Ultraphosphates break decades-old anti-branching rule

For the first time, scientists have synthesised branched phosphates, called ultraphosphates, finding them to be stable for up to several days in water – despite the 1950 anti-branching rule stating otherwise. Polyphosphates consist of tetrahedral phosphate units, PO4, linked by oxygen atoms. They can be linear, branched or cyclic. Linear polyphosphates like adenosine triphosphate, ATP, are […]

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Chemistry Nobel predictions range from free-radical chemistry to MOFs

The world will find out who has won this year’s chemistry Nobel prize in less than two weeks, on this the 120th year of the most prestigious awards in science, and excitement is building once more. Analysts and online commentators are once again attempting to forecast who will get the nod, with favourites including free-radical […]

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On course for healthier, more sustainable soil

If we want to transition to a greener, healthier and more climate resilient Europe, it is important to ensure our soils are in good condition. However, the quality of soils is worsening because of unsustainable management practices, depletion of resources, climate change and pollution. Soil hosts a quarter of our planet’s biodiversity and is home […]

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First vortex beam made entirely of atoms

Researchers in Israel have created the first vortex beams made of atoms and molecules. The experiments, which manipulate atoms’ wave function to carrying an orbital angular momentum, could offer insights into the fundamental properties of matter. Vortices are characterised by some kind of circular flow around an axis. Whirlpools and tornadoes are among the most […]

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Toward a smarter electronic health record

Electronic health records have been widely adopted with the hope they would save time and improve the quality of patient care. But due to fragmented interfaces and tedious data entry procedures, physicians often spend more time navigating these systems than they do interacting with patients. Researchers at MIT and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center […]

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Making health and motion sensing devices more personal

Previous definitions of “well-being,” limited to taking a brisk walk and eating a few more vegetables, feel in many ways like a distant past. Shiny watches and sleek rings now measure how we eat, sleep, and breathe, calling on a combination of motion sensors and microprocessors to crunch bytes and bits.  Even with today’s variety […]

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Intermittent fasting can help manage metabolic disease

Eating your daily calories within a consistent window of 8-10 hours is a powerful strategy to prevent and manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, according to a new manuscript published in the Endocrine Society’s journal, Endocrine Reviews. Time-restricted eating is a type of intermittent fasting that limits your food intake to a […]

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Gigantic cavity in space sheds new light on how stars form

Astronomers analyzing 3D maps of the shapes and sizes of nearby molecular clouds have discovered a gigantic cavity in space. The sphere-shaped void, described today in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, spans about 150 parsecs — nearly 500 light years — and is located on the sky among the constellations Perseus and Taurus. The research team, which is […]

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Ease up if your kids hate broccoli and cauliflower

Many children, as well as adults, dislike Brassica vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. In the mouth, enzymes from these vegetables and from bacteria in saliva can produce unpleasant, sulfurous odors. Now, researchers reporting in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have found that levels of these volatile compounds are similar […]

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