The latest Orbital newsletter
Fabienne Bachtiger, part of the Sosso group, presented her research to dozens of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of the poster competition STEM for BRITAIN, on Monday 9th March in the House of Commons. The competition was strong but she won a Silver award for the excellence of her chemistry research, walking away with a £1,250 prize and medal.
The end of reapplying sunscreen could be on the horizon after scientists found a molecule which can ‘dance’ away the harmful sunlight.
Plants stay safe from the Sun because they hold a molecule which absorbs ultraviolet light and uses the energy to shake at a speed of 100 billion twists per second, which expends the radiation before it can cause harm.
Scientists at the University of Warwick searched for a structure with similar properties and discovered that diethyl sinapate closely mimics the process when exposed to sunlight.
Scott, Fox and Gibson develop 'metallohelical antifreezes'
A collaboration between the Fox, Scott and Gibson groups has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The team were inspired by how small helical antifreeze proteins in Nature enable extreomophiles to survive low temperatures, where other species would not survive. Rather than using traditional peptide/protein chemistry, the team used self-assembled metallohelicates which have similar dimensions to a small alpha helix, and found some which were remarkably potent at stopping ice crystal growth ; a major technological challenge in applications from wind farms, to aircraft to cryopreservation. Modelling studies showed that the underlying activity could be linked the patches of hydrophobicity (water liking) and hydrophobicity (water hating).
Read the paper here
Several studentship opportunities for PhD study are available in the Chemistry Department of Warwick University.