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The Lead

Can ‘Eating Healthy’ Work?

June 2, 2015 | by Penn State Univ. | Comments

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.

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Lab Daily

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Test Spots Cocaine Use from a Single Fingerprint

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

Research has demonstrated a new, non-invasive 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.

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.

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.

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.

Device Measures Molecules One at a Time

May 5, 2015 9:00 am | by Caltech

Building on their creation of the first-ever mechanical device that can measure the mass of individual molecules, one at a time, a team of scientists have created nanodevices that can also reveal their shape. Such information is crucial when trying to identify large protein molecules or complex assemblies of protein molecules.

Scientists Study Legal Marijuana

May 5, 2015 9:00 am | by ACS

More than a year into Colorado's experiment legalizing marijuana, labs testing the plants are able for the first time to take stock of the drug's potency and contaminants— and openly paint a picture of what's in today's weed.

Changes in Breath Signal Stomach Cancer

May 5, 2015 9:00 am | by BMJ

A new type of technology that senses minute changes in the levels of particular compounds in exhaled breath accurately identifies high risk changes that herald the development of stomach cancer. The technology— known as nanoarray analysis— could be used not only to test for the presence of stomach cancer, but also to monitor those at high risk of subsequently developing the disease.

Nanotubes Interact with Blood-brain Barrier

May 5, 2015 9:00 am | by ICN2

New research has investigated the ability of amino-functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes to cross the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) by two ways: in vitro— using a co-culture BBB model comprising primary porcine brain endothelial cells (PBEC) and primary rat astrocytes— and, in vivo— following a systemic administration of radiolabelled f-MWNTs.  

Detector ‘Sees’ Single Electrons

May 5, 2015 9:00 am | by MIT, Jennifer Chu

Physicists have developed a new tabletop particle detector that is able to identify single electrons in a radioactive gas. As the gas decays and gives off electrons, the detector uses a magnet to trap them in a magnetic bottle.

Fracking Chemicals Provide Basis for Testing, Regulation

April 23, 2015 9:00 am | by Elsevier

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.

Hyperspectral Imaging Spots Peanut Contamination

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

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.

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