May 11th, 2018
Successful in-vitro test shows potential for new treatment
Vitiligo is a disease characterized by loss of skin pigmentation due to the death of cells called melanocytes, responsible for melanin production. This disease afflicts up to 1% of the world population and current treatments are not effective and exhibit several side effects.
According to the most accepted theory, the disease results from an autoimmune reaction. It is known that one of the proteins involved in melanin synthesis, called TyRP-1, also functions as a melanocyte differentiation antigen, marking the melanocytes to be attacked by the immune system. Therefore, a possible strategy to thwart the progression of the disease is to prevent the production of TyRP-1.
March 22nd, 2018
Enzyme extracted from microorganisms from Amazonian lake shows potential for biofuel production
The growing understanding that the rise in average temperature of the planet is caused by human action has, in recent years, intensified the search for clean, renewable and cheap energy sources. One alternative source are the second generation biofuels produced from agricultural waste, such as sugar cane straw and bagasse, which are mainly composed of cellulose. The production of second generation ethanol, for example, breaks down this cellulose into simpler sugars with the use of several enzymes, followed by fermentation into ethanol.
March 2nd, 2018
Research investigates mechanism of absorption and transport of zinc nanoparticles
In agriculture, several of the nutrients needed for the growth and development of plants are supplied or supplemented by fertilizers. Some nutrients, such as phosphorus ($ \rm P $) and potassium ($ \rm K $), are needed in large quantities, but obtained from limited mineral sources. Others - such as manganese ($ \rm Mn $), copper ($ \rm Cu $) or zinc ($ \rm Zn $) - are only needed in small quantities and their excessive application can be toxic to plants or to important microorganisms present in the soil.
February 9th, 2018
Research analyzes the deactivation of nickel catalysts in dry reforming of methane
Hydrogen gas ($\rm H_2 $) is one of the alternatives to fossil fuels since its combustion has as final product only water vapor. A promising way to produce hydrogen is from the so-called biogas: methane ($\rm CH_4 $) and carbon dioxide ($ \rm CO_2 $) originated from the fermentation of organic matter in anaerobic environments, such as landfills.
One possible process for this transformation is the dry reforming of methane (DRM), where $\rm CO_2 $ and $\rm CH_4$ in the biogas react (in the presence of a catalyst) yielding a mixture of $\rm H_2$ and carbon monoxide ($\rm CO$) known as the synthesis gas.
January 22nd, 2018
Research investigates the addition of ceria on the activity of catalysts for the water-gas shift reaction
Catalysts are substances that promote and accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed during the process and are widely used in industrial processes to produce various chemicals.
Catalysts based on copper nanoparticles dispersed in an oxide support benefit various reactions, such as the synthesis of methanol, the alcohol dehydrogenation, or the water gas shift (WGS) reaction which is one of the main processes for hydrogen production on an industrial scale. In this reaction, carbon monoxide reacts with water to produce carbon dioxide $ \rm CO_2 $ and hydrogen gas $\rm H_2$.
December 4th, 2017
A new research demonstrates a direct and selective way to investigate 5f electrons in actinide compounds as well as their interaction with other valence electrons
Actinides are a series of chemical elements that form the basis of nuclear fission technology, finding applications in strategic areas such as power generation, space exploration, diagnostics and medical treatments, and also in some special glass. Thorium (Th) and Uranium (U) are the most abundant actinides in the Earth's crust.
November 6th, 2017
Research proposes new mechanism for Suzuki-type C-C homocoupling reaction catalyzed by palladium nanocubes
The production of chemical compounds from simpler organic molecules is of great importance for various industrial processes. It is based on the bonding between carbons of the precursor organic compounds, aided by catalysts (typically transition metals). These reactions make it possible to obtain natural and synthetic substances for the development of new materials, such as polymers and pharmaceuticals.
October 9th, 2017
Research investigates the impact of oxidation on electronic and vibrational properties
Semiconductors are a class of materials essential for the electronics industry. They have intermediate properties between conductors and insulators, which can be modified by doping with different chemical elements or by the application of electric fields or light. Black phosphorus is a stable form of phosphorus whose crystalline structure is composed by stacking two-dimensional, one atom thick, thin layers. This material has immense potential to be used in electronic devices at the nanoscale due to its semiconductor properties, which can be adjusted by the number of atomic layers according to the need.
October 2nd, 2017
Research analyzes molybdenum catalysts doped with transition metals
The hydrogen gas ($\rm H_2$) is one of the best alternatives to fossil fuels because its combustion has as final product only water vapor. However, several technological challenges still need to be overcome in order to make it economically viable. One way to produce hydrogen is by breaking down water molecules $\rm H_2O$, with formation of $\rm H_2$ molecules. The main reaction in this process is the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction (HER) in which the protons in an acid medium are reduced and form hydrogen gas by electrons passed through catalysts.
September 4th, 2017
Research uncovers the mechanism of memory effect of lamellar double hydroxides (LDH).
Synthetic dyes are in constant use in a wide variety of industries, from textile to cosmetics. Both the production and use of these substances can lead to environmental problems if they are not properly degraded or removed from industrial effluents. Among the many physical, chemical or biological processes that can be used for the treatment of such wastes, the adsorption processes are noteworthy for combining low cost and high removal rates.