Molecules

  • 8 applications of nanocoatings

    Waterproof coating

    Nanocoating is the result of an application where nano structures build a consistent network of molecules on a surface. This entails the chemical process where the surface can be designed to become (super) hydrophobic or hydrophilic for example. Nanocoating is a growing line and some of its applications are already in use whereas many more, with great potential, are being researched on. In this article we will look at the top 8 applications of nanocoating that is currently being used.

  • Bacteria supply their allies with munitions

    Vibrio cholerae bacteria (green) recycle T6SS proteins of the attacking sister cells (red) to build their own spear gun (light green intracellular structure). (Image: University of Basel, Biozentrum)

    Bacteria fight their competitors with molecular spear guns, the so-called Type VI secretion system. When firing this weapon they also unintentionally hit their own kind. However, as researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum report in the journal Cell, the related bacteria strains benefit from coming under fire. They recycle the protein components of the spear guns and use these to build their own weapons.

  • Call for Abstracts: 3rd Euro Intelligent Materials

    © Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel (Germany)

    The 3rd European Symposium on Intelligent Materials will take place in Kiel (Germany) from 7th to 9th June 2017. Conference chairs are Christine Selhuber-Unkel and Eckhard Quandt from the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (Germany).

  • Cancer Research - How Cells Die by Ferroptosis

    A Fibroblast Undergoing Ferroptosis. Source: Helmholtz Zentrum München

    Ferroptosis is a recently discovered form of cell death, which is still only partially understood. Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have now identified an enzyme that plays a key role in generating the signal that initiates cell death. Their findings, published in two articles in the journal ‘Nature Chemical Biology’, could now give new impetus to research into the fields of cancer, neurodegeneration and other degenerative diseases. The term ferroptosis was first coined in 2012. It is derived from the Greek word ptosis, meaning “a fall”, and ferrum, the Latin word for iron, and describes a form of regulated necrotic cell death in which iron appears to play an important role.

  • Die Geburt des Partikels

    Experiment, bei dem durch langsame Zugabe verschiedener Lösungen die Reaktion gestartet, kontrolliert und untersucht werden kann.

    Ein an der Universität Konstanz entwickeltes Experiment kann den Mechanismus der Partikelbildung ausgehend von gelösten molekularen Bausteinen aufzeigen

  • High-speed camera snaps bio-switch in action

    The riboswitch 'button' before, during and after coupling of the ligand (green), from left to right. Credit: Yun-Xing Wang and Jason Stagno, National Cancer Institute

    X-ray experiment opens new route to study biochemical reactions. With a powerful X-ray camera, scientists have watched a genetic switch at work for the first time. The study led by Yun-Xing Wang from the National Cancer Institute of the U.S. reveals the ultrafast dynamics of a riboswitch, a gene regulator that can switch individual genes on and off. The innovative technique used for this investigation opens up a completely new avenue for studying numerous fundamental biochemical reactions, as the team reports in a fast-track publication in the journal Nature.

  • Immune system reactions elucidated by mathematics

    Bacteria of the species Streptococcus pneumoniae colonising an endothelial cell. HZI/M. Rohde

    Using computer-based simulations and mouse experiments, HZI researchers disentangled the effects of proinflammatory signaling molecules on the post-influenza susceptibility to pneumococcal coinfection. A body infected by the influenza virus is particularly susceptible to other pathogens. Bacteria like Streptococcus pneumoniae, i.e. the pathogen causing pneumonia, find it easy to attack an influenza-modulated immune system and to spread widely. This can even be fatal in some cases. The reasons for the bacterial growth in the presence of a coinfection by influenza virus and bacteria is still debatable.

  • Makromoleküle: Mit Licht zu Präzisionspolymeren

    Lichtinduzierte Synthese ermöglicht ein maßgeschneidertes Moleküldesign. Vergleichbar einer bunten Perlenkette platzieren sich Bauteile an die gewünschte Stelle. Grafik: KIT

    Chemikern am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) ist es gelungen, den Aufbau von Präzisionspolymeren durch lichtgetriebene chemische Reaktionen gezielt zu steuern. Das Verfahren ermöglicht die genaue, geplante Platzierung der Kettengliedern, den Monomeren, entlang von Polymerketten einheitlicher Länge. Die präzise aufgebauten Makromoleküle bilden festgelegte Eigenschaften aus und eignen sich möglicherweise als Informationsspeicher oder synthetische Biomoleküle. Über die neuartige Synthesereaktion berichten die Wissenschaftler nun in der Open Access Publikation Nature Communications.

  • Mit Nanopartikeln gegen Gefäßverengungen

    V. l. : Stifter Dr. J. Breunig; Dr. H. B. Sager; Stifterin U. Breunig; Prof. Dr. H. Oelert, Dt. Stiftung für Herzforschung; Prof. Dr. G. Hasenfuß, Dt. Gesellschaft für Innere Medizin (DGIM). Foto: DGIM/Andreas Henn

    Neuer Therapieansatz zur Infarkt-Vorbeugung: Uta und Jürgen Breunig-Forschungspreis für Dr. Hendrik B. Sager (Deutsches Herzzentrum München)

  • Molecules change shape when wet

    The preferred structure of a crown ether changes when water molecules bind to it (dashed lines). © C. Pérez et al.

    Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water. In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter at CFEL and from the Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging (CUI) show that water promotes the reshaping of crown ethers and biphenyl molecules, two classes of chemically fascinating molecules. Crown ethers are key systems in catalysis, separation and encapsulation processes, while biphenyl-based systems are employed in asymmetric synthesis and drug design.

  • Multi-organ platform for risk assessment of nanomaterials - Fraunhofer IBMT in project HISENTS

    Logo HISENTS

    European scientists develop a multimodular microchip platform for predicting the behaviour of nanomaterials in the body. Nanomaterials are already part of everyday life in our modern society. New applications, along with continuously rising quantities being produced, have led to an increased exposure to nanomaterials for both people and the environment. Predicting the behaviour of nanomaterials in organisms and extensive risk assessments are currently difficult because we are missing prediction models.

  • Nanowires as Sensors in New Type of Atomic Force Microscope

    A nanowire sensor measures size and direction of forces. University of Basel, Department of Physics

    A new type of atomic force microscope (AFM) uses nanowires as tiny sensors. Unlike standard AFM, the device with a nanowire sensor enables measurements of both the size and direction of forces. Physicists at the University of Basel and at the EPF Lausanne have described these results in the recent issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

  • Neue Forschergruppe am IPHT manipuliert Licht mit Nanoantennen

    Prof. Jer-Shing Huang. Foto: privat

    Prof. Dr. Jer-Shing Huang leitet am Leibniz Institut für Photonische Technologien Jena (IPHT) seit dem 1. November die neue Forschergruppe „Nanooptik“. Mit Hilfe winzig kleiner Antennenstrukturen beeinflusst er die Wechselwirkung von Licht und Materie im Nanobereich. Nanostrukturen aus Metall oder Halbleitermaterialien wirken wie optische Antennen, die das eingestrahlte Licht einfangen und auf einen wenige Nanometer kleinen Raum an ihrer Oberfläche zwängen. Da dieses oberflächennahe Lichtfeld etwa die gleiche Größe wie manche Moleküle besitzt, finden Wechselwirkungen zwischen dem Licht und diesen Molekülen statt, die ohne die Antennen nicht möglich wären. Prof. Huang untersucht und steuert die grundlegenden Prozesse dieser Wechselwirkung im Nanobereich.

  • Neues Licht dank Nanostrukturen

    Neues Licht dank Nanostrukturen © Universität Duisburg Essen

    Künftig sollen sie das Innere der Handtasche erhellen oder abendliche Jogger aus dem Dunklen hervorheben: Lichtemittierende elektrochemische Zellen, LECs, bieten gegenüber den bekannten LEDs viele Vorteile, aber noch hapert es – ja, am rechten Licht. Bisher sind nur gelb leuchtende LECs geeignet für den realistischen Einsatz. Für neutraleres Licht braucht man aber mindestens eine weitere Lichtfarbe. Forscher vom Center for Nanointegration (CENIDE) der Universität Duisburg-Essen (UDE) konnten nun erstmals die Farbe gezielt verändern und gleichzeitig die Leistungsfähigkeit der LECs steigern.

  • Organische Chemie erweitert Funktionalität von Halbleitern

    Schnittstelle zwischen Halbleitertechnologie und organischer Chemie: Cyclooctin heftet sich selektiv an eine Siliziumoberfläche, so dass weitere funktionale Gruppen frei bleiben. (Abb.: Marcel Reutzel & Michael Dürr)

    Aus der Trickkiste der Organischen Chemie: Aktuelle Erkenntnisse mittelhessischer Chemiker und Physiker versprechen, die Halbleitertechnik um vielfältige Anwendungen zu erweitern. Die Forscher schafften es, organische Moleküle mit einer definierten Haftstelle auf Siliziumoberflächen zu verankern. Tragen die organischen Moleküle ausgewählte Anhänge, so bleiben diese frei, um ihre Funktion zu entfalten. Das Team des Sonderforschungsbereichs „Struktur und Dynamik innerer Grenzflächen“ (SFB 1083) berichtet in der aktuellen Ausgabe der Fachzeitschrift „Journal of Physical Chemistry“ über ihre Ergebnisse.

  • Promising transport molecule for steroid medications discovered

    Copyright: Jacobs University / Khaleel Assaf

    When the word steroids comes up, a lot of people think of doping. It is much less well known that steroids are used in the treatment of many diseases, such as asthma, neurodermatitis, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s Disease. Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Jacobs University in Bremen have now found a possible way that steroids can exert their effect in the human body in a gentler and more efficient way.

  • Regulatory molecules: third RNA binding protein identified

    The bacterial RNA universe: The structures of the different regulatory RNA molecules are shown left, their preferred protein binding partners on the right. (Picture: Alexandre Smirnov)

    Pathogenic bacteria use small RNA molecules to adapt to their environment. Infection researchers from Würzburg have now pinpointed a protein involved in regulating the activity of these molecules.

  • Scientists shrink electron gun to matchbox size

    A miniature electron gun driven by Terahertz radiation: An ultraviolett pulse (blue) back-illuminates the gun photocathode, producing a high density electron bunch inside the gun. The bunch is immediately accelerated by ultra-intense single cycle Terahertz pulses to energies approaching one kilo-electronvolt (keV). These high-field optically-driven electron guns can be utilized for ultrafast electron diffraction or injected into the accelerators for X-ray light sources. Credit: W. Ronny Huang, CFEL/DESY/MIT

    Terahertz technology has the potential to enable new applications.In a multi-national effort, an interdisciplinary team of researchers from DESY and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has built a new kind of electron gun that is just about the size of a matchbox. Electron guns are used in science to generate high-quality beams of electrons for the investigation of various materials, from biomolecules to superconductors. They are also the electron source for linear particle accelerators driving X-ray free-electron lasers.

  • Sweetening neurotransmitter receptors and other neuronal proteins

    Many neuronal proteins have atypical glycosylation profiles consistent with the virtual absence of an important organelle, the Golgi apparatus, in neuronal processes. Max Planck Institute for Brain Research

    Researchers discover a “sugar-code” for neuronal membrane proteins. To rapidly carry information throughout the body, neurons form intricate networks by sending long protrusions to physically contact other neurons, sometimes meters away from where their main body (hence called the cell body) is located. These tree-like protrusions are either called axons if they are used to send information or dendrites if they receive information from other neurons.

  • Ultrafast slow-motion microscope sees a single molecule vibrate

    Single pentacen molecules vibrate on a gold surface. Foto: Dominik Peller

    An international team of scientists based in Regensburg, Germany, has now recorded the ultrafast motion of a single molecule directly in time and space by combining a femtosecond laser with an atomic resolution microscope. Atoms and molecules are the constituents of virtually all matter that surrounds us. Interacting with each other while following the rules of nature, they form complex systems ranging from modern technology to living creatures. Their behavior, that is, what they actually do, basically determines all of natural and life sciences. They are so small, however, that we cannot observe them in daily life.