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Secrets of enzyme used to make popular anti-cholesterol drug

15-05-2014

In pharmaceutical production, identifying enzyme catalysts that help improve the speed and efficiency of the process can be a major boon. Figuring out exactly why a particular enzyme works so well is an altogether different quest. Take the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin. First marketed ...

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Breakthrough harnesses light for controlled chemical reaction

Dual-catalyst technique controls 'handedness' of product

28-04-2014

When chemist Tehshik Yoon looks out his office window, he sees a source of energy to drive chemical reactions. Plants "learned" to synthesize chemicals with sunlight eons ago; Yoon came to the field a bit more recently. In the journal Science, he and three collaborators detail a way to use ...

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Halving hydrogen

First view of nature-inspired catalyst after ripping hydrogen apart provides insights for better, cheaper fuel cells

25-04-2014

Like a hungry diner ripping open a dinner roll, a fuel cell catalyst that converts hydrogen into electricity must tear open a hydrogen molecule. Now researchers have captured a view of such a catalyst holding onto the two halves of its hydrogen feast. The view confirms previous hypotheses and ...

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New way to upgrade natural gas

Discovery may impact natural gas use in the US

17-03-2014

America's current energy boom may take a new direction thanks to the discovery of a new way to turn raw natural gas into upgraded liquid alcohol fuel. In the issue of Science magazine, chemists from Brigham Young University and The Scripps Research Institute detail a process that could reduce ...

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Good vibes for catalytic chemistry

A way to make better catalysts for meds, industry and materials

14-03-2014

University of Utah chemists discovered how vibrations in chemical bonds can be used to predict chemical reactions and thus design better catalysts to speed reactions that make medicines, industrial products and new materials. "The vibrations alone are not adequate, but combined with other ...

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Big step for next-generation fuel cells and electrolyzers

Researchers at Berkeley and Argonne National Labs discover highly promising new class of nanocatalyst

03-03-2014

A big step in the development of next-generation fuel cells and water-alkali electrolyzers has been achieved with the discovery of a new class of bimetallic nanocatalysts that are an order of magnitude higher in activity than the target set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for 2017. The new ...

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New, inexpensive production materials boost promise of hydrogen fuel

25-02-2014

Generating electricity is not the only way to turn sunlight into energy we can use on demand. The sun can also drive reactions to create chemical fuels, such as hydrogen, that can in turn power cars, trucks and trains. The trouble with solar fuel production is the cost of producing the ...

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Off-the-shelf materials lead to self-healing polymers

06-02-2014

Look out, super glue and paint thinner. Thanks to new dynamic materials developed at the University of Illinois, removable paint and self-healing plastics soon could be household products. U. of I. materials science and engineering professor Jianjun Cheng, graduate student Hanze Ying and ...

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Rice lab clocks ‘hot’ electrons

Researchers time plasmon-generated electrons moving from nanorods to graphene

03-02-2014

Plasmonic nanoparticles developed at Rice University are becoming known for their ability to turn light into heat, but how to use them to generate electricity is not nearly as well understood. Scientists at Rice are working on that, too. They suggest that the extraction of electrons generated by ...

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Enlisting cells' protein recycling machinery to regulate plant products

New molecular tools for controlling production of compounds important for flavors, human health, and biofuels

02-01-2014

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified a new way to regulate the production of phenols, a class of plant products with a wide range of applications for humans. These compounds serve as an important source of flavors, fragrances, and pigments; ...

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