Changing the shape of water molecules

Chemistry depends on catalysts to speed up reactions, make chemical processes more efficient, and control the products they’re making. But it’s not always clear why a catalyst works the way it does. A group of US researchers has uncovered part of the catalysis mystery by looking at nanometre-sized crystals called zeolites. They’ve shown that the … Continue reading Changing the shape of water molecules

Fold here for success

DNA is a clever molecule that folds easily, so it can be used to act as scaffolds for nanomaterials. This involves long, single strands of DNA that have shorter strands to act as staples. Folded DNA shocked many science enthusiasts in 2006, when California Institute of Technology’s Paul Rothermund released images of a smiley face … Continue reading Fold here for success

Using wood to purify water

Chinese scientists have developed a wood-based steam generator which, with the help of bacterial-produced nanomaterials, harnesses solar energy to purify water. The steam generation bit isn’t new. Numerous devices have been designed to use solar energy to separate pure water from its contaminants by evaporation. Their efficiency and effectiveness vary greatly, however, and researchers are … Continue reading Using wood to purify water