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Chemistry - Environment - 27.06.2022
New PET-like plastic made directly from waste biomass
New PET-like plastic made directly from waste biomass
Scientists have developed a new, PET-like plastic that is easily made from the non-edible parts of plants. The plastic is tough, heat-resistant, and a good barrier to gases like oxygen, making it a promising candidate for food packaging. Due to its structure, the new plastic can also be chemically recycled and degrade back to harmless sugars in the environment.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 16.06.2022
Graphene dust not harmful
Graphene dust not harmful
Graphene-based particles released from polymer composites after abrasion induce negligible health effects. Under the leadership of Empa, an international research team of the Graphene Flagship project conducted a study on the health risks of graphene-containing nanoparticles and recently published the results in Journal of Hazardous Materials.

Health - Chemistry - 07.06.2022
Mucus molecules can thwart fungal infection
Mucus molecules can thwart fungal infection
Candida albicans is a yeast that colonizes the mucosal surfaces of most healthy humans. Under certain conditions, it can switch to a harmful form and cause infection. Researchers have now identified components of mucus that keep the pathogen from turning destructive, thus laying the foundation for a new class of drugs.

Chemistry - 19.05.2022
From the packet into your food: what harmful substances are in food packaging?
From the packet into your food: what harmful substances are in food packaging?
Salad boxes to go, sealed-tray lasagna and apple juice in PET bottles: we encounter packaged food and drink everywhere. A new database shows which packaging contains harmful substances that can be transferred to its contents. It also includes findings from researchers at the University of Basel, who are investigating plastic molecules that were previously unknown or barely known.

Chemistry - Physics - 04.05.2022
Imaging chemical kinetics at liquid-liquid interfaces
Imaging chemical kinetics at liquid-liquid interfaces
Scientists led by EPFL have developed a new method to measure chemical kinetics by imaging progress of a reaction at a liquid-liquid interface embedded in a laminar-flow liquid microjet. This method is ideal for studies of dynamics on the sub-millisecond timescale, which is very difficult to do with current applications.

Chemistry - Environment - 04.05.2022
Urine treatment: from trial and error to exciting innovation
Urine treatment: from trial and error to exciting innovation
What has been a purification process in wastewater treatment plants for decades can also be used decentrally or semi-centrally as a recycling process for nutrients. Early separation of "solid and liquid" plays a key role here. It allows for flexible solutions in terms of process technology, especially in the treatment of urine.

Physics - Chemistry - 20.04.2022
Revolutionary images of the birth of crystals
Revolutionary images of the birth of crystals
A team from the UNIGE has succeeded in visualizing crystal nucleation - the stage that precedes crystallization - that was invisible until now. At the interface between chemistry and physics, the process of crystallization is omnipresent in nature and industry. It is the basis for the formation of snowflakes but also of certain active ingredients used in pharmacology.

Chemistry - Physics - 14.04.2022
Golden wedding for molecules
Golden wedding for molecules
Chemical syntheses in liquids and gases take place in three-dimensional space. Random collisions between molecules have to result in something new in an extremely short time. But there is another way: on a gold surface under ultrahigh vacuum conditions, molecules lying still next to each other can be made to combine - even those that would never want to react with each other in a liquid.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 12.04.2022
How to find anti-cancer agents
How to find anti-cancer agents
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and the Italian Institute of Technology IIT have developed a novel substance that disables a protein in the cell skeleton, leading to cell death. In this way, substances of this type can prevent, for example, the growth of tumours. To accomplish this, the researchers combined a structural biological method with the computational design of active agents.

Health - Chemistry - 10.03.2022
Gentler tumor treatment
Gentler tumor treatment
Radiation therapy is one of the cornerstones of cancer therapy. However, some types of tumor respond little or hardly at all to radiation. If it were possible to make tumor cells more sensitive, treatment would be more effective and gentler. Empa and researchers have now succeeded in using metal oxide nanoparticles as "radiosensitizers" - and in producing them on an industrial scale.

Environment - Chemistry - 01.03.2022
Scientists map Arctic aerosols to better understand regional warming
Scientists map Arctic aerosols to better understand regional warming
Scientists at EPFL and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) have studied the chemical composition and origin - whether natural or anthropogenic - of aerosols in a region spanning from Russia to Canada. Their findings provide unique insights for helping researchers better understand climate change in the Arctic and design effective pollution-mitigation measures.

Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 25.02.2022
Cosmic web orchestrates the progression of galaxies
Cosmic web orchestrates the progression of galaxies
The shape of galaxies and how they evolve depend on a web of cosmological filaments that run across the Universe. According to a recent study headed by EPFL's Laboratory of Astrophysics, this cosmic web plays a much bigger role than previously thought. Across the Universe, galaxies are distributed along what's called the cosmic web, a complex network of filaments made up of ordinary and dark matter.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 14.02.2022
DisCo: boosting the efficiency of single-cell RNA sequencing
DisCo: boosting the efficiency of single-cell RNA sequencing
Bioengineers at EPFL have found a way to radically increase the efficiency of single-cell RNA-sequencing, a powerful tool that can -read- the genetic profile of an individual cell. Single-cell RNA sequencing, or -scRNA-seq- for short, is a technique that allows scientists to study the expression of genes in an individual cell within a mixed population - which is virtually how all cells exist in the body's tissues.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 09.02.2022
A new electrolyte for greener and safer batteries
A new electrolyte for greener and safer batteries
A team from the University of Geneva has developed a new material that improves the performance of solid-state sodium batteries, a less dangerous and more durable alternative to lithium. The future of battery technologies lies in sodium. More sustainable than lithium - which currently powers most of our devices and vehicles - sodium is also abundant on the earth's surface.

Chemistry - Environment - 26.01.2022
Getting hydrogen out of banana peels
Getting hydrogen out of banana peels
Scientists at EPFL have developed a way to maximize hydrogen yields from biowaste, within few milliseconds. The method uses rapid photo-pyrolysis to produce hydrogen gas and solid conductive carbon from banana peels. As the world's energy demands increase, so does our consumption of fossil fuels. The result is a massive rise in greenhouse gases emissions with severely adverse environmental effects.

Environment - Chemistry - 18.01.2022
Remove micropollutants with granular activated carbon?
Remove micropollutants with granular activated carbon?
For the elimination of trace substances at wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), granular activated carbon (GAC) is also available as an alternative treatment option to ozonation and the powdered activated carbon process (PAC). In contrast to the high energy consumption in ozonation (electrical energy to generate ozone and liquid oxygen), the energy-intensive production and CO2-footprint of carbon (starting raw materials, process energy) have an impact on activated carbon treatment.

Chemistry - Physics - 14.01.2022
Scientists overcome a hurdle on the path to renewable-energy storage
Scientists overcome a hurdle on the path to renewable-energy storage
Scientists have observed how catalysts behave at the particle level during water electrolysis. Catalysts play a crucial role in this reaction, in which water splits into hydrogen and oxygen. By shedding light on the underlying mechanism of the functional role of catalysts during the reaction, the scientists have made an important discovery for the design of renewable-energy storage systems.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 12.01.2022
Shape guides the growth of organoids
Shape guides the growth of organoids
Organoids are miniature lab-grown tissue structures that can mimic real organs. But guiding stem cells to grow an organoid of defined shape and size is difficult. Now, EPFL bioengineers have developed new methods for successfully guiding the stem cells to grow into intestinal tissues with real-life 3D structure and function.

Chemistry - Physics - 11.01.2022
Increasing efficiency in artificial photosynthesis
Chemical engineers at EPFL have developed a new approach to artificial photosynthesis, a method for harvesting solar energy that produces hydrogen as a clean fuel from water. -Artificial photosynthesis is the holy grail of all chemists,- says Astrid Olaya, a chemical engineer at EPFL's Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering (ISIC).

Chemistry - Environment - 10.01.2022
It all comes down to the first electron
It all comes down to the first electron
Every living thing requires energy. This is also true of microorganisms. This energy is frequently generated in the cells by respiration, that is by the combustion of organic compounds, in other words: food. During this process, electrons are released which the microorganisms then need to get rid of.
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