Chemistry Nexus

by WebElements: the periodic table on the web

A BBC report on the August 2017 American Chemical Society meeting states ‘Cyborg’ bacteria deliver green fuel source from sunlight. To summarise, some bacteria deal with heavy metals such as cadmium by converting it to cadmium sulphide semiconductor crystals on their surfaces. These bacteria are then able to convert carbon dioxide + water + light into acetic acid with high efficiency.

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August 22nd, 2017

Posted In: Bioinorganic chemistry, Environmental chemistry, Photochemistry

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An amino acid, one of the building blocks of life, has been spotted in deep space, signalling that alien life forms could indeed exist on other planets. If the find stands up to scutiny, it means that the sorts of chemistry needed to create life are not unique to Earth, verifying one of astrobiology’s cherished theories. This would add weight to the idea that life exists on other planets, or that molecules from outer space kick-started life on Earth.According to the New Scientist, more than 130 molecules have been identified in interstellar space so far, including sugars and ethanol.

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December 14th, 2009

Posted In: Analytical chemistry, Biological chemistry, Chemistry

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Virginia Tech (USA) researchers found that calcium intake among US adolescents has remained constant, if inadequate, since the 1970s and does not appear to be linked to soft drink consumption.1 Milk consumption among adolescent girls is low, with this group falling far below recommended dietary levels of calcium consumption. So drink some milk!

Conclusion: carbonated soft drink consumption among adolescent girls is modest and does not appear to be linked to decreased calcium intake.

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December 14th, 2009

Posted In: Biological chemistry, Chemistry

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A NASA scientist has discovered sugar and several related organic compounds in two meteorites — providing the first evidence that another fundamental building block of life on Earth might have come from outer space.

Dr. George Cooper and coworkers from the NASA Ames Research Center found the sugary compounds in two carbon-rich (or carbonaceous) meteorites. Previously, researchers had found inside meteorites other organic, carbon-based compounds that play major roles in life on Earth, such as amino acids and carboxylic acids, but no sugars.

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December 10th, 2009

Posted In: Biological chemistry, Chemistry

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Anyone, anywhere with access to a personal computer, could help find a cure for cancer by giving ‘screensaver time’ from their computers to the world’s largest ever computational project, which will screen 250 million molecules for cancer-fighting potential.

The project is being carried out by Oxford University’s Centre for Computational Drug Discovery – a unique ‘virtual centre’ funded by the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR), which is based in the Department of Chemistry and linked with international research groups via the world-wide web – in collaboration with United Devices, a US-based distributed computing technology company, and Intel, who are sponsoring the project.

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April 27th, 2007

Posted In: Biological chemistry, Chemistry

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An article in the Journal of Clinical Investigation outlines how a new antimicrobial approach kills bacteria in laboratory experiments and eliminate life-threatening infections in mice by interfering with a key bacterial nutrient. Iron is critical for the growth of bacteria and for their ability to form biofilms, slime-encased colonies of microbes that cause many chronic infections. “Gallium acts as a Trojan horse to iron-seeking bacteria,” said Pradeep Singh (senior author).

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March 16th, 2007

Posted In: Biological chemistry, Chemistry

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Good to see that the complete works of Charles Darwin, one of the greatest scientists, are being published online by Cambridge University. Darwin Online features many newly transcribed or never-before-published manuscripts and is worth anyone’s time to browse around for a while. The great English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) revolutionized our understanding of life on earth.

“The idea is to make these important works as accessible as possible; some people can only get at Darwin that way,” said Dr John van Wyhe, the project’s director.

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October 21st, 2006

Posted In: Biological chemistry, Chemistry

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The Daily Telegraph web site is carrying a story indicating a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Quote:“A drug that is used in the treatment of athlete’s foot could be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study by British doctors.

The study, by a team from University College, London, found that clioquinol, a drug that is also used to treat ear infections and indigestion, can almost halt the progression of Alzheimer’s. 

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January 11th, 2004

Posted In: Chemistry, Drugs

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