Ever since it was proposed that atoms are building blocks of the world, scientists have been trying to understand how and why they bond to each other. Be it a molecule (which is a group of atoms joined together in a particular fashion), or a block of material or a whole living organism, ultimately, everything is controlled by the way atoms bond, and the way bonds break.
The challenge is that lengths of chemical bonds are between 0.1 – 0.3 nm, about half a million times smaller than the width of a human hair, making direct imaging of bonding between a pair of atoms difficult. Advanced microscopy methods, such as atomic force microscopy (AFM) or scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), can resolve atomic positions and measure bond lengths directly, but filming chemical bonds to break or to form, with spatiotemporal continuity, in real time, still remains one of the greatest challenges of science.
This challenge has been met by a research team from the UK and Germany led by Professor Ute Kaiser, head of the Electron Microscopy of Materials Science in the University of Ulm, and Professor Andrei Khlobystov in the School of Chemistry at the University of Nottingham they have published ‘Imaging an unsupported metal-metal bond in dirhenium molecules at the atomic scale’ in Science Advances, a journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science covering all aspects of scientific endeavour.
Image Credit: Nottingham University
News This Week
he past few weeks have revealed the worst and the best in human responses to the coronavirus crisis – from the supermarket hoarders clearing the shelves to the neighbourhood groups organising help for elderly [...]
An Oxford-based firm that uses artificial intelligence to develop new medicines has teamed up with a UK national science facility to screen more than 15,000 drugs for their effectiveness as a treatment for Covid-19. [...]
New research has shed light on a crucial biological mechanism that may have helped the coronavirus to infect humans and spread rapidly around the world. A detailed analysis of the virus’s structure shows that [...]
How does the COVID-19 pandemic compare to other infamous viral infections that have plagued us in modern times? It’s a question that’s been asked repeatedly in social media circles in recent weeks as people [...]
There is no vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19, the disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2. Since the outbreak began in late 2019, researchers have been racing to [...]
Corona Virus (COVID 19) Interview with Michael Osterholm an expert in infectious disease epidemiology.
Michael Osterholm is an internationally recognized expert in infectious disease epidemiology. He is Regents Professor, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy [...]
With the new coronavirus spreading from person to person (possibly including from people without symptoms), reaching four continents, and traveling faster than SARS, driving it out of existence is looking increasingly unlikely. It’s still [...]
Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) scientists have improved upon the 3D bioprinting technique they developed to engineer skeletal muscle as a potential therapy for replacing diseased or damaged muscle tissue, moving another [...]
An international team of scientists from the University of Southampton, the University of Padova, and the University of Zurich has connected a silicon neuron to a neuron from the rat hippocampus with an artificial [...]
In an insightful 42-minute interview, NMIN’s Scientific Director Dr. Pieter Cullis, a pioneer in liposomal gene and drug delivery, discusses his scientific career with a focus on his contributions to the evolution of [...]
A powerful antibiotic that kills some of the most dangerous drug-resistant bacteria in the world has been discovered using artificial intelligence. The drug works in a different way to existing antibacterials and is the [...]
Artificial intelligence hit a big milestone in January — the first drug designed entirely using artificial intelligence entered human clinical trials. The compound, created by Oxford-based biotech company Exscientia, is aimed at treating obsessive-compulsive [...]
Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in the US have uncovered the ‘Achilles’ heel’ of most viruses which plague mankind, and could soon develop a universal vaccine. Vaccine research, development and testing takes [...]
Every age in the history of human civilisation has a signature material, from the Stone Age, to the Bronze and Iron Ages. We might even call today’s information-driven society the Silicon Age. Since the [...]
CRISPR gene-edited immune cells have been injected into three people with advanced cancer without any serious side effects, the first trial of its kind in the US. It is also the first CRISPR cancer [...]