Laboratory Journal – Business Web for Users in Science and Industry en Illuminating the World of Nanoparticles Scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have developed a light-based device that can act as a biosensor, detecting biological substances in materials; for example, harmful pathogens in food samples. Current industry-standard biosensors have limited sensitivity and precision. They can only detect cumulative effects of groups of particles, rather than individual molecules. But the tool the team developed is 280 times more sensitive. Mon, 13 Jan 2020 07:55:00 +0000 First Thermodynamically Stable Carbon-Based Clathrate Synthesized A long-sought-after class of "superdiamond" carbon-based materials with tunable mechanical and electronic properties was predicted and synthesized by Carnegie's Li Zhu and Timothy Strobel. Their work is published by Science Advances. Mon, 13 Jan 2020 07:27:00 +0000 At the Pulse of a Light Wave Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics at LMU Munich and at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics (MPQ) have developed a novel type of detector that enables the oscillation profile of light waves to be precisely determined. Sat, 11 Jan 2020 19:49:00 +0000 Specific Insulin-Like Peptide Regulates How Beetle 'Weapons' Grow A scientist from Tokyo Metropolitan University and coworkers have discovered that a specific insulin-like peptide called ILP2 regulates the size of "weapons" in Gnatocerus cornutus beetles in different nutritional environments. They found diminished mandible size when expression of the peptide was suppressed, and that it was specifically expressed in the "fat body", where beetles store nutrients. This has important implications for understanding how striking growth occurs in different environments for different organisms. Sat, 11 Jan 2020 08:32:00 +0000 How a Gut Infection May Produce Chronic Symptoms Sometimes the end of an intestinal infection is just the beginning of more misery. Of those who contract traveler's diarrhea, for example, an unlucky few go on to develop irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract. Scientists aren't sure exactly how this happens, but some think an infection may contribute to IBS by damaging the gut nervous system. A new Rockefeller study takes a close look at why neurons in the gut die and how the immune system normally protects them. Sat, 11 Jan 2020 08:17:00 +0000 Gasification goes green Rice University engineers have created a light-powered nanoparticle that could shrink the carbon footprint of a major segment of the chemical industry. Sat, 11 Jan 2020 07:57:00 +0000 Comparison of Platelet Concentrates Blood platelet concentrates are indispensable in transfusion medicine, especially in the treatment of cancer diseases and serious bleeding events. In Germany, they are produced as single concentrates by means of apheresis or from multiple whole-blood donations. Researchers of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI) have now studied both concentrate types in the laboratory and have demonstrated that their parameters are comparable with regard to function and stability. Fri, 10 Jan 2020 20:51:00 +0000 Loss of MicroRNA Leads to Fibrosis Fibrosis describes a pathological stiffening of organs or tissues that is caused by the increased synthesis of extracellular proteins. Fibrosis severely impairs organ function and may occur in several organs, like lung, kidney and heart. It develops with increasing age and is also found in patients with liver cancer. Fri, 10 Jan 2020 19:56:00 +0000 Influence of Fat Metabolism on Health 1.9 billion people in the world are overweight. Of these, 650 million people are obese, which increases the risk of secondary diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or cancer. Professor Martin Klingenspor and his team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) examine how our fat metabolism affects our body weight and overall health. Thu, 09 Jan 2020 08:25:00 +0000 Nano Antennas for Data Transfer For the first time, physicists from the University of Würzburg have successfully converted electrical signals into photons and radiated them in specific directions using a low-footprint optical antenna that is only 800 nanometres in size. Wed, 08 Jan 2020 16:17:00 +0000 Visualizing Chemical Reactions Researchers at the joint EPFL-Empa lab in Sion have developed a reactor system and an analysis method that has allowed them to observe the real-time production of synthetic natural gas from CO2 and H2 for the first time. Wed, 08 Jan 2020 15:40:00 +0000 Solid Electrolytes for High-Performance Lithium-Ion Batteries High-performance, long-lasting energy storage devices are crucially important for many future-oriented technologies: e.g. for electromobility, for mobile end devices such as tablets and smartphones as well as for the efficient use of energy from renewable sources. Dr. Wed, 08 Jan 2020 08:04:00 +0000 Cancer-like Metabolism and Human Brain Size Evolution The size of the human brain increased profoundly during evolution. A certain gene that is only found in humans triggers brain stem cells to form a larger pool of stem cells. As a consequence, more neurons can arise, which paves the way to a bigger brain. This brain size gene is called ARHGAP11B and so far, how it works was completely unknown. Mon, 06 Jan 2020 16:14:00 +0000 Microbes from Humics Lakes Produced Omega-3 Fatty Acids from Microplastics Increasing abundance of plastic waste has alarmed the society, but the environmental fate of microplastics has been difficult to trace. A research group led by the University of Jyväskylä used carbon isotope labelling to follow the fate of polyethylene in the food chain. For the surprise of the researchers, plastic carbon was transformed even to beneficial fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, by the microbes originating from humic lakes. Sat, 04 Jan 2020 20:35:00 +0000 Snake-like Proteins Can Wrangle DNA It turns out the coiled snakes often used to symbolize medical knowledge are more than apt. They also mimic a key to life itself. Members of Rice's Center for Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP) are taking a deep dive into the dynamics of essential proteins that help DNA fold into its compact, functional form in chromosomes. They found a key protein's "coiled coils" also braid around each other and writhe like snakes as they form bigger loops in the DNA. Fri, 03 Jan 2020 13:17:00 +0000 Using a Material's 'Memory' to Encode Unique Physical Properties A new study published in Science Advances found that certain types of materials have a "memory" of how they were processed, stored, and manipulated. Researchers were then able to use this memory to control how a material ages and to encode specific properties that allow it to perform new functions. Mon, 23 Dec 2019 11:26:00 +0000 Crystal Misorientation Toughens Human Tooth Enamel Researchers discovered that, in the nanoscale structure of human enamel (the hard outer layer of teeth), slight crystal misorientations serve as a natural toughening mechanism. The results, obtained for the most part at the Advanced Light Source (ALS), help explain how human enamel can last a lifetime and provides insight into strategies for designing similarly tough bio-inspired synthetic materials. A question to chew on Mon, 23 Dec 2019 11:13:00 +0000 An Atomic View of the Trigger for the Heartbeat Atomic-level studies of the architecture of tiny sodium channel proteins, critical to generating electrical signals that start off each beat of the heart, are imparting striking details about their function, malfunctions, disruption by many disease mutations, and response to medication. Fri, 20 Dec 2019 10:14:00 +0000 Tracking Thermodynamic Fundamentals Kiel physicists determine the barely-measurable property entropy for the first time in complex plasmas Wed, 18 Dec 2019 18:56:00 +0000 How Immune Cells Switch to Attack Mode Macrophages have two faces: In healthy tissue, they perform important tasks and support their environment. However during an infection, they stop this work and hunt down the pathogens instead. Upon coming into contact with bacteria they change their metabolism drastically within minutes. This is shown by a new study under the leadership of the University of Bonn, which has now been published in the journal Immunity. Tue, 17 Dec 2019 20:44:00 +0000 Technology and Application of Gut-On-Chip Gut-on-chip (GOC) platforms are microfluidic devices with micro-chambers and channels to support and control media volumes and flow through a living cell culture generally seeded on membranes that create 2 chambers (lower and upper). This technology mimics the physiological architecture and function as well as the pathological states of human epithelial organs. Several models reproducing human GOC have underlined their potential value as for disease and drug screening modelling. Tue, 17 Dec 2019 06:56:00 +0000 Pfeiffer Vacuum Supplies Leak Detectors for the World's Largest and most Powerful Particle Accelerator Pfeiffer Vacuum has received yet another major order for leak detectors from CERN. CERN is seated in Geneva on the Franco-Swiss border and is the largest center for particle physics research in the world. Its main business is fundamental physics – finding out what the universe is made of and researching the basic constituents of matter. The particle accelerator LHC (Large Hadron Collider) has a circumference of some 27 kilometers and collides proton or ion beams at nearly the speed of light. Mon, 16 Dec 2019 12:31:00 +0000 Tracking Lab-Grown Tissue with Light Someday, doctors would like to grow limbs and other body tissue for soldiers who have lost arms in battle, children who need a new heart or liver, and many other people with critical needs. Today, medical professionals can graft cells from a patient, deposit them onto a tissue scaffold, and insert the scaffold into the body to encourage the growth of bone, cartilage and other specialized tissue. Mon, 16 Dec 2019 10:54:00 +0000 Harvesting Energy from Light Using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells By replicating biological machinery with non-biological components, scientists have found ways to create artificial cells that accomplish a key biological function of converting light into chemical energy. Mon, 16 Dec 2019 10:42:00 +0000 Fundamental Discoveries for Future Nanotools The process of building a tiny cube has revealed some of the fundamental mysteries of how molecules bind together in natural environments. Researchers hope to apply this knowledge to future projects designing complex structures that can mimic life. Thu, 12 Dec 2019 10:38:00 +0000