Chemistry in the News
Hydrogen production in extreme bacterium
Sat, 31 Jan 2015 07:18:17 EST
Scientists have discovered a bacterium that can produce hydrogen, an element that one day could lessen the world’s dependence on oil.
New method allows for greater variation in band gap tunability
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:28:47 EST
If you can't find the ideal material, then design a new one. By manipulating the ordered arrangement of atoms in layered complex oxide materials, scientists have found a way to control their electronic band gaps, which determines the electrical behavior of the material and how it interacts with light.
DNA nanoswitches reveal how life's molecules connect
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:18:13 EST
'Bio-molecular interaction analysis, a cornerstone of biomedical research, is traditionally accomplished using equipment that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars,' said the senior author of a new study. 'Rather than develop a new instrument, we've created a nanoscale tool made from strands of DNA that can detect and report how molecules behave, enabling biological measurements to be made by almost anyone, using only common and inexpensive laboratory reagents.'
Understanding the reinforcing ability of carbon nanotubes
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 10:25:45 EST
A new article explores what is preventing the reinforcing ability of carbon nanotubes from being used in a ceramic matrix. Ever since their discovery, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been considered the ultimate additive to improve the mechanical properties of structural ceramics, such as aluminum oxide, silicon nitride and zirconium dioxide. Yet despite the remarkable strength and stiffness of CNTs, many studies have reported only marginal improvements or even the degradation of mechanical properties after these super-materials were added.
Water purification: Running fuel cells on bacteria
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:15:35 EST
Researchers in Norway have succeeded in getting bacteria to power a fuel cell. The "fuel" used is wastewater, and the products of the process are purified water droplets and electricity. This is an environmentally-friendly process for the purification of water derived from industrial processes and suchlike. It also generates small amounts of electricity – in practice enough to drive a small fan, a sensor or a light-emitting diode. In the future, the researchers hope to scale up this energy generation to enable the same energy to be used to power the water purification process, which commonly consists of many stages, often involving mechanical and energy-demanding decontamination steps at its outset.