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New Food Safety Method IDs Edible, Gutter Oils

July 23, 2015 | by The Hong Kong Polytechnic Univ. | Comments

Authentication of edible oils has been a long-term issue in food safety, and became particularly important with the emergence and widespread use of gutter oils in recent years. Now, researchers have developed a new method for rapid authentication of edible oils and screening of gutter oils.

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Quantum-dot Spectrometer Enables Portable Light Analysis

July 23, 2015 9:00 am | by MIT, Anne Trafton

Instruments that measure the properties of light, known as spectrometers, are widely used in physical, chemical and biological research. These devices are usually too large to be portable, but scientists have shown they can create spectrometers small enough to fit inside a smartphone camera, using tiny semiconductor nanoparticles called quantum dots.

X-Rays, Electrons Map Catalytic Reactions in Real-time

July 23, 2015 9:00 am | by Brookhaven National Laboratory

A new technique reveals atomic-scale changes during catalytic reactions in real-time and under real operating conditions. A team of scientists used a newly developed reaction chamber to combine x-ray absorption spectroscopy and electron microscopy for an unprecedented portrait of a common chemical reaction.

Nanotubes Key to Understanding Diseases

July 23, 2015 9:00 am | by Univ. of Cincinnati

Cancer researchers are collaborating with material scientists to create and use nanotubes to capture and understand the regulation of proteins involved in a variety of diseases including certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases and obesity.

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Research Unravels Atmospheric Mysteries

July 7, 2015 9:00 am | by Univ. of Colorado Boulder

It’s been difficult to explain patterns of toxic mercury in some parts of the world, such as why there’s so much of the toxin deposited into ecosystems from the air in the southeastern U.S., even upwind of usual sources. But, a new analysis shows that one key to understanding mercury’s strange behavior may be the unexpected reactivity of naturally occurring halogen compounds from the ocean.

Bacterial Fight Clubs Discover New Drugs

July 7, 2015 9:00 am | by Vanderbilt Univ.

Creating bacterial “fight clubs” is an effective way to find new drugs from natural sources. That is the conclusion of a team of chemists who have been exploring ways to get bacteria to produce biologically active chemicals that they normally hold in reserve.

Research Precisely Ages Planet-hosting Stars

July 7, 2015 9:00 am | by Aarhus Univ.

Research studying 33 stars found that even stars older than 11-billion-years have Earth-like planets. This constitutes the best characterized set of exoplanet host stars currently available.

Ants Smell of Blue Cheese

July 7, 2015 9:00 am | by NC State

If you live in the U.S., you’ve probably seen an odorous house ant– one of the most common ants in the country. For more than 50 years, they’ve been described as smelling like rotten coconut. But they don’t.

Chemists Weigh Intact Virus Mixture

June 18, 2015 9:00 am | by Carnegie Mellon Univ.

Chemists have separated and weighed virus particles using mass spectrometry (MS). This is the first time that researchers successfully used matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization MS to analyze a mixture of intact virus particles.

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Yeast Protein Network May Shed Light on Human Obesity

June 18, 2015 9:00 am | by Caltech

A team of biologists and a mathematician has identified and characterized a network composed of 94 proteins that work together to regulate fat storage in yeast. The find suggests that yeast could serve as a valuable test organism for studying human obesity.

Mini Laser Performs Real-time Quality Control

June 18, 2015 9:00 am | by Fraunhofer Institute

Good quality and precision are essential– a dictum that also applies to products from the pharmaceutical and chemical industry. While the quality of chemical products is often still being monitored manually during the production process, a laser-based system could take over this task in future, allowing for a continuous monitoring in real time.

Can You Trust that Label?

June 18, 2015 9:00 am | by Jessica Burdg, Contributing Science Writer

Scientific intervention is needed in the growing field of food authenticity to ensure consumers are purchasing exactly what they expect. Food authentication, especially for items such as honey and olive oil, is becoming more prevalent due to a rise in counterfeiting and mislabeling.

Scientists Study Structure of Bacterium in Search for Vaccines

June 2, 2015 10:00 am | by Arizona State Univ.

Tularemia, or rabbit fever, is a severely debilitating and sometimes fatal disease, and the pathogen involved has potential as a biological weapon. To better understand the disease– and to better design potential vaccines– a team looked at a key cellular protein in unprecedented detail.

Research Peers Inside Membrane

June 2, 2015 10:00 am | by SISSA

Little is known about how the proteins forming ion channels– the “pores” on the cell membrane– change when they open and close, especially the portion that is “embedded” in the membrane. Scientists have invented a method, based on the combined and innovative use of known techniques, which allowed them to observe in detail a specific membrane protein and its structural changes.

Research Uncovers Dynamics of Ion Channels

June 2, 2015 10:00 am | by Univ. of Vienna

Scientists have developed a method using infrared spectroscopy and atomistic modeling that will allow researchers to better understand the mechanism behind the extreme ion selectivity and transport properties in ion channels.

Can ‘Eating Healthy’ Work?

June 2, 2015 10:00 am | by Penn State Univ.

A scientist is studying how compounds in food can either promote health or foster disease. His research interests were inspired by the ancient Ayurvedic approach to diet and disease he learned as a child.

Many Probiotics are Tainted with Traces of Gluten

June 2, 2015 10:00 am | by Columbia Univ. Medical Center

Many patients with celiac disease take dietary supplements, and probiotics are particularly popular. But, more than half of popular probiotics contain traces of gluten, according to an analysis performed by investigators. Tests on 22 top-selling probiotics revealed that 12 of them (or 55 percent) had detectable gluten.

Restructuring of Electron Cloud in Molecule Seen in Real-time

May 21, 2015 9:00 am | by Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

In recent years, scientists have learned how to study ultrafast processes taking place at the atomic and molecular levels, and research in this field is expected to yield some very important results. The recombination of electron shells in molecules, taking just a few dozen attoseconds, can now be viewed “live,” thanks to a new method.  

Quasar Quartet Surprises Astronomers

May 21, 2015 9:00 am | by W. M. Keck Observatory

Astronomers have discovered the first quadruple quasar: four rare active black holes situated in close proximity to one another. Because the discovery comes with one-in-ten-million odds, perhaps cosmologists need to rethink their models of quasar evolution and the formation of the most massive cosmic structures.

GCMS With Raman Spectroscopy Key to Finding Life on Mars

May 21, 2015 9:00 am | by Univ. of Kansas

Raman spectroscopy is able to screen for carbonaceous material, a possible sign of life on mars, but it can’t determine its source. Researchers are calling for the use of gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy to supplement Raman spectroscopy and develop more conclusive evidence of ancient extraterrestrial life.

Ocean Has Hidden Fertilizer

May 21, 2015 9:00 am | by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A new study has revealed a marine phosphorus cycle that is much more complex than previously thought. The work also highlights the important but previously hidden role that some microbial communities play in using and breaking down forms of this essential element.

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