Tag Archives: selenium

Fast and curious: Electrons hurtle into the interior of a new class of quantum materials

As smartphones get smarter and computers compute faster, researchers actively search for ways to speed up the processing of information. Now, scientists at Princeton University have made a step forward in developing a new class of materials that could be used in future technologies.

They have discovered a new quantum effect that enables electrons — the negative-charge-carrying particles that make today’s electronic devices possible — to dash through the interior of these materials with very little resistance. (more…)

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Best Acne Eluding Diet

Think pimples are something just teenagers get?  If you say yes, then you are incorrect. More than 20 percent of women/men suffer from acne late into their twenties and thirties. Acne is an inflammatory skin condition, caused by the production of excess sebum, which clogs the pores and leads to pimples. Breakouts can occur all over the body, but are most commonly found on the face, back and chest. The cause could be anything from stress to hormonal fluctuation and more.

Over the counter products and antibiotics for clear skin are such a pain in terms of money and time. Many of them turn out to be harmful instead of being beneficial. So what is that harmless way to save us from acne breakouts and it’s after effects? (more…)

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Selenium Controls Staph on Implant Material

A coating of selenium nanoparticles significantly reduces the growth of Staphylococcus aureus on polycarbonate, a material common in implanted devices such as catheters and endotracheal tubes, engineers at Brown University report in a new study.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Selenium is an inexpensive element that naturally belongs in the body. It is also known to combat bacteria. Still, it had not been tried as an antibiotic coating on a medical device material. In a new study, Brown University engineers report that when they used selenium nanoparticles to coat polycarbonate, the material of catheters and endotracheal tubes, the results were significant reductions in cultured populations of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, sometimes by as much as 90 percent.

“We want to keep the bacteria from generating a biofilm,” said Thomas Webster, professor of engineering and orthopaedics, who studies how nanotechnology can improve medical implants. He is the senior author of the paper, published online this week in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research A. (more…)

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Disappearing and Reappearing Superconductivity Surprises Scientists

Washington, D.C. — Superconductivity is a rare physical state in which matter is able to conduct electricity—maintain a flow of electrons—without any resistance. This phenomenon can only be found in certain materials at low temperatures, or can be induced under chemical and high external pressure conditions. Research to create superconductors at higher temperatures has been ongoing for two decades with the promise of significant impact on electrical transmission. New work from a team including Carnegie’s Xiao-Jia Chen and Ho-kwang “Dave” Mao demonstrates unexpected superconductivity in a type of compounds called iron selenium chalcogenides. Their work is published online by Nature on February 22. (more…)

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Cooking Mix Needs Recipe Fix

Cooking is a fine science similar to pharmaceutical one. The difference is that we do not mix drugs ourselves and trust this business to the professionals, while in cooking we have to rely exclusively on ourselves. In the meantime, basic knowledge of chemistry and medicine would be useful for any responsible cook.

This is the knowledge that products matching is based on, and it will help you make your food the most healthful and safe. (more…)

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Deformed Beaks May Signal a Greater Environmental Problem

This Black-capped Chickadee, captured in Anchorage, Alaska, demonstrates an overgrown beak characteristic of avian keratin disorder. Beak deformities in this species were first observed in the late 1990s and biologists have since documented more than 2,100 affected individuals in Alaska. Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey

ANCHORAGE, Alaska ­– The highest rate of beak abnormalities ever recorded in wild bird populations is being seen in a number of species in the Northwest and Alaska, and scientists to this point have not been able to isolate the cause.

Black-capped Chickadees, Northwestern Crows, and other birds are being impacted by the problem, which affects their ability to feed and clean themselves and could signal a growing environmental health problem.

In birds affected by what scientists have termed “avian keratin disorder,” the keratin layer of the beak becomes overgrown, resulting in noticeably elongated and often crossed beaks, sometimes accompanied by abnormal skin, legs, feet, claws and feathers. Biologists with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Alaska Science Center published their findings in this month’s issue of The Auk, a Quarterly Journal of Ornithology.

“The prevalence of these strange deformities is more than ten times what is normally expected in a wild bird population,” said research biologist Colleen Handel with the USGS, “We have seen effects not only on the birds’ survival rates, but also on their ability to reproduce and raise young. We are particularly concerned because we have not yet been able to determine the cause, despite testing for the most likely culprits.” (more…)

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