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  • February 27, 2014
  • 08:10 PM

Hydrophobically Modified Glycol Chitosan Nanoparticles and their Biocompatibility in Murine Osteosarcoma and Osteoblast-like Cells

by JNSM in JScholar Publishers

Glycol chitosan, a derivative of chitosan, can be hydrophobically modified by 5ß-cholanic acid to impart amphiphilic properties that enable the self-assembly into nanoparticles in aqueous media at neutral pH. This nanoparticle system has shown initial success as a therapeutic agent in several model cell culture systems, but little is known about its stability against enzymatic degradation. The goal of this research was therefore to investigate the physicochemical properties of hydrophobically modified glycol chitosan nanoparticles (CNP) under exposure to lysozyme, a ubiquitous mammalian enzyme. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) revealed that the CNP vehicles had an average hydrodynamic diameter of 288.6 nm.... Read more »

Amanda Chin, Giulia Suarato, Yizhi Meng. (2014) Evaluation of Physicochemical Characteristics of Hydrophobically Modified Glycol Chitosan Nanoparticles and their Biocompatibility in Murine Osteosarcoma and Osteoblast-like Cells. Journal of Nanotechnology and Smart Materials, 1(1), 1-7. info:/1: 104

  • February 27, 2014
  • 12:05 PM

Nickel Foam, Nanotechnology Enable Lightweight Lithium Batteries

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Zhaolin Liu from the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering in Singapore, in collaboration with Aishui Yu and co-workers from Fudan University in China, has developed a carbon nanotube electrode that can alleviate recharging problems in lithium-oxygen batteries, thanks to a support made from three-dimensional nickel foam.... Read more »

  • February 27, 2014
  • 12:39 AM

Nanotechnology and Smart Materials for “More than Moore” – It’s a Small World After All!

by JNSM in JScholar Publishers

Ever since Gordon Moore fore told about the future of the integrated circuit (IC) back in 1965 [1], Moore’s law was not only an accurate forecast of the achievements that microelectronics community has made, but also was a yardstick of the appropriate level of the commercial development in microelectronics for the past five decades. Such an amazing pace of the IC technology development was possible essentially because of simple two-dimensional (2D) structure of the metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) field effect transistor (FET) invented by Hofstein and Heiman [2]. Putting more transistors in the same chip was possible simply by decreasing 2D feature size of the IC. The never-ending quest for ever and ever smaller feature size (another word, ever and ever increasing numbers of the transistors) in IC is stunning and gate insulation layer thickness today is only a few layers of oxide and the minimum feature size of the IC is sub-20 nm. While keeping this march becomes more challenging, there is no doubt that this amazing “more Moore” march will continue at least for a couple of more decades thanks to numerous innovations in materials, production technologies and a paradigm shift in design like FinFET [3]. However, “more Moore” by feature size reduction can only go so far and year after year we are getting one step closer to the physical limit.... Read more »

Jeong Bong Lee. (2014) Nanotechnology and Smart Materials for “More than Moore” – It’s a Small World After All!. Journal of Nanotechnology and Smart Materials, 1(1), 1-3. info:/1: 102

  • February 26, 2014
  • 03:47 PM

Lightning Helps Protect Electrical Grid Components

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm are using lightning and other high voltage currents to help utilities track the health of electrical grid components throughout their systems.... Read more »

  • February 26, 2014
  • 03:24 AM

Get the best of both worlds with Fiji’s Jython interpreter

by Juan Nunez-Iglesias in I Love Symposia!

Fiji is just ImageJ, with batteries included. It contains plugins to do virtually anything you would want to do to an image. Since my go-to programming language is Python, my favorite feature of Fiji is its language-agnostic API, which supports a plethora of languages, including Java, Javascript, Clojure, and of course Python; 7 languages in all. (Find these under Plugins/Scripting/Script Editor.) Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of using Python to drive Fiji.... Read more »

Schindelin J, Arganda-Carreras I, Frise E, Kaynig V, Longair M, Pietzsch T, Preibisch S, Rueden C, Saalfeld S, Schmid B.... (2012) Fiji: an open-source platform for biological-image analysis. Nature methods, 9(7), 676-82. PMID: 22743772  

  • February 24, 2014
  • 07:00 AM

Biomass-based Nanocomposites and Mesoporous Materials

by JNSM in JScholar Publishers

The conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into fuels and chemicals has been rigorously investigated as a response to the depletion of petroleum resources, increasing demand for in oil and secure access to energy. It has been estimated that by 2030 lignocellulosic biomass could supply a substantial portion of the international chemical and transportation fuel market. Lignocellulosic biomass is usually composed of three components: 35-50 wt% cellulose, 20-40 wt% hemicellulose, and 10-25 wt% lignin. While lignocellulose is cheap and abundant forms of biomass, it is difficult to convert to target materials due to the high crystallinity structure and oxygen/carbon ratio. In order to increase the biomass conversion and upgrade bio-oil into fuels (green diesel) and chemicals, oxygen reduction and chemical bonding rearrangement are crucial. Lignocellulose can be depolymerized to C5/C6 fragment by hydrolysis using an acid catalyst such as HCl or H2SO4. Furfuryl alcohol (FA; C5H6O2) and hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF, C6H6O3), which can be produced from hemicellulose and cellulose, respectively, by dehydration and decomposition, have been identified as are considered to be a key furan derivatives.... Read more »

Tae Jin Kim. (2014) Biomass-based Nanocomposites and Mesoporous Materials. Journal of Nanotechnology and Smart Materials, 1(1), 1-2. info:/1: 103

  • February 22, 2014
  • 09:07 PM

Modest Data Reported From Oxford Nanopore's Exciting MinION Sequencing Platform

by Geoffrey Hannigan in Prophage

The first data from Oxford Nanopore's promising MinION sequencing platform was released a couple of days ago. The sequencing data was released at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology Meeting in Florida, and was presented by Dr David Jaffe of the Broad Institute in Cambridge, MA...... Read more »

  • February 22, 2014
  • 11:55 AM

Nailing down the Yang-Mills problem

by Marco Frasca in The Gauge Connection

Millennium problems represent a major challenge for physicists and mathematicians. So far, the only one that has been solved was the Poincaré conjecture (now a theorem) by Grisha Perelman. For people working in strong interactions and quantum chromodynamics, the most interesting of such problems is the Yang-Mills mass gap and existence problem. The solutions of […]... Read more »

Axel Weber. (2012) Epsilon expansion for infrared Yang-Mills theory in Landau gauge. Phys. Rev. D , 125005. arXiv: 1112.1157v2

Marco Frasca. (2007) Infrared Gluon and Ghost Propagators. Phys.Lett.B670:73-77,2008. arXiv: 0709.2042v6

Marco Frasca. (2009) Mapping a Massless Scalar Field Theory on a Yang-Mills Theory: Classical Case. Mod. Phys. Lett. A 24, 2425-2432 (2009). arXiv: 0903.2357v4

Marco Frasca. (2010) Mapping theorem and Green functions in Yang-Mills theory. PoS FacesQCD:039,2010. arXiv: 1011.3643v3

  • February 21, 2014
  • 08:21 AM

Virtual Customer Service Agents: Any Help?

by Nura Rutten in United Academics

Perhaps you are able to recall this, but there was a time that if you had a question or a complaint, you could go to a building, with a desk, and there was an actual person to talk to and get annoyed with. Nowadays, you type hours of your life away writing emails or filling in contact forms, while being on hold at the customer service for days in a row. However, not long ago, the virtual customer service agent (VCSA) appeared. ... Read more »

  • February 21, 2014
  • 07:37 AM

Scientists Inject Salmon With Novel Microbatteries

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Scientists have created a microbattery that packs twice the energy compared to current microbatteries used to monitor the movements of salmon through rivers in the Pacific Northwest and around the world.... Read more »

Honghao Chen, Samuel Cartmell, Qiang Wang, Terence Lozano, Z. Daniel Deng, Huidong Li, Xilin Chen, Yong Yuan, Mark E. Gross, Thomas J. Carlson, Jie Xiao. (2014) Micro-battery development for juvenile salmon acoustic telemetry system applications. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep03790  

  • February 21, 2014
  • 04:43 AM

Slow publishing innovation

by egonw in Chem-bla-ics

Elsevier is not the only publisher with a large innovation inertia. In fact, I think many large organizations do, particularly if there are too many interdependencies, causing too long lines. Greg Laundrum made me aware that one American Chemical Society journal is now going to encourage (not require) machine readable forms of chemical structures to be included in their flagship. The reasoning by Gilson et al. is balanced. It is also 15 years too late. This question was relevant at the end of the last century. The technologies were already more advanced than what will now be adopted. 15 years!!! Seriously, that's close to the time it takes to bring a new drug on the market!Look at what they suggest and think about it. Include SMILES strings for structures in the paper. I very much welcome this, of course, despite I am not a big fan of SMILES at all. They could have said something about OpenSMILES too, which is more precise. They do say something about the InChI and InChIKey, but not that the SMILES string can more precisely reflect the drawing. I wonder why they don't go for a format that can actually capture the image, like CML or a MDL molfile. Then again, a SMILES copy/pastes so nicely. Talking about slow innovation. There is zero technical reason you could not copy/paste a MDL molfile into a spreadsheet (and you can with many tools, in fact...)Now, I still have tons of questions. What tool will be used to validate the correctness and absence of ambiguity before the publication? Will the SMILES strings be validated at all? And at what level? Will it have to be compatible with particular tools? Does it have to be compatible with OpenSMILES? Under what license will these SMILES be available (can we data mine DOI-SMILES links and openly share them)? What was the reasoning for finally adopting this? Will the journal also accept submission where both SMILES and other formats are provided? Will they accept or deny SMARTS strings (e.g. for Markush structures)?All in all, I second the others, and am happy to see this step. I do hope they do not stop here and wait again 15 years for another step. In fact, they ask for input on That is double promising! Gilson MK, Georg G, & Wang S (2014). Digital Chemistry in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Journal of medicinal chemistry PMID: 24521446... Read more »

Gilson MK, Georg G, & Wang S. (2014) Digital Chemistry in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Journal of medicinal chemistry. PMID: 24521446  

  • February 19, 2014
  • 04:38 PM

Pomegranate-Shaped Electrode Could Lead to More Powerful Batteries

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

An electrode designed like a pomegranate — with silicon nanoparticles clustered like seeds in a tough carbon rind — overcomes several remaining obstacles to using silicon for a new generation of lithium-ion batteries, say its inventors at Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.... Read more »

  • February 15, 2014
  • 12:59 PM

A Hop, Skip, and a pre-synaptic Patch

by TheCellularScale in The Cellular Scale

This new technique is just too cool not to blog about.  Novak et al. 2013 Figure 1A pre-synaptic patch clampThe synapse is the connection between two neurons. The pre-synaptic part is from the neuron sending a signal and the post-synaptic part is from the neuron receiving the signal. If you want to learn about the connection between the two neurons, you want to know what is happening on both sides of the synapse. It's relatively easy to record signals from the post-synaptic side using patch clamp or sharp electrode recording, but it is much much harder (basically impossible until now) to record from the pre-synaptic side.There is a gigantic synapse called the Calyx of Held where the pre-synaptic side is huge and envelops the post-synaptic side like a baseball glove holding a baseball.Calyx of Held (a schematic diagram) source The calyx of held is relatively easy to record from because it is so huge. So it is essentially where all the information about pre-synaptic terminals comes from. But Novak et al. have published a paper using this 'electrode hopping' technique to find and patch normal sized pre-synaptic terminals. A computer controlled nanopipette (which is essentially a micropipette) goes up comes back down across a layer of cells. It 'senses' cell membrane by an increase in resistance and stops before it hits the cell. Then it raises up again and moves over a little bit and comes back down. After a bazillion hops, the whole surface of an area of cell can be mapped. You can see a video of this in their very nice video abstract. After they have mapped an area, they find a pre-synaptic terminal (called a bouton) and they use the same pipette that was just used to map the area to patch the bouton (They have to make the opening of the pipette bigger first, so they just smash it into the glass near the tissue until it breaks...!!.. .but apparently that works). They patch the pre-synaptic bouton and record the calcium channels that help the pre-syanptic cell send its signal to the post-synaptic cell. © TheCellularScaleNovak P, Gorelik J, Vivekananda U, Shevchuk AI, Ermolyuk YS, Bailey RJ, Bushby AJ, Moss GW, Rusakov DA, Klenerman D, Kullmann DM, Volynski KE, & Korchev YE (2013). Nanoscale-targeted patch-clamp recordings of functional presynaptic ion channels. Neuron, 79 (6), 1067-77 PMID: 24050398... Read more »

Novak P, Gorelik J, Vivekananda U, Shevchuk AI, Ermolyuk YS, Bailey RJ, Bushby AJ, Moss GW, Rusakov DA, Klenerman D.... (2013) Nanoscale-targeted patch-clamp recordings of functional presynaptic ion channels. Neuron, 79(6), 1067-77. PMID: 24050398  

  • February 14, 2014
  • 11:45 PM

Evolution is a special kind of (machine) learning

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Theoretical computer science has a long history of peering through the algorithmic lens at the brain, mind, and learning. In fact, I would argue that the field was born from the epistemological questions of what can our minds learn of mathematical truth through formal proofs. The perspective became more scientific with McCullock & Pitts’ (1943) […]... Read more »

Valiant, L.G. (2009) Evolvability. Journal of the ACM, 56(1), 3. DOI: 10.1145/1462153.1462156  

  • February 13, 2014
  • 06:11 PM

Study Suggests Using Industrial Waste for Fracking

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Industrial and domestic waste materials are viable alternative sources of raw materials for engineering proppants for use in shale gas and oil recovery, according to Penn State material scientists John Hellmann and Barry Scheetz.... Read more »

John R. Hellmann, Barry E. Scheetz, Walter G. Luscher, David G. Hartwich, and Ryan P. Koseki. (2014) Proppants for shale gas and oil recovery—Engineering ceramics for stimulation of unconventional energy resources. American Ceramic Society Bulletin, 93(1). info:other/AI96050

  • February 13, 2014
  • 09:35 AM

Technology Prevents Spontaneous Combustion in Li-Ion Batteries

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

In studying a material that prevents marine life from sticking to the bottom of ships, researchers led by chemist Joseph DeSimone at UNC-Chapel Hill have identified a surprising replacement for the only inherently flammable component of today’s lithium-ion batteries: the electrolyte.... Read more »

Dominica H. C. Wong, Jacob L. Thelen, Yanbao Fu, Didier Devaux, Ashish A. Pandya, Vincent S. Battaglia, Nitash P. Balsara, and Joseph M. DeSimone. (2014) Nonflammable perfluoropolyether-based electrolytes for lithium batteries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1314615111  

  • February 13, 2014
  • 06:46 AM

Microbial Biomarker Discovery and How to Properly Format Your Data (Lefse)

by Geoffrey Hannigan in Prophage

Biomarker discovery is a big part of medical research. A biomarker is a clinical signal, like the presence of a gene in your genome or colonization of your lungs with a certain bacterial species, whose presence or absence indicates a disease state or predicts an increased risk for developing a disease state. These play important roles in medicine because they can allow for disease diagnosis (ie. the physician can test for the disease biomarker) or provide a prediction of whether the patient is at a higher risk for developing a condition (ie. a gene that puts a patient at higher risk for developing diabetes). There are some good programs out there for biomarker discovery, but one I particularly like is Lefse.... Read more »

Nicola Segata, Jacques Izard, Levi Waldron, Dirk Gevers, Larisa Miropolsky, Wendy S Garrett, & Curtis Huttenhower. (2011) Metagenomic biomarker discovery and explanation. Genome Biol. DOI: 10.1186/gb-2011-12-6-r60  

  • February 11, 2014
  • 03:12 PM

Enduring Sharedom

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

The recent study "Silent Listeners: The Evolution of Privacy and Disclosure on Facebook" conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University monitored the public disclosure (information visible to all) and private disclosure (information visible to Facebook friends) of personal data by more than 5,000 Facebook users during the time period 2005-2011. ... Read more »

Fred Stutzman, Ralph Grossy, & Alessandro Acquistiz. (2012) Silent Listeners: The Evolution of Privacy and Disclosure on Facebook. Journal of Privacy and Confidentiality. info:/

  • February 7, 2014
  • 11:45 PM

Misleading models: “How learning can guide evolution”

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

I often see examples of mathematicians, physicists, or computer scientists transitioning into other scientific disciplines and going on to great success. However, the converse is rare, and the only two examples I know is Edward Witten’s transition from an undergad in history and linguistics to a ground-breaking career in theoretical physicist, and Geoffrey Hinton‘s transition […]... Read more »

Hinton, G. E., & Nowlan, S. J. (1987) How learning can guide evolution. Complex Systems, 1(3), 495-502. info:/

  • February 5, 2014
  • 11:53 AM

Piezoelectric Devices Harvest Energy From Heart, Lungs, Diaphragm

by dailyfusion in The Daily Fusion

Researchers at the University of Arizona and the University of Illinois have developed tiny piezoelectric power generators that can convert the motion of a beating heart into electrical energy.... Read more »

Canan Dagdeviren, Byung Duk Yang, Yewang Su, Phat L. Tran, Pauline Joe, Eric Anderson, Jing Xia, Vijay Doraiswamy, Behrooz Dehdashti, Xue Feng, Bingwei Lu, Robert Poston, Zain Khalpey, Roozbeh Ghaffari, Yonggang Huang, Marvin J. Slepian, and John A. Roger. (2014) Conformal piezoelectric energy harvesting and storage from motions of the heart, lung, and diaphragm. PNAS, 111(5), 1927-1932. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1317233111  

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