Refrigerant replacement highly toxic on combustion

R1234yf – a recommended replacement refrigerant, which when burned releases toxic carbonyl fluoride. This model shows carbon in black, hydrogen in white, and fluorine in green.

EU regulations suggest refrigerants in car air conditioning systems are replaced with a more environmentally friendly version, but scientists are urging a rethink after studies showed the recommended replacement releases toxic chemicals upon combustion.

Brain dictionary and road map created

When studied with advanced microscopic and imaging techniques, the brain of a fruit fly reveals astounding complexity, showing its composition by many discrete building blocks called "neuropils," each comprising one or more complex neuronal circuits. Credit: Kei Ito et al.

An international team of neuroscientists has not only tripled the number of identified insect brain structures but created a simple dictionary to talk about them.

Antidepressants affect aquatic life

The presence of antidepressants in our aquatic ecosystem is threatening wildlife, affecting its behaviour and biological make-up.

The presence of antidepressants in our aquatic ecosystem is threatening wildlife, affecting its behaviour and biological make-up.

Antimony batteries a possibility

TEM image of monodisperse antimony nanocrystals. Credit: Maksym Kovalenko Group/ETH Zurich.

Scientists probing new materials for batteries have succeeded in producing uniform antimony nanocrystals which could one day be used as alternative anode materials in high-energy-density batteries.

Quantum standard for amp achieved

This semiconductor structure can measure single electrons and their respective charge. Four single-electron pumps are integrated onto the chip; each of them has three gate electrodes (green) crossing a semiconductor wire (blue). The pumped electrons are detected with the aid of three single-electron detectors (grey). Credit PTB.

A quantum standard for the ampere can now join the ranks alongside the volt and ohm thanks to research from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB).

A change of heart…in space

A change of heart…in space

Astronauts’ hearts become more spherical in space say NASA scientists, which could lead to cardiac problems in space, and have important implications for manned missions to Mars.

DNA shape-change causes ALS

Nucleolin (green) scattered throughout the nucleus (blue) in a motor neuron obtained from induced pluripotent stem cells generated from the skin biopsy of an ALS patient. Credit: Jiou Wang, Johns Hopkins University.

A mutation linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) changes the shape of DNA, making cells more vulnerable to stress and likely to die.

Genetic mutations linked to melanoma

Genetic mutations links to melanoma

A mutation in the gene responsible for protecting the ends of chromosomes is responsible for a hereditary form of melanoma say researchers from the University of Leeds.

Celebrating Great British Science; we want your ideas!

CGBS web

What do you think is the greatest scientific breakthrough made on British shores? Is it Watson and Crick’s discovery of the structure of DNA, or Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell’s discovery of the first pulsar? Or maybe it was Alan Turing’s development of the Turning Machine? We want your suggestions –…

Mechanism of antibiotic resistance revealed

Bacterial type IV secretion system structure reveals how antibiotics resistance genes move from one bacterium to another Credit: Nature/Structure of a type IV secretion system

Antibiotic resistance represents a serious threat to human health, and researchers in London have taken an important step towards understanding how it spreads by unravelling a bacterial secretions system.

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