Chemists create catalysts for use in industry and other applications. One of the methods to create these catalysts is by using light to break down organometallic compounds, a process called photodissociation. This study used ultrafast infrared spectroscopy to study how ultraviolet light photodissociates gas phase iron pentacarbonyl. These insights may help scientists design new photocatalysts.
Scientists generally expect species networks to be more stable under climate change if they have many species connected by many lines of interaction. This study investigated this pattern in microbial interactions in soils. It found that microbes might interact in more complex ways when soil is warmer, indicating the possibility that warming could lead to more robust networks.
- Nature Climate Change
Researchers have demonstrated the production, purification, and potential application of cerium-134. The isotope decays into lanthanum-134, which is useful for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. The results mean that cerium-134 could support medical treatments based on actinium-225 or thorium-227.
One isotope of the extremely rare element Astatine has shown promise in the treatment of malignant brain tumors, ovarian cancer, advanced blood and lymph system cancers. However, because of its short half-life, scientists need a rapid system with high yield to recover the isotope, At-211, for medical use. Scientists have developed a new purification system that results in a high purity, high yield recovery of At-211.
Scientists have developed a new system for producing radioisotopes for cancer therapy. The system uses a simple radionuclide generator to repeatedly separate thorium-226 from its longer-lived parent isotope, uranium-230. The uranium-230/thorium-226 pair has the unique advantage of emitting multiple alpha particles as they decay, delivering more destructive energy to cancer cells.
The slow neutron-capture process (the s-process) in nucleosynthesis results in about half of the elements heavier than iron in the universe. Two important reactions in the s-process are Neon-22 (alpha, gamma) and Neon-22 (alpha, neutron), which affect the abundances of elements such as Selenium, Krypton, Rubidium, Strontium, and Zirconium. Researchers recently used two indirect methods to study the reactions.
Aluminum-26 has a quantum state difficult to study in a lab. Scientists instead use ion beam-target interactions to create an environment that adds a neutron to the radioactive isotope Silicon-26 to study excited quantum states in Silicon-27. This approach is possible because of the symmetry between protons and neutrons. This provides rare insight into processes in stars.
Phosphorus is a building block of all living cells. Most phosphorous occurs in the form of phosphate, but ancient oceans and soils also contained another form, phosphite. Microbes gain energy by converting phosphite to phosphate via phosphorous reduction-oxidation (redox) cycling. A new study suggests that the ability to use phosphite in energy metabolism is surprisingly widespread in nature.
The Oak Ridge Reservation is contaminated with acidic, high-nitrate-and high-metal substances. Microbes in this environment can use molybdenum to remove nitrate, but the low concentration of molybdenum at Oak Ridge limits how much nitrate the microbes can remove. Two studies examine why molybdenum is limited and the mechanisms some microbes use to survive these conditions.