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News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The threat of a major flu pandemic is a perennial concern. Now scientists have developed a fast and easy-to-use point-of-care diagnostic test that could one day help doctors and hospitals head off the rapid spread of the flu. They report their new device in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry. The gold standard of flu diagnostics involves expensive techniques, laboratory facilities, trained personnel and, most importantly, time. However, patients and doctors often don't have time on their side because some strains, such as H5N1, can cause severe illness and even death. And even common strains can be deadly in the elderly and small children. Existing rapid diagnostic tests can help with diagnoses, but these tests require multiple processing steps that still need to be performed with lab equipment in specialized facilities. So Paul Yager and colleagues set out to create a simpler, low-cost device that can be used during an office or hospital visit without expensive instruments. The researchers incorporated multiple steps of influenza detection -- viral lysis, target protein capture, labeling, rinsing and an enzyme-driven color change -- into one device. A user has to swab the inside of a patient's nose, then insert the swab into the device and twirl it for 10 seconds to release the virus. The device takes care of the rest. After about 35 minutes, it produces a visual readout that can be seen with the naked eye or captured with a smartphone camera. The researchers trained staff at a children's hospital to use the device, and they tested it on 25 patients during a flu outbreak. The device detected influenza A, one of the primary causes of moderate to severe flu epidemics, with 70 percent accuracy. The materials and reagents for one of these single-use devices cost less than $6. The authors acknowledge funding from the National Institutes of Health. The abstract that accompanies this study is available here. The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: phys.org

Josu Trebolazabala analyzes the composition of a tomato using a Raman spectrometer. Credit: Txetxu Berruezo A portable Raman spectrometer, a device used in very different fields such as metallurgy, archaeology and art, allows data to be obtained on the variation in the composition of tomatoes during various ripening phases, according to the results of a study conducted in the UPV/EHU's Department of Analytical Chemistry. The portable Raman spectrometer is an instrument widely used across a range of sectors. It is a non-invasive technique that can be used, for example, to detect the pigments in a painting without extracting any samples, thus preserving the integrity of the work. In this case, a research team of the UPV/EHU used a Raman spectrometer for culinary research. According to Josu Trebolazabala, the author of the study, "It is about transferring this technology, which had a specific use, to the kitchen. Our idea was to come up with a tool that could help producers find out when their tomatoes have reached their optimum ripeness point. This is achieved without destroying the fruit." The results provided by the device are comparable to those provided by a similar laboratory instrument. "Even though the quality of the Raman spectra of the lab instrument was higher, the quality of the information provided by the portable instrument could be regarded as sufficient for this purpose. The aim is to enable producers to go to the vegetable plot with this equipment, place the Raman probe on the tomato, and find out whether it is at its optimum picking point or whether it needs to be left longer so that it can ripen properly," said Jose Trebolazabala. Monitoring the composition of tomatoes during ripening phases has made it possible to observe the changes that take place in the composition of the tomato during its passage from an unripe state towards a ripe state. "When the tomato is green, the main pigments are chlorophyll (hence its green colour) and the waxy cuticles, which are on the outside," explained Trebolazabala. But the presence of these compounds drops as the fruit reaches its point of optimum ripeness. "Once the colour changes to orange, compounds of a different type are observed; the carotenoid compounds are activated. The tomato gradually acquires nutrients until it reaches its optimum point—in other words, when the lycopene (the red carotenoid) is at its maximum level. After that, the tomato begins to lose its carotenoid content, as shown by the analyses conducted on overripe tomatoes." This innovative technique can be extrapolated to any other food that changes colour during its ripening phase. "Tests have been carried out on peppers and pumpkins, for example, and it is also possible to obtain the data on their composition," he explained. Explore further: Video: How to make tomatoes taste awesome again More information: Josu Trebolazabala et al, Portable Raman spectroscopy for an in-situ monitoring the ripening of tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum ) fruits, Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.saa.2017.03.024


News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The portable Raman spectrometer, a device used in very different fields such as metallurgy, archaeology and art, allows data to be obtained on the variation in the composition of the tomato fruit during its various ripening phases, according to the results of a study conducted in the UPV/EHU's Department of Analytical Chemistry. The portable Raman spectrometer is an instrument widely used in a whole range of sectors, because it is a non-invasive technique that can be used, for example, to observe the pigments present in a painting or a sculpture without having to extract any samples, thus preserving the integrity of the work in question. In this case, a research team of the UPV/EHU has applied this equipment to culinary research. According to Josu Trebolazabala, the author of the study, "it is about transferring this technology, which had a specific use, to the kitchen. Our idea was to come up with a tool that could help producers find out when their tomatoes have reached their optimum ripeness point. This is achieved by using this technique and, what is more, without destroying the fruit". The results provided by this portable instrument have been compared with those provided by a similar laboratory instrument, and "even though the quality of the Raman spectra of the lab instrument was higher, the quality of the information provided by the portable instrument could be regarded as sufficient for the aim in mind. The aim is to enable producers to go to the vegetable plot with this equipment, place the Raman probe on the tomato, and find out whether it is at its optimum picking point or whether it needs to be left longer so that it can ripen properly," said Jose Trebolazabala. The monitoring of the composition of the tomato fruit during its ripening phases has made it possible to observe the changes that take place in the composition of the tomato during its passage from an unripe state towards a ripe state. "When the tomato is green, the main pigments are chlorophyll (hence its green colour) and the waxy cuticles, which are on the outside," explained Trebolazabala. But the presence of these compounds falls as the fruit reaches its point of optimum ripeness. "Once the colour changes to orange-coloured, compounds of a different type are observed; the carotenoid compounds are activated. The tomato gradually acquires nutrients until it reaches its optimum point, in other words, when the lycopene (the red carotenoid) is at its maximum level. After that, the tomato begins to lose its carotenoid content, as shown by the analyses conducted on overripe tomatoes". This innovative technique can be extrapolated to any other food that changes colour during its ripening phase. "Tests have been carried out on peppers and pumpkins, for example, and it is also possible to obtain the data on their composition," he explained. Josu Trebolazabala conducted this study in the IBeA research group in the UPV/EHU's Department of Analytical Chemistry. This group has been conducting basic research work and collaborating in the technological development and innovation of many companies since 1987. J. Trebolazabala, M. Maguregui, H. Morillas, A. de Diego, J.M. Madariaga. 2017. Portable Raman spectroscopy for an in-situ monitoring the ripening of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruits. Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy 180: 138-143


VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / May 12, 2017 / Larry W. Reaugh, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Manganese Inc. ("American Manganese" or "AMI" or the "Company") (TSX-V: AMY; OTC PINK: AMYZF; Frankfurt: 2AM), is pleased to announce that the Company and Kemetco Research Inc. will be presenting on advanced battery recycling for Li-Cobalt recovery and reuse at the 24th Cobalt Development Institute (CDI) Conference on May 18 in Marrakech, Morocco. The CDI is a non-profit trade association composed of producers, users, recyclers, and traders of cobalt. They promote the sustainable and responsible production and use of cobalt in all its forms. The Cobalt Conference is an annual event organized by the cobalt industry through the CDI. The conference will be attended by Mr. Norman Chow, President of Kemetco Research Inc., and Mr. Larry Reaugh, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Manganese Inc. Mr. Chow will make a technical presentation about American Manganese Inc.'s patent pending process for recycling cathode material such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel from spent electric vehicle lithium ion batteries. "The Company is honored to be invited to its second major technical presentation for its lithium ion electric vehicle battery recycling process technology. AMI is being recognized as a significant potential player in the supply of cathode materials specifically cobalt, which is in short supply currently trading at $54,500/tonne," says Mr. Reaugh. Kemetco Research is a private sector integrated science, technology and innovation company. Their Contract Sciences operation provides laboratory analysis and testing, field work, bench scale studies, pilot plant investigations, consulting services, applied research and development for both industry and government. Their clients range from start-up companies developing new technologies through to large multinational corporations with proven processes. They provide scientific expertise in the fields of Specialty Analytical Chemistry, Chemical Process and Extractive Metallurgy. Because Kemetco carries out research in many different fields, it is able to offer a broader range of backgrounds and expertise than most laboratories. American Manganese Inc. is a diversified specialty and critical metal company focused on capitalizing on its patented intellectual property through low cost production or recovery of electrolytic manganese products throughout the world, and recycling of spent electric vehicle lithium ion rechargeable batteries. Interest in the Company's patented process has adjusted the focus of American Manganese Inc. toward the examination of applying its patented technology for other purposes and materials. American Manganese Inc. aims to capitalize on its patented technology and proprietary know-how to become and industry leader in the recycling of spent electric vehicle lithium ion batteries having cathode chemistries such as: Lithium-Cobalt, Lithium-Cobalt-Nickel-Manganese, and Lithium-Manganese and Lithium-Cobalt-Aluminum (Please see the Company's January 19, 2017 press release for further details). Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This news release may contain "forward-looking statements," which are statements about the future based on current expectations or beliefs. For this purpose, statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements by their nature involve risks and uncertainties, and there can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate or true. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements except as required by law.


News Article | May 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Springer is sponsoring two key prize lectures at the upcoming EUROANALYSIS XIX conference, which will be held in Stockholm, Sweden from 28 August to 1 September, 2017. The conference is organized by the Division of Analytical Chemistry (DAC) of EuCheMS (the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences), and provides participants with an overview of current research in analytical chemistry. This year's Robert Kellner Lecture award goes to Luigi Mondello, professor of analytical chemistry at the University of Messina, Italy. The prize is given to a European scientist who has made substantial contributions to the advancement of analytical chemistry research or education in the last five years. The 2017 DAC-EuCheMS Award lecture is given to Lo Gorton, professor of biochemistry and structural biology at Lund University, Sweden. This award is presented to a European scientist who has demonstrated significant and sustained achievements in analytical chemistry research or education throughout his or her career. Slavica Raži?, Chair of the steering committee of DAC and professor at Belgrade University in Serbia, said: „Every two years the EUROANALYSIS series of conferences, organized by the DAC of EuCheMS, presents the latest developments in analytical chemistry. These findings are relevant not only to all branches of chemistry, but are important in the biological sciences, engineering, medicine, public health and the environment. We are delighted that two of the major lectures at the next EUROANALYSIS conference will be sponsored by Springer." Steffen Pauly, Editorial Director for chemistry at Springer explained: "Early on in our 175-year history we started to publish books and journals in analytical science, and we will continue with that tradition. The journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, for example, co-owned by major European Chemical Societies, provides a forum for excellent research in this field. We appreciate the partnership with the DAC of EuCheMS and gladly support the Robert Kellner Lecture and the DAC-EuCheMS Award lecture." EuCheMS, the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences, aims to nurture a platform for scientific discussion and to provide a single, unbiased European voice on key policy issues in chemistry and related fields. Representing more than 160,000 chemists from more than 40 Member Societies and other chemistry-related organisations, EuCheMS relies on a unique network of active researchers involved in all the fields of chemistry. Through this network, EuCheMS organises several specialised academic conferences as well as the biannual EuCheMS Chemistry Congress, the European congress of chemical sciences. EuCheMS also promotes the role and image of the chemical sciences among the general public and policy-makers through social media, newsletters and through the organisation of conferences and workshops open to society. Through the promotion of chemistry and by providing expert and scientific advice, EuCheMS aims to contribute to solutions for today ?s major societal challenges. Springer is a leading global scientific, technical and medical portfolio, providing researchers in academia, scientific institutions and corporate R&D; departments with quality content through innovative information, products and services. Springer has one of the strongest STM and HSS eBook collections and archives, as well as a comprehensive range of hybrid and open access journals. Springer is part of Springer Nature, a global publisher that serves and supports the research community. Springer Nature aims to advance discovery by publishing robust and insightful science, supporting the development of new areas of research and making ideas and knowledge accessible around the world. As part of Springer Nature, Springer sits alongside other trusted brands like Nature Research, BioMed Central and Palgrave Macmillan. Visit http://www. and follow @SpringerNature


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: cen.acs.org

Thermo Fisher Scientific has acquired Core Informatics, a fast-growing, venture-capital-backed provider of cloud-based scientific data management systems with about 100 employees. Thermo Fisher announced the purchase last week at the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry & Applied Spectroscopy (Pittcon) in Chicago. It underscored the growing importance for instrument makers of systems capable of handling, storing, and manipulating the flood of data from today’s scientific instruments.


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: www.cemag.us

A silver nanoparticle-based drug developed by Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) scientists and their Mexican partners has recently been tested in Mexico for the treatment of a lethal and contagious disease in shrimp — a white spot syndrome virus (WSSV). The study revealed that after administration of the drug, the survival rate of infected shrimp was 80 percent. Further, the drug might significantly help marine farmers in Mexico to fight the virus. “Shrimp form a substantial part of export in Mexico. They are supplied across the world and most of them are sent to the U.S.A. and Europe. White spot syndrome virus is a scourge for Mexican marine farmers. Its epidemic has already lasted for some years, killing millions of individuals. A visible manifestation of the virus is emerging white spots on a shrimp’s shell. An infected individual is [weakened] and dies. Humans are immune to this virus but it causes great losses in the aquaculture industry,” says Professor Alexey Pestryakov, head of the Department of Physical and Analytical Chemistry. Previously, several attempts were made to treat this disease. However, there was no effective cure. Then, one marine farm offered to test the TPU development. Argovit made of silver nanoparticles features a versatile destroying effect against viruses, bacteria, and fungi. A university partner, the Vektor-Vita company in Novosibirsk, uses the pharmaceutical to produce veterinary medications for animals and biologically active additives for humans. Scientists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (INIA, Spain) are involved in the development of Argovit-based preparations as well. “Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are the most widely used nanomaterials in commercial products due to their beneficial antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. In the aquaculture industry, nanotechnology has been poorly applied,” says Alexey Petryakov. At first, the drug was administrated to a few juvenile shrimp infected with WSSV. The results revealed that the survival rate of WSSV-infected shrimp after silver nanoparticle-based drug administration was over 90 percent. Then, the scientists tested a larger group of infected shrimp. They were divided into subgroups, some of which received the drug and others which did not. The results revealed that the survival rate of WSSV-infected shrimps after AgNP administration was 80 percent, whereas the survival rate of untreated organisms was only 10 percent after 96 hours of infection. The scientists published their outcomes in the Chemosphere. At present, Argovit has been tested for 25 diseases. According to the authors, it has already proven its effectiveness in veterinary applications and passed clinical tests in Russia and abroad. “Our medications have all the necessary certificates and are applied in veterinary. Veterinarians use it for the treatment of viral and bacterial diseases in cattle, fur animals and pets,” says Pestryakov. “Existing antiviral drugs affect viruses indirectly, mainly increasing the patient’s immunity, not killing them directly. Argovit is aimed at killing viruses. The immunity increases too. A competitive edge of the drug is its hypoallergenicity and low toxicity in therapeutic doses. In contrast to antibiotics, it does not cause allergic reactions, stomach disorders, and other unpleasant side effects, while it kills bacteria and fungi. Argovit is an aqueous solution, 20 percent of which is a complex of silver nanoparticles with polymer stabilizer in sizes varying from 1 to 70 nanometers. Such medications are much cheaper than antibiotics and have a longer shelf life (up to two years in the refrigerator) in comparison with their counterparts.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Generation and photochemical utilization of light are two of the most significant fundamental aspects of technological developments that will shape society, politics, science and the economy in the future. From these can be derived energy-saving concepts in display technology, in the field of solar energy and in the efficient, light-powered syntheses of value-added products as well as in innovative approaches to the use of materials in sensor technology, imaging, and phototherapy. "There is no other class of substances that offers a wider range of design options capable of meeting the demands of these diverse applications than molecular metal complexes," explained Professor Katja Heinze of the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Heinze coordinates the new Priority Program "Light-controlled reactivity of metal complexes" (LCRMC) to be funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The supraregional DFG Priority Program will commence its work in 2018 and will be funded by the DFG for an anticipated six years. "So far, only a fraction of the scientific and technological potential of photoactive metal complexes has been exploited. The preparation of completely new classes of metal complexes and the investigation of the energy profiles of electronically excited states should enable us to obtain more extensive fundamental insights into this group of substances. This will pave the way for the development of innovative, high performance materials for a range of applications in medicine, sensor technology, display technology, chemical synthesis, and the conversion of sunlight to power," added Heinze. The objective of the LCRMC Priority Program is to join the synthetic, spectroscopic, and theoretical expertise and methodological infrastructure that is currently dispersed among various groups in Germany. The call for proposals of the innovative and highly interdisciplinary LCRMC Priority Program will be announced by the German Research Foundation.


News Article | April 4, 2017
Site: cen.acs.org

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) maps the positions of molecules in the body using radio frequency pulses and a magnetic field gradient. Researchers led by Gregory S. Engel of the University of Chicago now propose an optical analog of MRI that instead maps the positions of molecules in materials with laser pulses, one of which is tilted to hit a sample at various times. According to Marco A. Allodi, a postdoctoral scholar in Engel’s group, “time is something we as ultrafast spectroscopists can measure with incredibly high precision.” Allodi described the new optical resonance imaging method yesterday at the American Chemical Society national meeting in San Francisco during a session organized by the Division of Analytical Chemistry. The group initially reported the theoretical underpinnings of the technique in November (ACS Photonics 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acsphotonics.6b00694). The researchers think the method could become a way to collect wide-field superresolution images with femtosecond time resolution. The set-up of the new optical resonance imaging technique is much like that used in two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy. Three laser pulses hit a sample. The first two pulses put the sample in an excited state. The third pulse stimulates optical emission, also called a photon-echo signal. The arrival time of the signal at the detector is measured relative to the arrival time of a reference pulse. The third pulse is key to the technique’s imaging capability. Allodi and coworkers use a diffraction grating to tilt that pulse. “If you tilt your laser pulse, the top part of the pulse hits the sample before the bottom part,” Allodi said. Hitting the sample at different times causes different time delays in the photon-echo signal. The researchers use those delays to calculate the position where the signals originated, making it possible to map a sample. The three pulses should allow the team to get spectroscopic information as well as spatial information. “We have all the time delays that you typically scan in a 2-D electronic measurement,” Allodi said. “That means we can spectroscopically resolve the information we’re getting.” Allodi and his colleagues didn’t manage to acquire an image before the ACS meeting. They have all the equipment in place, but they are still dealing with “all the subtleties that go into making an ultrafast experiment work,” Allodi told C&EN. Once they get the system running, the first materials they plan to image are formamidinium lead iodide perovskite films, substances of interest for solar cells. “If you make them into thin films, they wind up with little patches that have grain boundaries on the order of two to five micrometers,” Allodi said.  If the method achieves the 5-μm resolution that the team expects with its initial set-up, the group should be able to observe the grain boundaries and any interesting dynamics that happen at the interface. “The idea that the Engel group is developing is ingenious,” said Martin T. Zanni, an expert on ultrafast multidimensional spectroscopy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, commenting on the ACS Photonics paper. “It brings a new concept to optical spectroscopy that will get people thinking.”


News Article | April 4, 2017
Site: cen.acs.org

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) maps the positions of molecules in the body using radio frequency pulses and a magnetic field gradient. Researchers led by Gregory S. Engel of the University of Chicago now propose an optical analog of MRI that instead maps the positions of molecules in materials with laser pulses, one of which is tilted to hit a sample at various times. According to Marco A. Allodi, a postdoctoral scholar in Engel’s group, “time is something we as ultrafast spectroscopists can measure with incredibly high precision.” Allodi described the new optical resonance imaging method yesterday at the American Chemical Society national meeting in San Francisco during a session organized by the Division of Analytical Chemistry. The group initially reported the theoretical underpinnings of the technique in November (ACS Photonics 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acsphotonics.6b00694). The researchers think the method could become a way to collect wide-field superresolution images with femtosecond time resolution. The set-up of the new optical resonance imaging technique is much like that used in two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy. Three laser pulses hit a sample. The first two pulses put the sample in an excited state. The third pulse stimulates optical emission, also called a photon-echo signal. The arrival time of the signal at the detector is measured relative to the arrival time of a reference pulse. The third pulse is key to the technique’s imaging capability. Allodi and coworkers use a diffraction grating to tilt that pulse. “If you tilt your laser pulse, the top part of the pulse hits the sample before the bottom part,” Allodi said. Hitting the sample at different times causes different time delays in the photon-echo signal. The researchers use those delays to calculate the position where the signals originated, making it possible to map a sample. The three pulses should allow the team to get spectroscopic information as well as spatial information. “We have all the time delays that you typically scan in a 2-D electronic measurement,” Allodi said. “That means we can spectroscopically resolve the information we’re getting.” Allodi and his colleagues didn’t manage to acquire an image before the ACS meeting. They have all the equipment in place, but they are still dealing with “all the subtleties that go into making an ultrafast experiment work,” Allodi told C&EN. Once they get the system running, the first materials they plan to image are formamidinium lead iodide perovskite films, substances of interest for solar cells. “If you make them into thin films, they wind up with little patches that have grain boundaries on the order of two to five micrometers,” Allodi said.  If the method achieves the 5-μm resolution that the team expects with its initial set-up, the group should be able to observe the grain boundaries and any interesting dynamics that happen at the interface. “The idea that the Engel group is developing is ingenious,” said Martin T. Zanni, an expert on ultrafast multidimensional spectroscopy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, commenting on the ACS Photonics paper. “It brings a new concept to optical spectroscopy that will get people thinking.”

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