Water is split into hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis, but if CO2 is also added to the mixture, compounds can be generated to make textiles, diapers and even spirits. American scientists, led by a Spaniard, have developed a catalyst that accelerates this reaction, while also removing a greenhouse gas.
Tobacco is one of the main sources of toxic substances in the human body. Many people opt for the alternative, the electronic cigarette, to avoid health risks. But a new study reveals that vaping entails the inhalation of inorganic elements, especially rare earth elements, whose toxicity is still unknown.
The extraordinary mechanical and electronic properties of graphene endow this material with features suitable for a multitude of potential applications. They can be even more extended by covalent graphene functionalization but graphene presents a challenge: low reactivity. One of the solutions is to manufacture graphene derivatives from fluorographene, which, with new solvents and techniques for eliminating or replacing its fluorine atoms, can produce graphene equipped with new functionalities.
In addition to being a well-known cleaning product, ammonia is essential in the manufacture of fertilizers that, equally, are necessary to produce food for livestock and mankind. The chemical process to synthesize this nitrogenous compound has hardly changed in 100 years and is still essential for our society, although scientists do not know how to mitigate its negative consequences on the environment.
Imagine a pen that 'writes' real electronic circuits capable of conducting electricity and lighting up LEDs. This breakthrough, presented this week at the international fair in Hannover, was achieved by researchers from the Leibniz Institute for New Materials (Germany) with the collaboration of a scientist from Spain. The secret is a hybrid ink formed by gold nanoparticles and a conductive organic polymer.
DNA does not always adopt the form of the double helix which is associated with the genetic code; it can also form intricate folds and act as an enzyme: a deoxyribozyme. A researcher from Spain and other scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Germany) have solved the first three-dimensional structure of this biomolecule that has proved much more flexible than previously thought.
Spanish and German researchers have successfully seen for the first time the pores, shaped like rings and crescent moons, that the Bax protein perforates in mitochondrial membranes. This advance has been achieved thanks to super-resolution microscopy and may help find the “holy grail” of cell suicide, a crucial process in preventing cancer.
The Roman Emperors used to spend their summers in the city of Baia, near Naples. With the passage of time, however, the majority of their luxury villas became immersed under water. Italian and Spanish researchers have now applied microscopic and geochemical techniques to confirm that the marble used to cover these ancient Roman buildings came from Carrara and other marble quarries in Turkey and Greece - valuable information for archaeologists and historians.
Using an artificial ebola virus model, an european team coordinated by researchers of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid/IMDEA-Nanociencia has proved how a supermolecule – constituted by thirteen fullerenes – has been able of inhibiting the virus infection by blocking a receptor implied in its expansion. The model, tested in vitro, highlights the potential of this biotechnology to eradicate the infection.
The team has achieved an unprecedented goal: connecting twelve fullerenes, each one endowed with ten sugar moieties, to other central fullerene, thus mimicking the presentation of carbohydrates surrounding the ebola virus. / N. Martín & B. Illescas