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Method Predicts Honey’s Properties

March 3, 2015 | by Univ. of Queensland | 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.

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Method Can Test Space Dust for Life's Ingredients

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

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

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

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.


Laser to Help Exoplanet Hunt

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

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.

Lack of Iron Linked to Alzheimer's

February 19, 2015 9:00 am | by Univ. of Technology, Sydney

Alzheimer's disease is difficult to spot in its early stages, has no effective treatment and no known cure. But, researchers are hopeful their work will make the most common form of dementia easier to diagnose and treat. Their research indicates that iron deficiency may play a significant part in the development of Alzheimer's.


Organism Hasn’t Evolved in More than 2 Billion Years

February 19, 2015 9:00 am | by UCLA

<p>An international team of scientists has discovered the greatest absence of evolution ever reported— a type of deep-sea microorganism that appears not to have evolved over more than 2 billion years. But the researchers say that the organisms’ lack of change actually supports Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.</p>

Herbal Supplements Aren’t What They Claim

February 19, 2015 9:00 am | by Associated Press, Mary Esch

DNA testing on hundreds of bottles of store-brand herbal supplements sold as treatments for everything from memory loss to prostate trouble found that four out of five contained none of the herbs on the label. Instead, they were packed with cheap fillers such as wheat, rice, beans or houseplants.


Research Yields New Pathway to Valleytronics

February 19, 2015 9:00 am | by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

A potential avenue to quantum computing currently generating quite the buzz in the high-tech industry is valleytronics, in which information is coded based on the wavelike motion of electrons moving through certain 2-D semiconductors. Now, a promising new pathway to valleytronic technology has been uncovered.  


Damaged DNA May Slow Patrolling Molecule

February 19, 2015 9:00 am | by Univ. of Illinois at Chicago

Sites where DNA is damaged may cause a molecule that slides along the DNA strand to scan for damage to slow on its patrol, delaying it long enough to recognize and initiate repair. The find suggests that the delay itself may be the key that allows the protein molecule to find its target.  

Perfect Lawns Aren’t Green

February 3, 2015 9:00 am | by Appalachian State Univ.

The continued quest for the perfect lawn contributes to global warming. A new paper indicates lawns and turf grass systems produce more greenhouse gases than they absorb.

Precise Ribbons are Step Toward Graphene in Electronics

February 3, 2015 9:00 am | by Univ. of the Basque Country

Ribbons of graphene with nanometric widths are emerging as interesting electronic components. But, because of the great variability of electronic properties upon minimal changes in the structure of these nanoribbons, control on an atomic level is an indispensable requirement to make the most of all their potential. Now, scientists have managed, with atomic precision, to create nanostructures combining graphene ribbons of varying widths.

Nanodiamonds May Be Used as Fuel Catalyst

February 3, 2015 9:00 am | by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin

Nanodiamonds possess the crystalline structure of diamonds but their properties diverge considerably from those of their big brothers, because their surfaces play a dominant role in comparison to their extremely small volumes. Suspended in aqueous solutions, they could function as taxis for active substances in biomedical applications, for example, or be used as catalysts for splitting water.

Lack of Rain Doomed Mexican City 1,000 Years Ago

February 3, 2015 9:00 am | by UC Berkeley

Archaeologists continue to debate the reasons for the collapse of many Central American cities and states, from Teotihuacan in Mexico to the Yucatan Maya, and climate change is considered one of the major causes. A new study sheds light on this question, providing evidence that a prolonged period of below-average rainfall was partly responsible for the abandonment of one such city, Cantona.

Scientists Isolate Chemicals for Pest Control

February 3, 2015 9:00 am | by UC Riverside

Insects use chemical signals for a wide variety of functions, such as communicating species and sex. In insects, such as ants that live in colonies, they also differentiate the different castes. Now, a team of entomologists and chemists has devised a straightforward method for purifying these compounds that could result in new methods of controlling pest species by disrupting the organization of their colonies.

Atoms Behind Exotic Property Also Sow the Seeds of its Destruction

January 22, 2015 9:00 am | by Brookhaven National Laboratory

The discovery of "topologically protected" electrical conductivity on the surface of some materials whose bulk interior acts as an insulator was among the most sensational advances in the last decade of condensed matter physics. Now, a new atomic-scale study of the surface properties of one of these ferromagnetic topological insulators reveals that these materials may not be what they seemed.

Hidden Details, Objects Seen in 18th Century Paintings

January 22, 2015 9:00 am | by Agencia ID

A multidisciplinary research team has studied two paintings in the side altar of the parish of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Purisima del Rincon, Guanajuato in Mexico, by the artist Hermenegildo Bustos. The paintings contain three overpainted layers with a number of unregistered modifications hidden from view.

Drugs, PPCPs May Interact With Pool Water

January 22, 2015 9:00 am | by Purdue Univ.

Chlorination is used primarily to prevent pathogenic microorganisms from growing. Previous research has shown that many constituents of urine including urea, uric acid and amino acids, interact with chlorine to produce potentially hazardous disinfection byproducts in swimming pools. However, chemicals from pharmaceuticals and personal care products, or PPCPs, could also be harmfully interacting with chlorine.

Busted: There are Spectroscopy Rules for Rattling Hydrogen

January 22, 2015 9:00 am | by New York Univ.

It has been taken for granted for over 50 years that the type of spectroscopy widely used to study hydrogen inside materials is not subject to any selection rules. In a joint theoretical and experimental study, researchers showed that this near universally held view is incorrect for at least one important class of hydrogen-entrapping compounds by confirming experimentally the validity of the selection rule formulated in 2013.

Biosensor Simplifies DNA, Biomarker Detection

January 22, 2015 9:00 am | by American Institute of Physics

A simple method to sense DNA, as well as potential biomarker proteins of cancer or other diseases such as Alzheimer’s, may soon be within reach. Scientists have created a photonic crystal nanolaser biosensor capable of detecting the adsorption of biomolecules based on the laser’s wavelength shift.

Human Pollution Seriously Impacts Tree Emissions

January 6, 2015 7:00 am | by Georgia Tech

The southeastern U.S. is a natural laboratory for scientists studying how chemicals emitted by human activities and trees interact with each other and affect air quality and climate. A new study has found that certain emissions from cars and coal-fired power plants promote processes that transform naturally occurring emissions from trees into organic aerosols.


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