Ionic cooling offers way to end greenhouse gas use in refrigeration

A heat transfer protocol that could halt the use of greenhouse gases in refrigeration has been demonstrated by US researchers. The technique, which harnesses the decrease in a liquid’s melting point when a salt is dissolved in it, shows notable advantages over some other proposed alternative refrigeration technologies. Heat naturally flows from hot to cold. […]

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Molecular motor running on electricity mimics biological motors

A molecular motor that can be powered by electricity has been created.1 In contrast to existing single-molecule electric motors,2,3 the new [3]catenane motor can be operated without a scanning tunnelling microscopy tip. ‘Previous electrically driven motors required high vacuum and elaborated setups to operate,’ comments Giulio Ragazzon from the University of Strasbourg in France, who […]

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Obsolete Oxford labs once used by Dorothy Hodgkin may become student bar

The University of Oxford has lodged plans to convert a historic chemistry laboratory into a student bar and music lounge. The 150-year-old west wing of Oxford’s Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory (ICL) hasn’t been used for experimental work since 2018, but will get a new lease of life if plans to create new social space for students […]

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NIH’s new data sharing policy is coming, and it’s a ‘big cultural shift’

Biochemists and other researchers who apply for funding from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) will have to include comprehensive data management and sharing plans in grants from 25 January. These will be formal strategies for managing, preserving and sharing scientific data, as well as the accompanying metadata. The new rule, which is generating […]

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Molecular trap that snares many different drugs could save lives during overdoses

A macrocyclic compound has shown promise as a broad-spectrum antidote for drugs of abuse – including opioids, stimulants and hallucinogens – some of which currently have no reversal agent such as methamphetamine and phencyclidine (PCP). The pillararene compound P6AS can sequester drug molecules inside itself and changes their properties, and if administered following an overdose […]

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3M pledges to exit PFAS manufacturing

US manufacturing giant 3M has decided to remove all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from its product portfolio and ‘exit all PFAS manufacturing’ by the end of 2025. It’s a significant move for a company that has been a major manufacturer of such compounds for many decades. Currently, 3M estimates that its PFAS products are […]

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Proteins behind diatoms’ intricate nanoscale-patterned shells revealed

The discovery of three new proteins involved in controlling the formation of the intricate patterns of nanoscale pores in diatom shells opens the path towards manipulating the process to structure materials. These uses could include patterning in meso- and macroporous materials for photonics, catalysis and sensors. Diatom shells pose an interesting technical challenge. These single […]

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Algorithm produces one of the best solutions to molecules’ Schrödinger equations yet

A new deep-learning algorithm from researchers in Austria has produced more accurate numerical solutions to the Schrödinger equation than ever before for a number of different molecules at relatively modest computational cost – although the work itself may subsequently have been surpassed by research from Google’s DeepMind. Surprisingly, the Austrian researchers found that, whereas some […]

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Deep learning lets algorithm produce best solutions to molecules’ Schrödinger equations yet

A new deep-learning algorithm from researchers in Austria produces more accurate numerical solutions to the Schrödinger equation than ever before for a number of different molecules at relatively modest computational cost. Surprisingly, the researchers found that, whereas some ‘pre-training’ of the algorithm could improve its predictive abilities, more substantial training was actively harmful. As the […]

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