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  • August 21, 2015
  • 01:53 PM
  • 104 views

Anti-aging tricks from dietary supplement seen in mice

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In human cells, shortened telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes, are both a sign of aging and contribute to it. Scientists have found that the dietary supplement alpha lipoic acid (ALA) can stimulate telomerase, the enzyme that lengthens telomeres, with positive effects in a mouse model of atherosclerosis.... Read more »

  • August 20, 2015
  • 06:01 PM
  • 217 views

The story of a cave and climate change

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Old writings spanning the last four hundred years have been discovered in China that detail eras of drought. Using these as a starting point, researchers have connected the time periods with changes in rainfall to predict future droughts in the region.... Read more »

Tan, L., Cai, Y., An, Z., Cheng, H., Shen, C., Breitenbach, S., Gao, Y., Edwards, R., Zhang, H., & Du, Y. (2015) A Chinese cave links climate change, social impacts, and human adaptation over the last 500 years. Scientific Reports, 12284. DOI: 10.1038/srep12284  

  • August 10, 2015
  • 01:02 PM
  • 136 views

Study of 83,000 veterans finds cardiovascular benefits to testosterone replacement

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A Veterans Affairs database study of more than 83,000 patients found that men whose low testosterone was restored to normal through gels, patches, or injections had a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from any cause, versus similar men who were not treated. The study also found that men who were treated but did not attain normal levels did not see the same benefits as those whose levels did reach normal.... Read more »

  • August 5, 2015
  • 03:14 PM
  • 155 views

How to tell the difference between bipolar disorder and depression

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Many patients with bipolar disorder, a debilitating mental condition that can take a person from the sluggishness of severe depression to super-human energy levels, are often misdiagnosed as having major depressive disorder, or MDD. But now as an alternative to reliance on patient interviews, scientists are closing in on an objective test that could help clinicians distinguish between the two — and provide better treatment.... Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 02:33 PM
  • 178 views

Crystal clear images uncover secrets of hormone receptors

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Many hormones and neurotransmitters work by binding to receptors on a cell’s exterior surface. This activates receptors causing them to twist, turn and spark chemical reactions inside cells. NIH scientists used atomic level images to show how the neuropeptide hormone neurotensin might activate its receptors. Their description is the first of its kind for a neuropeptide-binding G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), a class of receptors involved in a wide range of disorders and the target of many d........ Read more »

  • July 21, 2015
  • 12:17 PM
  • 163 views

Plants Murder Bugs to Pay Their Bodyguards

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



It's not only carnivorous plants that bugs have to watch out for. Sure, if an ant tumbles into a pitcher plant or a spider stands in the open maw of a Venus flytrap, we know what's coming next. But certain innocent-looking plants—perhaps very many of them, even including ones in your own yard—murder hosts of insects that they have no plans to eat. They lure passing bugs into a slow death, then exchange their corpses with other insects for protection.

One of these plants is the serp........ Read more »

  • July 16, 2015
  • 06:24 PM
  • 184 views

Hydraulic fracturing and hospitalization: a tentative link

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

There is little hard data bout how fracking affects health outcomes, but a new study provides a first glimpse at a correlation between increased well-drilling and inpatient rates. Read more here!... Read more »

Jemielita, T., Gerton, G., Neidell, M., Chillrud, S., Yan, B., Stute, M., Howarth, M., Saberi, P., Fausti, N., Penning, T.... (2015) Unconventional Gas and Oil Drilling Is Associated with Increased Hospital Utilization Rates. PLOS ONE, 10(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131093  

  • July 15, 2015
  • 05:42 PM
  • 152 views

New solar energy storage works at night

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

It is still an open research problem to store energy generated from solar cells, but a new, all-vanadium electrochemical cell made at UT Arlington may be a solution.... Read more »

  • July 2, 2015
  • 11:57 AM
  • 185 views

Digesting bread and pasta can release biologically active molecules

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Biologically active molecules released by digesting bread and pasta can survive digestion and potentially pass through the gut lining, suggests new research. The study reveals the molecules released when real samples of bread and pasta are digested, providing new information for research into gluten sensitivity.... Read more »

  • June 30, 2015
  • 11:14 PM
  • 187 views

Surface matters: using earth-abundant materials to split water for energy storage

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Scientists have developed a new way to grow hematite as an electrode in solar water-splitting devices to greatly improve efficiency!... Read more »

Jang, J., Du, C., Ye, Y., Lin, Y., Yao, X., Thorne, J., Liu, E., McMahon, G., Zhu, J., Javey, A.... (2015) Enabling unassisted solar water splitting by iron oxide and silicon. Nature Communications, 7447. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8447  

  • June 25, 2015
  • 03:02 PM
  • 185 views

Synthetic biology used to engineer new route to biochemicals

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Living cells can make a vast range of products for us, but they don’t always do it in the most straightforward or efficient way. Shota Atsumi, a chemistry professor at UC Davis, aims to address that through “synthetic biology:” designing and building new biochemical pathways within living cells, based on existing pathways from other living things.... Read more »

  • June 24, 2015
  • 05:51 PM
  • 176 views

The benefit of order: new organic solar cell structure improves charge separation

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Organic solar cells suffer from fast electron-hole recombination, limiting efficiency, but scientists have found a cool new structure to prevent such limitations!... Read more »

Huber, R., Ferreira, A., Thompson, R., Kilbride, D., Knutson, N., Devi, L., Toso, D., Challa, J., Zhou, Z., Rubin, Y.... (2015) Long-lived photoinduced polaron formation in conjugated polyelectrolyte-fullerene assemblies. Science, 348(6241), 1340-1343. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa6850  

  • June 15, 2015
  • 01:13 PM
  • 181 views

Avocados may hold the answer to beating leukemia

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Rich, creamy, nutritious and now cancer fighting. New research reveals that molecules derived from avocados could be effective in treating a form of cancer. Professor Paul Spagnuolo from the University of Waterloo has discovered a lipid in avocados that combats acute myeloid leukemia (AML) by targeting the root of the disease – leukemia stem cells. Worldwide, there are few drug treatments available to patients that target leukemia stem cells.... Read more »

Lee, E., Angka, L., Rota, S., Hanlon, T., Mitchell, A., Hurren, R., Wang, X., Gronda, M., Boyaci, E., Bojko, B.... (2015) Targeting Mitochondria with Avocatin B Induces Selective Leukemia Cell Death. Cancer Research, 75(12), 2478-2488. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-2676  

  • June 13, 2015
  • 01:44 PM
  • 168 views

Hormone that differentiates sugar, diet sweeteners could exist in humans

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We’ve all been there: We eat an entire sleeve of fat-free, low-calorie cookies and we’re stuffing ourselves with more food 15 minutes later. One theory to explain this phenomenon is that artificial sweeteners don’t contain the calories or energy that evolution has trained the brain to expect from sweet-tasting foods, so they don’t fool the brain […]... Read more »

Monica Dus et al. (2015) Nutrient Sensor in the Brain Directs the Action of the Brain-Gut Axis in Drosophila. Neuron. info:/10.1016/j.neuron.2015.05.032

  • June 11, 2015
  • 03:12 PM
  • 195 views

Milk proteins may protect against cardiovascular disease

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that results in browned foods like seared steaks and toasted bread. When proteins and sugars are mixed together and heated, new chemical compounds are formed. Some are responsible for new flavors and some, according to a new study, may protect us against cardiovascular disease.... Read more »

  • June 6, 2015
  • 06:31 AM
  • 170 views

Humidity Powered Energy

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

We can now power low energy devices using humidity! Scientists harnessed bacteria that shrink in response to changes in humidity to generate energy.... Read more »

Yuan, T., Ormonde, C., Kudlacek, S., Kunche, S., Smith, J., Brown, W., Pugliese, K., Olsen, T., Iftikhar, M., Raston, C.... (2015) Shear-Stress-Mediated Refolding of Proteins from Aggregates and Inclusion Bodies. ChemBioChem. DOI: 10.1002/cbic.201402427  

  • May 27, 2015
  • 03:52 PM
  • 285 views

Expanding the code of life with new ‘letters’

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The DNA encoding all life on Earth is made of four building blocks called nucleotides, commonly known as “letters,” that line up in pairs and twist into a double helix. Now, two groups of scientists are reporting for the first time that two new nucleotides can do the same thing — raising the possibility that entirely new proteins could be created for medical uses.... Read more »

Georgiadis, M., Singh, I., Kellett, W., Hoshika, S., Benner, S., & Richards, N. (2015) Structural Basis for a Six Nucleotide Genetic Alphabet. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b03482  

Zhang, L., Yang, Z., Sefah, K., Bradley, K., Hoshika, S., Kim, M., Kim, H., Zhu, G., Jiménez, E., Cansiz, S.... (2015) Evolution of Functional Six-Nucleotide DNA. Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b02251  

  • May 27, 2015
  • 08:50 AM
  • 263 views

Back in black: record efficiency for black-silicon solar cell

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Crystalline silicon solar cells are reaching their efficiency limit and manufacturing costs. But a new method to create black-silicon solar cells, potentially cheaper, has led to a record 22.1% efficiency. Learn about the physics behind the record here!... Read more »

Savin H, Repo P, von Gastrow G, Ortega P, Calle E, Garín M, & Alcubilla R. (2015) Black silicon solar cells with interdigitated back-contacts achieve 22.1% efficiency. Nature nanotechnology. PMID: 25984832  

  • May 20, 2015
  • 06:04 PM
  • 316 views

Tiny grains of lithium dramatically improve performance of fusion plasma

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

While fusion might still be a far off dream, a new discovery may help bring that dream closer to reality. Scientists have discovered a phenomenon that helps them to improve fusion plasmas, a finding that could quicken the development of large scale fusion energy. The scientists found that when they injected tiny grains of lithium into a plasma undergoing a particular kind of turbulence then, under the right conditions, the temperature and pressure rose dramatically.... Read more »

Kaye, S., Abrams, T., Ahn, J., Allain, J., Andre, R., Andruczyk, D., Barchfeld, R., Battaglia, D., Bhattacharjee, A., Bedoya, F.... (2015) An overview of recent physics results from NSTX. Nuclear Fusion, 55(10), 104002. DOI: 10.1088/0029-5515/55/10/104002  

  • May 15, 2015
  • 03:13 PM
  • 226 views

The fingerprint drug test

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers have demonstrated a new, noninvasive test that can detect cocaine use through a simple fingerprint. For the first time, this new fingerprint method can determine whether cocaine has been ingested, rather than just touched.... Read more »

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