Chemistry

  1. soybean plant leaves infected with Fusarium virguliforme fungus
    Agriculture

    Nanoscale nutrients can protect plants from fungal diseases

    Applied to the shoots, nutrients served in tiny metallic packages are absorbed more efficiently, strengthening plants’ defenses against fungal attack.

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  2. Lightning storm in Texas
    Earth

    Lightning may be an important source of air-cleaning chemicals

    Airplane observations show that thunderstorms can directly generate vast quantities of atmosphere-cleansing chemicals called oxidants.

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  3. before and after images of dish of compost breaking down plastic
    Chemistry

    A new technique could make some plastic trash compostable at home

    Embedding enzymes inside biodegradable plastics makes them truly compostable, which could mitigate the plastic waste problem.

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  4. atoms of a high-temperature superconductor
    Physics

    Can room-temperature superconductors work without extreme pressure?

    The next generation of materials that conduct electricity with no resistance could shrug off the need for high pressure and low temperatures.

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  5. illustration of lightning striking early Earth
    Earth

    Phosphorus for Earth’s earliest life may have been forged by lightning

    Lightning strikes can supply one of life’s essential elements, long thought to be delivered by meteorites billions of years ago.

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  6. illustration of a molecule acting as a quantum bit
    Quantum Physics

    ‘Designer molecules’ could create tailor-made quantum devices

    Scientists are making molecules suited to a variety of quantum tasks by building them up, atom by atom.

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  7. piles of plastic at a landfill
    Chemistry

    Chemists are reimagining recycling to keep plastics out of landfills

    Recycling plastics is really hard, and usually creates low-quality materials that aren’t good for much. Chemists are trying to change that.

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  8. fluorine atoms bonded to hydrogen atom
    Chemistry

    This weird chemical bond acts like a mash-up of hydrogen and covalent bonds

    Chemistry students are taught that hydrogen bonds and covalent bonds are distinct, but a new study shows they exist on a continuum.

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  9. battery illustration
    Chemistry

    Zinc-air batteries are typically single-use. A new design could change that

    Swapping out the electrolyte in zinc-air batteries helps these next-gen power sources last longer.

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  10. a home burning in the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Fire
    Earth

    Plastic drinking water pipes exposed to high heat can leak hazardous chemicals

    Lab tests exposing commonly used water pipes to wildfire-like heat show damaged pipes can leach the carcinogen benzene and other chemicals.

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  11. Jet flying across sky
    Chemistry

    A new iron-based catalyst converts carbon dioxide into jet fuel

    Jet fuel made from carbon dioxide could one day reduce pollution from air travel.

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  12. Murchison meteorite fragment
    Planetary Science

    50 years ago, scientists caught their first glimpse of amino acids from outer space

    In 1970, scientists detected amino acids in a meteorite. Fifty years later, a variety of chemical ingredients for life have been found in other space rocks.

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