Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the top ten causes of death worldwide. In 2017, 10 million people around the world fell ill with TB and 1.3 million died. The genome of the bacterium that causes TB holds a special toxin-antitoxin system with spectacular action: once the toxin is activated, all bacterial cells die, stopping the disease. An international research team co-led by the Wilmanns group at EMBL in Hamburg investigated this promising feature for therapeutic targets. They now share the first high-resolution details of the system in Molecular Cell.
Photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells are widely studied for the conversion of solar energy into chemical fuels. They use photocathodes and photoanodes to "split" water into hydrogen and oxygen respectively. PEC cells can work under mild conditions with light, which makes them also suitable for other catalyzing reactions that turn organic molecules into high added-value chemicals, like those used to develop drugs.
The rich levels of biodiversity on land seen across the globe today are not a recent phenomenon: diversity on land has been similar for at least the last 60 million years, since soon after the extinction of the dinosaurs.
From fathers to children, the delivery of hereditary information requires the careful packing of DNA in sperm. But just how nature packages this DNA to prepare offspring isn't clear. Using new technology to reveal the 3-D organization of DNA in maturing male reproductive cells, scientists revealed a crucial period in development that helps explain how fathers pass on genetic information to future generations.
The use of efficient catalytic agents is what makes many technical procedures feasible in the first place. Indeed, synthesis of more than 80 percent of the products generated in the chemical industry requires the input of specific catalysts. Most of these are solid-state catalysts, and the reactions they make possible take place between molecules that adsorb to their surfaces.
Nanozymes, enzyme-like catalytic nanomaterials, are considered to be the next generation of enzyme mimics because they not only overcome natural enzymes' intrinsic limitations, but also possess unique properties in comparison with conventional artificial enzymes. Until now, lots of nanomaterials have been explored to mimic various natural enzymes, such as peroxidase, oxidase, catalase, and hydrolase. Particularly, enormous efforts have been devoted to peroxidase-like nanozymes because of their applications in biomedical diagnosis, bioimaging, anti-biofouling coatings, etc.
In our daily lives, we can find many examples of manipulation of reflected waves, such as mirrors, or reflective surfaces for sound that improve auditorium acoustics. When a wave impinges on a reflective surface with a certain angle of incidence and the energy is sent back, the angle of reflection is equal to the angle of incidence. This classical reflection law is valid for any homogenous surface. Researchers at Aalto University have developed new metasurfaces for the arbitrary manipulation of reflected waves, essentially breaking the law to engineer the reflection of a surface at will.
Author(s): Dan Garisto
Extensive experiments lead to a theory that describes the microscale, jerky process involved in the seemingly smooth peeling of tape from a surface.
[Physics 12, 16] Published Fri Feb 15, 2019
Viewpoint: A Theory to Tackle Supercooling
Author(s): Thomas Speck
Reconciling the high viscosity of “supercooled” liquids with their microstructure has stumped existing theory, but an advance in liquid-state theory may lead to a resolution.
[Physics 12, 15] Published Thu Feb 14, 2019
Synopsis: Galactic Spirals May Form Spontaneously
Spiral galaxies could be transient, nonequilibrium structures originating from the collapse of clouds of matter interacting solely through self-gravity.
[Physics] Published Thu Feb 14, 2019
Evidence of new physics could have been under our noses all along
For almost a decade, the world's most expensive experiment failed to break new ground. But its biggest discoveries may have gone unnoticed
A proposed modification to a microfluidic cell-sorting device could separate cells by their deformability, an important marker for several diseases.
[Physics] Published Wed Feb 13, 2019
Synopsis: Neutrino Probes of Long-Range Interactions
Researchers place new limits on hypothetical interactions between neutrinos and large electron populations on galactic scales.
[Physics] Published Tue Feb 12, 2019
Viewpoint: A Metamaterial for Superscattering Light
Author(s): Yongmin Liu
A team has engineered a subwavelength structure that features a greatly enhanced capacity to scatter microwave light.
[Physics 12, 14] Published Mon Feb 11, 2019
Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge, the godfather of caffeine
Today's Google doodle celebrates Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge, who was the first to isolate caffeine and quinine but his contributions to chemistry are often overlooked
Author(s): Philip Ball
A quantum effect in which random fluctuations help waves to propagate has been demonstrated in a chain of ten atoms.
[Physics 12, 13] Published Fri Feb 08, 2019
5 of the world’s toughest unsolved maths problems
The Open Problems in Mathematical Physics is a list of the most monstrous maths riddles in physics. Here are five of the top problems that remain unsolved
A test of two alternative voting systems that measure the strength of people’s opinions has found that it is sometimes better to let the losing side win
Take a form of uranium that shouldn’t be magnetic, mix it with antimony and cool it down, and you get a new kind of magnet that could speed up computers
A decade ago, two mathematicians produced a solution to one of the most difficult maths problems ever. The only problem was, no one understood it - until now
Pomelo peels have been ground down and turned into an aerogel – one of the lightest materials in the world – that could be used to clean up oil spills
New device could boost telecommunications and be adapted for photonics
Revamped accelerator will soon be smashing electrons and positrons together
New material is made by compressing treated wood
Technique could be used to create quantum-information systems
Breakthrough could lead to new type of energy source
Ising model could account for nut production of pistachio orchards
Agency will now require every grantee organization to report cases of sexual harassment