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Spin-out company aiming to replace harmful plastic microbeads receives £1.3M investment

Sustainable cellulose start-up Naturbeads is poised to scale up


Naturbeads, a company set up by University of Bath researchers that aims to replace plastic microbeads with sustainable alternatives, is set to scale up its work after receiving £1.3M (€1.5M) in a recent funding round. The investment from Italian Venture Capital fund Progress Tech Transfer, Eos ...


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Single-atom tractor beams power chemical catalysis

Unlocking possible new ways to make light act powerfully and drive chemical transformations


By trapping light into tiny gaps only a few atoms wide, a team from the NanoPhotonics Centre has magnified optical forces a thousand-fold, strong enough to force atoms into positions that drive chemical reactions more efficiently. “We found a new way to beef up the forces from light, enough to ...


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Research paves the way for stronger alloys

High-speed synchrotron X-ray tomography ‘photograph’ the changing crystal structures in molten alloys as they cool


Scientists from the University of Birmingham have described how microscopic crystals grow and change shape in molten metals as they cool, in research that is breaking new ground in alloy research and paves the way for improving the tensile strength of alloys used in casting and welding. Their ...


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Powering a microprocessor by photosynthesis

Algae-powered computing: Scientists create reliable and renewable biological photovoltaic cell


Researchers have used a widespread species of blue-green algae to power a microprocessor continuously for a year - and counting - using nothing but ambient light and water. Their system has potential as a reliable and renewable way to power small devices. The system, comparable in size to an AA ...


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New enzyme discovery is another leap towards beating plastic waste

It is hoped this work will help tackle the challenge of plastic pollution and convert waste plastic into valuable products


Scientists who helped to pioneer the use of enzymes to eat plastic have taken an important next step in developing nature-based solutions to the global plastics crisis. They have characterised an enzyme that has the remarkable capacity to help break down terephthalate (TPA), one of the chemical ...


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Breaking the black box of catalytic reactions

Research offers new understanding of complex catalysis, advances catalyst design


Many of the catalytic reactions that drive our modern world happen in an atomic black box. Scientists know all the components that go into a reaction, but not how they interact at an atomic level. Understanding the reaction pathways and kinetics of catalytic reactions at the atomic scale is ...


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Upcycling plastic waste into more valuable materials could make recycling pay for itself

New and simple method for upcycling plastic waste at room temperature


A new and simple method for upcycling plastic waste at room temperature has been developed by a team of researchers at the Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies (CSCT) at the University of Bath. The researchers hope the new process will help recycling become more economically ...


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Self-healing materials for robotics made from ‘jelly’ and salt

materials can detect when they are damaged, take the necessary steps to temporarily heal themselves and then resume work


Researchers have developed self-healing, biodegradable, 3D-printed materials that could be used in the development of realistic artificial hands and other soft robotics applications. The low-cost jelly-like materials, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, can sense strain, ...


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Compounds made from ‘digested’ molecules feeds appetite for greener pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals

New method uses enzymes to produce indolic amides, carboxylic acids and auxins – vital for use in pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries


A method of producing vital chemical building blocks for use in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries that mimics how plants manufacture them has been developed by University of Warwick scientists. Using enzymes in the same way that plants do, the scientists have created bacteria that ...


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World's first confocal light microscope to study chiral molecules

This discovery is a major breakthrough that will allow researchers to analyse previously unexplored parts of biology and chemistry


Scientists from Durham University’s Chemistry Department have developed the world’s first laser scanning confocal microscope that can harness Circularly Polarised Light (CPL) to differentiate left and right-handed molecules, also known as chiral molecules. The microscope, known as CPL Laser ...


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