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Answering Life's Questions with Spectroscopy

Date: Jun 28, 2017

Author: Jon Evans

Spectroscopy has been a common analytical technique in laboratories for many years. Recently, however, it has begun to emerge from the laboratory, both figuratively and literally, as more and more researchers discover that it is ideally placed to answer the questions they want to ask.

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Lassa lashed: X-ray vaccine clue

Date: Jun 15, 2017

Author: David Bradley

Lassa fever can be lethal, it is a severe hemorrhagic disease caused by a single-stranded RNA virus in the arenavirus family. There is currently no vaccine. But that might soon change thanks to X-ray crystallographic work ten years in the making.

Read More thumbnail image: Lassa lashed X-ray vaccine clue

Journal Highlight: Rapid acquisition of X-ray scattering data from droplet-encapsulated protein systems

Date: Jun 5, 2017

Author: spectroscopyNOW

A simple, versatile and reliable device compatible with in situ X-ray measurements has been developed for stable droplet formation and used to study droplet-encapsulated protein systems.

Read More thumbnail image: Journal Highlight Rapid acquisition of X-ray scattering data from droplet-encapsulated protein systems

Transient enzyme: X-rays and NMR combined

Date: Jun 1, 2017

Author: David Bradley

By combining the benefits of both X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, Swedish scientists have been able to successfully map the structure and function of a transient enzyme state in modified adenylate kinase.

Read More thumbnail image: Transient enzyme X-rays and NMR combined

Modus operando: Better batteries with X-rays

Date: May 15, 2017

Author: David Bradley

Operando X-ray diffraction has been used to elucidate the role of SiO2 (quartz powder) added to the electrolyte (liquid component) in lithium-sulfur battery. Li-S battery is a promising future energy storage system because of it energy density higher than that of conventional lithium-ion batteries. However to date, this system suffers from quickly declining capacity.

Read More thumbnail image: Modus operando Better batteries with X-rays

Journal Highlight: In vivo XANES measuring technique for studying the arsenic uptake in cucumber plants

Date: May 8, 2017

Author: spectroscopyNOW

A new XANES method has been developed to determine the As oxidation state in order to identify the possible metabolic processes during the nutrient uptake in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. cv Joker) as a model plant.

Read More thumbnail image: Journal Highlight In vivo XANES measuring technique for studying the arsenic uptake in cucumber plants

Obscure crystals: Extracting extra from X-ray data

Date: May 1, 2017

Author: David Bradley

A new method allows scientists to extract previously hidden information from X-ray diffraction data on proteins and other biological molecules. The technique allows the difference between a target with and without its substrate to be more precisely refined in drug discovery.

Read More thumbnail image: Obscure crystals Extracting extra from X-ray data

Chemical restoration: X-rays get beneath the paintwork

Date: Apr 15, 2017

Author: David Bradley

The Ghent Altarpiece was a family affair painted around 1432 by Flemish/Early Netherlandish artist Jan van Eyck and according to art historians probably his brother Hubert. Now, chemical imaging based on element-specific X-ray analysis of a large area of the work has revealed the original paint layers and assisted in cleanup and conservation.

Read More thumbnail image: Chemical restoration X-rays get beneath the paintwork

Journal Highlight: Dynamic contact strain measurement by time-resolved stroboscopic energy dispersive synchrotron X-ray diffraction

Date: Apr 10, 2017

Author: spectroscopyNOW

The first dynamic contact strain measurement of a ball bearing using stroboscopic energy dispersive X-ray diffraction has been performed, examining the outer raceway of a test bearing.

Read More thumbnail image: Journal Highlight Dynamic contact strain measurement by time-resolved stroboscopic energy dispersive synchrotron X-ray diffraction

Graphene for X-rays: Benchtop instruments

Date: Apr 1, 2017

Author: David Bradley

A collaboration between the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA is working towards a versatile, directional X-ray source that exploits the properties of the "two-dimensional" carbon material known as graphene and could be built as a bench-top or even handheld device for a wide range of applications.

Read More thumbnail image: Graphene for X-rays Benchtop instruments
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