The venom of insects such as wasps and bees is full of compounds that can kill bacteria. Unfortunately, many of these compounds are also toxic for humans, making it impossible to use them as antibiotic drugs. After performing a systematic study of the antimicrobial properties of a toxin normally found in a South American wasp,

From iPhones on Earth to rovers on Mars, most electronics only function within a certain temperature range. By blending two organic materials together, researchers at Purdue University could create electronics that withstand extreme heat. This new plastic material could reliably conduct electricity in up to 220 degrees Celsius (428 F), according to a paper published

A team of materials scientists from Penn State, Cornell and Argonne National Laboratory have, for the first time, visualized the 3-D atomic and electron density structure of the most complex perovskite crystal structure system decoded to date. Perovskites are minerals that are of interest as electrical insulators, semiconductors, metals or superconductors, depending on the arrangement

Plants rely on the energy in sunlight to produce the nutrients they need. But sometimes they absorb more energy than they can use, and that excess can damage critical proteins. To protect themselves, they convert the excess energy into heat and send it back out. Under some conditions, they may reject as much as 70

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker—at the molecular level—as it is stretched. Researchers led by Dr. Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent “auxetic” stretching properties. Their findings are published today in Nature Communications. There are materials in nature that exhibit

A radical new method of producing drug molecules, which uses downloadable blueprints to easily and reliably synthesise organic chemicals via a programmable ‘chemputer’, could be set to democratise the pharmaceutical industry, scientists say. In a new paper published online in the journal Science, researchers from the University of Glasgow present for the first time how

For the first time, researchers have succeeded in creating an iron molecule that can function both as a photocatalyst to produce fuel and in solar cells to produce electricity. The results indicate that the iron molecule could replace the more expensive and rarer metals used today. Some photocatalysts and solar cells are based on a

QUT chemistry researchers have discovered cheaper and more efficient materials for producing hydrogen for the storage of renewable energy that could replace current water-splitting catalysts. Professor Anthony O’Mullane said the potential for the chemical storage of renewable energy in the form of hydrogen was being investigated around the world. “The Australian Government is interested in

Russian scientists with colleagues from the U.K., Spain, Brazil, Japan and Austria have fully described the mechanism of fungal luminescence. They report that fungi utilize only four key enzymes to produce light and that transfer of these enzymes into other organisms makes them bioluminescent. Some living organisms can glow due to special chemical reactions in

Materials scientists at Duke University and UC San Diego have discovered a new class of carbides expected to be among the hardest materials with the highest melting points in existence. Made from inexpensive metals, the new materials may soon find use in a wide range of industries from machinery and hardware to aerospace. A carbide

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