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Termite gut microbes could aid biofuel production

Microbes can help break down lignin

22-Feb-2021

Wheat straw, the dried stalks left over from grain production, is a potential source of biofuels and commodity chemicals. But before straw can be converted to useful products by biorefineries, the polymers that make it up must be broken down into their building blocks. Now, researchers reporting ...

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What the Biden-Harris administration means for chemistry

The new administration has inherited a global pandemic and worsening climate change, among other science-related issues

10-Feb-2021

The inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris marks a new era for science policy in the U.S. and beyond. The new administration has inherited a global pandemic and worsening climate change, among other science-related issues. A cover story in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly ...

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A mild way to upcycle plastics used in bottles into fuel and other high-value products

29-Jan-2021

Plastic is ubiquitous in people's lives. Yet, when plastic-containing items have fulfilled their missions, only a small amount is recycled into new products, which are often of lower quality compared to the original material. And, transforming this waste into high-value chemicals requires ...

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Superheroes, foods and apps bring a modern twist to the periodic table

Introducing Students to the Periodic Table Using a Descriptive Approach of Superheroes, Meats, and Fruits and Nuts

19-Jan-2021

Many students, especially non-science majors, dread chemistry. The first lesson in an introductory chemistry course typically deals with how to interpret the periodic table of elements, but its complexity can be overwhelming to students with little or no previous exposure. Now, researchers ...

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Luminescent wood could light up homes of the future

Luminescent and hydrophobic wood films as optical lighting materials

06-Nov-2020

The right indoor lighting can help set the mood, from a soft romantic glow to bright, stimulating colors. But some materials used for lighting, such as plastics, are not eco-friendly. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Nano have developed a bio-based, luminescent, water-resistant wood film that ...

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Gold- and bronze-like paints that don't contain metal

Researchers have developed organic-only dyes that can form films resembling gold or bronze, without the need for metals

19-Oct-2020

Lustrous metallic paints are used to enhance the beauty of many products, such as home decorations, cars and artwork. But most of these pigments owe their sheen to flakes of aluminum, copper, zinc or other metals, which have drawbacks. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Omega have developed ...

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Digitizing chemistry with a smart stir bar

A magnetic stirrer bar with an integrated process monitoring system

24-Jul-2020

Miniaturized computer systems and wireless technology are offering scientists new ways to keep tabs on reactions without the need for larger, cumbersome equipment. In a proof-of-concept study in ACS Sensors, researchers describe an inexpensive new device that functions like a conventional ...

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Levitating droplets allows to perform 'touchless' chemical reactions

Contact-free experiments without containers or handling that might affect the outcome

26-Jun-2020

Levitation has long been a staple of magic tricks and movies. But in the lab, it's no trick. Scientists can levitate droplets of liquid, though mixing them and observing the reactions has been challenging. The pay-off, however, could be big as it would allow researchers to conduct contact-free ...

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Superworms digest plastic, with help from their bacterial sidekicks

Polystyrene waste to break down with enzymes or bacteria?

02-Jun-2020

Resembling giant mealworms, superworms (Zophobas atratus) are beetle larvae that are often sold in pet stores as feed for reptiles, fish and birds. In addition to their relatively large size (about 2 inches long), these worms have another superpower: They can degrade polystyrene plastic. Now, ...

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New textile could keep you cool in the heat, warm in the cold

Same fabric can perform both functions

17-Apr-2020

Imagine a single garment that could adapt to changing weather conditions, keeping its wearer cool in the heat of midday but warm when an evening storm blows in. In addition to wearing it outdoors, such clothing could also be worn indoors, drastically reducing the need for air conditioning or ...

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