one side of the helical DNA (2005-08-24)

Genomics reveals mechanism of heat resistance in bacteria
Research published in the open access journal PLoS Biology reveals that certain thermophiles are found to stabilize their proteins in extreme environments with additional disulfide bonds. A phylogenetic profile identifies a protein disulfide oxidoreductase critical to the stabilization process. (2005-08-22)

New molecule may aid in production of biofuels and fungi-resistant plants
In a recent study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, scientists report on the discovery of a new molecule that is essential for degradation of the biopolymer chitin. This new molecule could eventually aid in the engineering of fungi-resistant plants and could also lead to the discovery of similar molecules that can be used in cellulose-based biofuel production. (2005-08-01)

Research debunks myth of self-reliant nuclear family
Despite the long-cherished belief that the nuclear family is independent and self-sustaining, most families with working parents depend on a network of care to manage work and family demands, according to research by Brandeis University sociologist Karen Hansen. (2005-07-28)

New U. of Colorado polymer has applications for dentistry, electronics, automobiles
University of Colorado at Boulder researchers have developed a new polymer that resists cracking and shrinking, paving the way for creative breakthroughs in fields ranging from dentistry and microelectronics to the auto industry. (2005-06-09)

Switching to chemistry
Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have demonstrated a new kind of electrical switch, formed of organic molecules, that could be used in the future in nanoscale electronic components. (2005-04-21)

Duke chemists isolating individual molecules of toxic protein in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease
To understand the formation of the brain-clogging deposits that cause such disorders as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, Duke University chemists have figured out how to capture and (2005-03-16)

Why is the helix such a popular shape? Perhaps because they are nature's space savers
Something about nature loves a helix, the ubiquitous spiral shape taken on by DNA and many other biomolecules. The shape is so useful that, while researching the means of creating self-assembling artificial helices, University of Pennsylvania physicists believe that they have come across a mathematical reason for why the helix is so common: because it is the best shape for fitting a lot of material in as little space as possible. (2005-02-17)

Economist calls for tax on the unborn to pay for cut greenhouse gases
University of Warwick Economist Professor Andrew Oswald is to call for the introduction of innovative Global Warming Bonds that would financially reward companies and individuals that reduce emissions now but which would be paid for by taxes on those yet to be born. (2005-02-09)

Molecular scale resolution achieved in polymer nanoimprinting technique
Scientists using molds derived from carbon nanotubes have approached the ultimate resolution -- defined by molecular scale dimensions -- in a widely used polymer nanoimprinting technique. By accurately replicating features with nanometer dimensions, the technique could play future roles in fabricating structures in fields as diverse as microelectronics, nanofluidics and biotechnology. (2005-01-21)

Scientists find evidence of electrical charging of nanocatalysts
Studying nano-sized clusters of gold on a magnesium oxide surface, scientists found direct evidence for electrical charging of a nano-sized catalyst, an important factor in increasing the rate of chemical reactions. (2005-01-20)

Floating films on liquid mercury
Scientists have grown ultrathin films of organic chain molecules on the surface of liquid mercury and discovered that the molecules form ordered structures. Similar to sixty years ago when fundamental studies of silicon paved the way to the semiconductor-electronics age, these results help to build a foundation for the development of tiny circuits built using organic molecules -- called molecular electronics -- a field believed to be the future of many electronic applications. (2005-01-14)

Molecular chains line up to form protopolymer
A new chemical state, called a (2004-12-07)

Purdue engineers create model for testing transistor reliability
Researchers at Purdue University have created a (2004-11-30)

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