C&EN Roundup: Ultralow-Power Computing, CO2 Capture, and Combat Zone Treatments

Chemical & Engineering News covers the world of chemistry, from research and education to business and policy. Here’s a sampling of their coverage of research from ACS journals:

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Nanoparticle Clotting Agent Could Save Soldiers, Even in Extreme Heat

An injectable blood-clotting agent can save a wounded soldier’s life, but the extreme temperatures common in many combat zones can cause these compounds to break down. A new nanoparticle with a polylactic acid core may offer hope, however. The nanoparticles doubled the survival rate in rats with traumatic liver injuries, even after being heated to 50 °C for a week.

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Bioreactor Efficiency Could Get a Boost From Genetically-Modified E. Coli

Most people want as little E. coli in their lives as possible. But now researchers are working to improve the bacteria’s ability to survive high temperatures, which would allow bioreactors to operate more efficiently. Using a gene circuit to activate a number of advantageous traits under certain circumstances, researchers were able to create a version of the bacteria that were better at regulating heat stress and cell density, while improving lysine production.

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Allergy Research Points to Need for More Personalized Treatment

Dust mite allergies are incredibly common but not all dust mite allergies are the same, since different people may be allergic to different allergens in the mites. As a result, a deeper understanding of how genetics and geography affect allergies is needed. Researchers found new dust mite allergens that affect a group of Thai patients, but not other previously studied populations. A more nuanced understanding of allergens could pave the way to more personalized treatments, researchers say.

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Turning Spruce Cones into Carbon-Capture Sorbents

Carbon-capture technology is an important part of fighting climate change, but the substances used to remove CO2 from smokestack emissions tend to be expensive to produce. In a bid to lower the cost of reducing carbon emissions, researchers developed a new sorbent made from Norway spruce cones that have been carbonized and activated with potassium hydroxide. In lab tests, the cone-based sorbent absorbed about the same amount of CO2 as commonly-used metal organic frameworks, but the cone-based sorbent was more selective for CO2 and less expensive to produce.

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Low-Power Computing’s Future May Lie in Nanomagnets

Nanomagnets could someday replace transistors in the processors of a new generation of low-power computers. Using a chain of stress-gated nanomagnets, researchers built a basic logic gate that can perform a simple processing task while using less energy than a conventional transistor. Attempts at magnet-based processing have been made before but this new device uses mechanical stress, instead of an electric field, to switch the magnet’s orientation, offering significant potential energy savings.

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That’s just a small sample of the robust coverage C&EN provides. Get the latest news in your discipline with weekly e-mail updates.