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Latest and Breaking Chemistry & Physics News

Recipe for antibacterial plastic: Plastic plus egg whites
(University of Georgia) Bioplastics made from protein sources such as albumin and whey have shown significant antibacterial properties, findings that could eventually lead to their use in plastics used in medical applications such as wound healing dressings, sutures, catheter tubes and drug delivery, according to a recent study by the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences. The bioplastic materials could also be used for food packaging.

Saudi Arabia's role in global energy markets is changing, new Baker Institute paper finds
(Rice University) Saudi Arabia's role in global energy markets is changing, according to a new paper from an energy expert at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy. The researcher found that the kingdom is reshaping itself as a supplier of refined petroleum products while moving beyond its long-held role as a simple exporter of crude oil.

Precocious GEM: Shape-shifting sensor can report conditions from deep in the body
(National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)) Scientists working at NIST and NIH have devised and demonstrated a new, shape-shifting probe, about one-hundredth as wide as a human hair, which is capable of sensitive, high-resolution remote biological sensing that is not possible with current technology. If eventually put into widespread use, the design could have a major impact on research in medicine, chemistry, biology and engineering. Ultimately, it might be used in clinical diagnostics.

Solving molybdenum disulfide's 'thin' problem
(Northwestern University) A Northwestern University research team used silver nanodiscs to increase the promising new material's light emission by twelve times, making it a better candidate for light-emitting diode technologies.

Notre Dame researchers develop computational model to simulate bacterial behavior
(University of Notre Dame) University of Notre Dame applied mathematician Mark Alber and environmental biotechnologist Robert Nerenberg have developed a new computational model that effectively simulates the mechanical behavior of biofilms. Their model may lead to new strategies for studying a range of issues from blood clots to waste treatment systems.

More evidence for groundwater on Mars
(Geological Society of America) Monica Pondrelli and colleagues investigated the Equatorial Layered Deposits (ELDs) of Arabia Terra in Firsoff crater area, Mars, to understand their formation and potential habitability. On the plateau, ELDs consist of rare mounds, flat-lying deposits, and cross-bedded dune fields. Pondrelli and colleagues interpret the mounds as smaller spring deposits, the flat-lying deposits as playa, and the cross-bedded dune fields as aeolian. They write that groundwater fluctuations appear to be the major factor controlling ELD deposition.

Launch of new partnership arrangement for future operation of NPL
(National Physical Laboratory) Today the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills formally signed a partnership agreement with the Universities of Strathclyde and Surrey which will set a new strategic direction for the future of the National Physical Laboratory.

Researchers discover how body's good fat tissue communicates with brain
(Georgia State University) Brown fat tissue, the body's 'good fat,' communicates with the brain through sensory nerves, possibly sharing information that is important for fighting human obesity, such as how much fat we have and how much fat we've lost, according to researchers at Georgia State University.

A long-standing mystery in membrane traffic was solved
(The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)) In a recent issue of Science, published on March 27, 2015, a research team, led by Tae-Young Yoon of the Department of Physics at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Reinhard Jahn of the Department of Neurobiology of the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, reports that NSF/α-SNAP disassemble a single SNARE complex using various single-molecule biophysical methods that allow them to monitor and manipulate individual protein complexes.

Safeguarding the UK's water, energy and food resources
(Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is investing 4.5 million to safeguard the UK's water, energy and food security. With the world's population due to grow to eight billion by 2030, humanity is facing a crisis with predictions of increasing demand and shortages of water, energy and food. Water and energy are needed to produce food; water is required to produce energy and with the advent of biofuels, energy and food are increasingly competing for land.

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