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Did Darwinian evolution begin before life itself?

How long-chain molecules are formed

24-Feb-2021

Before life emerged on Earth, many physicochemical processes on our planet were highly chaotic. A plethora of small compounds, and polymers of varying lengths, made up of subunits (such as the bases found in DNA and RNA), were present in every conceivable combination. Before life-like chemical ...

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Fluorescence microscopy at highest spatial and temporal resolution

Researchers simplify the MINFLUX microscope and have succeeded in differentiating molecules that are extremely close together and tracking their dynamics.

21-Jan-2021

Only a few years ago, an ostensibly fundamental resolution limit in optical microscopy was superseded - a breakthrough which in 2014 led to the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for super-resolution microscopy. Since then, there has been another quantum leap in this area, which has further reduced the ...

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Shining a light on nanoscale dynamics

Watching metamaterials at work in real time using ultrafast electron diffraction

26-Nov-2020

Physicists from the University of Konstanz, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich) and the University of Regensburg have successfully demonstrated that ultrashort electron pulses experience a quantum mechanical phase shift through their interaction with light waves in nanophotonic ...

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Prebiotic chemistry - In the beginning, there was sugar

Chemist reports a reaction pathway in which minerals catalyze the formation of sugars in the absence of water

22-Oct-2020

Organic molecules formed the basis for the evolution of life. But how could inorganic precursors have given rise to them? Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich chemist Oliver Trapp now reports a reaction pathway in which minerals catalyze the formation of sugars in the absence of ...

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Chemical evolution in a tiny Gulf Stream

29-Jul-2020

Chemical reactions driven by the geological conditions on the early Earth might have led to the prebiotic evolution of self-replicating molecules. LMU scientists now report on a hydrothermal mechanism that could have promoted the process. Life is a product of evolution by natural selection. ...

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Battery research: Finding the right blend!

24-Feb-2020

In the battery of the future, solids will replace the currently used electrolyte solutions. A team of scientists at LMU has now developed a series of new sodium ion conductors. The secret of the best material in the series lies in the exact mixing of the ingredients. The days of conventional ...

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Putting a nanomachine to work

30-Jan-2020

A team of chemists at LMU has successfully coupled the directed motion of a light-activated molecular motor to a different chemical unit – thus taking an important step toward the realization of synthetic nanomachines. Molecular motors are chemical compounds that convert energy into directed ...

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Man versus machine: Can AI do science?

15-Jan-2020

Over the last few decades, machine learning has revolutionized many sectors of society, with machines learning to drive cars, identify tumors and play chess - often surpassing their human counterparts. Now, a team of scientists based at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate ...

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Five-fold boost in formaldehyde yield

15-Nov-2019

Environmentally benign methods for the industrial production of chemicals are urgently needed. LMU researchers recently described such a procedure for the synthesis of formaldehyde, and have now improved it with the aid of machine learning. Formaldehyde is one of the most important feedstocks ...

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An ultrafast glimpse of the photochemistry of the atmosphere

15-Oct-2019

Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols. The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between ...

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