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The Lead

Molecule Tricks Viruses into Mutating to Death

April 23, 2015 | by Univ. of Chicago | News | Comments

A newly developed spectroscopy method is helping to clarify the poorly understood molecular process by which an anti-HIV drug induces lethal mutations in the virus’ genetic material. The find could bolster efforts to develop the next generation of anti-viral treatments.

 

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Lab Daily

Micro GC Rapidly Detects Volatile Organic Compounds

April 23, 2015 9:00 am | by Virginia Tech | News | Comments

Over the past several decades, the progress in micro fabrication technology has revolutionized the world in such fields as computing, signal processing and automotive manufacturing. One researcher has developed a credit-card-sized gas chromatography platform that can analyze volatile compounds within seconds.

Hyperspectral Imaging Spots Peanut Contamination

April 23, 2015 9:00 am | by IM Publications LLP | News | Comments

Study the label of almost any food product and you're likely to see the rather vague warning, "May contain peanuts," somewhere on there. These warnings of peanut contamination could soon lose much of their uncertainty, thanks to a novel form of near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy known as NIR hyperspectral imaging.

Research Reveals Why a Pea Cultivar is Heat Tolerant

April 23, 2015 9:00 am | by Canadian Light Source | News | Comments

A recent collaboration is proving the potential for molecular imaging in plant research that could produce greater yields, healthier varieties and more food for a hungry planet with a rising average temperature. Researchers used spectroscopy to examine the development of pollen grains during the development of two pea varieties exposed to heat stress.

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Fracking Chemicals Provide Basis for Testing, Regulation

April 23, 2015 9:00 am | by Elsevier | News | Comments

The organic chemicals in fracking fluid have been uncovered in two new studies, providing a basis for water contamination testing and future regulation. The research reveals that fracking fluid contains compounds like biocides, which are potentially harmful if they leak into the groundwater.

New Technique Analyzes Precious Art Sans Damage

April 7, 2015 9:00 am | by Science and Technology Facilities Council | News | Comments

Precious works of art in need of preservation or authentication could be studied using a laser technique, Micro-SORS, derived from a technique called Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS). Last year, researchers proved the method could analyze artificially prepared layers of paint without destroying any part of them. Now, they have successfully applied it to real objects of precious art.

Researchers Freeze Highly Charged Ions

April 7, 2015 9:00 am | by Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt | News | Comments

Inside a cryogenic radiofrequency ion trap, highly charged ions are cooled down to sub-Kelvin temperatures by interaction with laser-cooled singly charged Beryllium ions. This new method opens the field of laser spectroscopy of HCIs providing the basis for novel atomic clocks and high-precision tests of the variability of natural constants.

Imaging Tech Can See Living Cells

April 7, 2015 9:00 am | by Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

A vibrational spectroscopic imaging technology that can take images of living cells could represent an advanced medical diagnostic tool for the early detection of cancer and other diseases. High-speed spectroscopic imaging makes it possible to observe the quickly changing metabolic processes inside living cells and to image large areas of tissue, making it possible to scan an entire organ.

Paleolithic Hunters Poisoned Their Weapons

April 7, 2015 9:00 am | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

Dozens of common plants are toxic. Archaeologists have long suspected that our Paleolithic ancestors used plant poisons to make their hunting weapons more lethal. Now, scientists have developed a technique for detecting residues of deadly substances on archaeological objects.

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Chemicals Can Attract Mosquitos, Stem Malaria

April 7, 2015 9:00 am | by London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine | News | Comments

In a world first, researchers have found that a naturally occurring chemical attracts pregnant malaria-transmitting mosquitoes– a discovery that could boost malaria control efforts. The chemical, cedrol, found in mosquito breeding sites near Africa’s Lake Victoria, could be used in traps that would “attract and kill” the female mosquito, preventing reproduction.

The Importance of Using Gradient Grade HPLC Solvents versus Isocratic for Gradient Applications

April 1, 2015 8:50 am | by Bruce Herzig, Applications Scientist, EMD Millipore, Darmstadt, Germany | Articles | Comments

Despite the popularity of HPLC, it isn’t always clear which grade of solvent should be selected when performing HPLC analysis for gradient applications. Using an incorrect solvent can lead to unstable baselines, ghost peaks and perceived product quality issues. To ensure the most reliable results from HPLC analysis, it is important to choose the correct solvent grade.

Formation of Aluminum Alloys Causes Battery Failures

March 19, 2015 9:00 am | by National Institute of Standards and Technology | News | Comments

Researchers have imaged the inner workings of experimental solid-state batteries as they charged and discharged while making detailed measurements of their electrochemical health. Their work has helped explain why the batteries rapidly lose performance and suggests a way for improving them.

Automated System Could Produce Vaccines Faster

March 19, 2015 9:00 am | by Max Planck Institute | News | Comments

In the event of an impending global flu pandemic, vaccine production could quickly reach its limits, as flu vaccines are still largely produced in embryonated chicken eggs. Now, researchers are working on a fully automated method for production in cell cultures that could yield vaccines in large quantities in a crisis.

Mother Lemurs Smell of Their Baby’s Gender

March 19, 2015 9:00 am | by Duke Univ. | News | Comments

Dozens of pregnancy myths claim to predict whether a mom-to-be is carrying a boy or a girl. Some say you can tell by the shape of a woman’s bump, or whether she craves salty or sweet. Even ultrasound doesn’t always get it right. But for lemurs, the answer is in the mother’s scent.

MRS Sees Precancerous Breast Changes

March 19, 2015 9:00 am | by Radiological Society of North America | News | Comments

A magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) technique that monitors biochemical changes in tissue could improve the management of women at risk of breast cancer, according to a new study.  

Old Spectroscopy Tool Enables Quantum Leaps

March 19, 2015 9:00 am | by Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

Physicists have demonstrated "ponderomotive spectroscopy," an advanced form of a technique that was born in the 17th century when Isaac Newton first showed that white light sent through a prism breaks into a rainbow. A new twist on this old tool lets scientists use light to study and control matter with 1,000 times better resolution and precision than previously possible.

Method Can Test Space Dust for Life's Ingredients

March 3, 2015 9:00 am | by Goddard Space Flight Center | News | Comments

While the origin of life remains mysterious, scientists are finding more and more evidence that material created in space and delivered to Earth by comet and meteor impacts could have given a boost to the start of life. Some meteorites supply molecules that can be used as building blocks to make certain kinds of larger molecules that are critical for life.

Researchers Simulate Flu’s Outer Envelope

March 3, 2015 9:00 am | by Biophysical Society | News | Comments

By combining experimental data from X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, cryoelectron microscopy and lipidomics, researchers have built a complete model of the outer envelope of an influenza A virion for the first time. The approach has revealed characteristics about the membrane components that may help scientists better understand how the virus survives in the wild or find new ways to combat it.

Compound-destroying Mineral Holds Implications for Mars

March 3, 2015 9:00 am | by Imperial College London | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered that the mineral jarosite breaks down organic compounds when it is flash-heated, this find has implications for Mars research. Jarosite is an iron sulfate and it is one of several minerals that NASA’s Curiosity Mission is searching for, as its presence could indicate ancient habitable environments, which may have once hosted life on the red planet.

Method Predicts Honey’s Properties

March 3, 2015 9:00 am | by Univ. of Queensland | News | Comments

Food scientists have discovered a new, low-cost way of accurately predicting the antimicrobial properties of honey using spectroscopy. The new technique could provide a cheaper, more accurate and more practical method of determining the therapeutic properties in honey, benefiting beekeepers, processors and consumers.

Laser to Help Exoplanet Hunt

March 3, 2015 9:00 am | by Institute of Physics | News | Comments

The hunt for Earth-like planets around distant stars could soon become a lot easier thanks to a new technique. A team of researchers have successfully demonstrated how a solar telescope can be combined with a piece of technology that has already taken the physics world by storm— the laser frequency comb.

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