Scientists have developed a new technique using tools made of luminescent DNA, lit up like fireflies, to visualize the mechanical forces of cells at the molecular level.
Producing biogas from the bacterial breakdown of biomass presents options for a greener energy future, but the complex composition of biomass comes with challenges. Cellulose and woody lignocellulose are especially hard for bacteria to digest but pretreatment can make it easier. Researchers are testing plasma formation in biomass and finding a promising method: A plasma-liquid interaction forms reactive species that help break down the biomass and decrease the viscosity of the biomass material.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, it is increasingly urgent to understand how climate impacts the spread of the coronavirus, particularly as winter virus infections are more common and the northern hemisphere will soon see cooler temperatures. In Physics of Fluids, researchers studied the effects of relative humidity, environmental temperature, and wind speed on the respiratory cloud and virus viability. They found a critical factor for the transmission of the infectious particles is evaporation.
In a new study, Shaopeng Wang and his colleagues describe a method for examining proteins in keen detail. To do this, his group makes clever use of a phenomenon known as surface plasmon resonance (SPR), incorporating it into an innovative type of microscope.
Scientists and researchers at NRL and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences collaborate to develop SARS-CoV-2 nanoparticle probes that are used to study fundamental interactions between SARS-CoV-2 Spike proteins and human cells.
The scientists found that the more curved a toe spring is, the less power the foot inside the shoe has to exert when pushing off from the ground while walking. That means foot muscles are doing less work, and this, the researchers hypothesize, may have consequences such as less endurance and make people more susceptible to medical conditions like plantar fasciitis.
Wearing footwear with an upward curvature at the front of the shoe - known as the toe spring - requires less work from the muscles of the feet to walk than shoes with a flatter sole, according to an experimental study published in Scientific Reports.
Researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed the world's smallest ultrasound detector. It is based on miniaturized photonic circuits on top of a silicon chip. With a size 100 times smaller than an average human hair, the new detector can visualize features that are much smaller than previously possible, leading to what is known as super-resolution imaging.
Although Earth is uniquely situated in the solar system to support creatures that call it home, different forms of life could have once existed, or might still exist, on other planets. But finding traces of past or current lifeforms on other worlds is challenging. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Analytical Chemistry have developed a fully automated microchip electrophoresis analyzer that, when incorporated into a planetary rover, could someday detect organic biosignatures in extraterrestrial soil.
Multiresistant bacteria are a serious problem in hospital and healthcare environments. By forming a biofilm, these pathogens can colonize door handles and light switches and their presence on medical implants can lead to serious cases of post-operative infection. A team of physicists at Saarland University has now shown why hospital germs adhere strongly to surfaces from which water simply rolls off, but bind so poorly to surfaces that are easily wetted by water.