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The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

Discovery could pave the way to new diagnostic tools

16-Jan-2018

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics. Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to ...

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'Gyroscope' molecules form crystal that's both solid and full of motion

Molecular machine could have wide-ranging applications in technology and science

15-Jan-2018

Molecular machines, much smaller than single cells, may one day be able to deliver drugs to kill cancer cells or patrol your body for signs of disease. But many applications of these machines require large arrays of rock-hard moving parts, which would be difficult to build with typical biological ...

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Bristol to lead revolutionary research into 'self-healing' materials

12-Jan-2018

The Manufacturing Immortality Project is a three-year project, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), that will investigate the development of new materials made up of biological and non-biological parts which are capable of self-healing. Initially the project ...

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Extremely bright and fast light emission

12-Jan-2018

An international team of researchers from ETH Zurich, IBM Research Zurich, Empa and four American research institutions have found the explanation for why a class of nanocrystals that has been intensively studied in recent years shines in such incredibly bright colours. The nanocrystals contain ...

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How do we taste sugar, bacon and coffee?

A new chemical pathway that helps the brain detect sweet, savory and bitter flavors

11-Jan-2018

How do we taste the sugary richness of candy, or the bitter undertones of coffee? What about the savory flavors of smoked and cured meats? Until now, many scientists believed that a single protein -- TRPM5 -- acted as a gatekeeper for tasting these delectable foods. Remove TRPM5 from a person's ...

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Potential for a green energy economy based on hydrogen

First Characterization of a Sensory [FeFe] Hydrogenase

11-Jan-2018

Hydrogenases are enzymes capable of making hydrogen gas (H2) using protons from water, a reaction with relevance to a potential future green energy economy based on H2. Bacteria containing these enzymes often produce H2 as a waste product during sugar metabolism in the absence of oxygen. ...

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Cluster of Resistant Tuberculosis Pathogen Discovered

10-Jan-2018

Between February and November 2016, the Institute of Medical Microbiology at the University of Zurich discovered a multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis in eight refugees arriving in Europe from the Horn of Africa. The analyses provided an impulse for launching a transnational ...

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Super-silenced DNA hints at new ways to reprogram cells

09-Jan-2018

Newly described stretches of super-silenced DNA reveal a fresh approach to reprogram cell identity to use in regenerative medicine studies and one day in the clinic, according to a study by investigators from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "In the past, most ...

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Less chewing the cud, more greening the fuel

09-Jan-2018

Plant biomass contains considerable calorific value but most of it makes up robust cell walls, an unappetising evolutionary advantage that helped grasses to survive foragers and prosper for more than 60 million years. The trouble is that this robustness still makes them less digestible in the ...

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Touchy nanotubes work better when clean

Scientists show that decontaminating nanotubes can simplify nanoscale devices

08-Jan-2018

Carbon nanotubes bound for electronics need to be as clean as possible to maximize their utility in next-generation nanoscale devices, and scientists at Rice and Swansea universities have found a way to remove contaminants from the nanotubes. Rice chemist Andrew Barron, also a professor at ...

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