Physicists take a step towards making viable quantum computers a reality by finding evidence of Majorana fermions in a solid material

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Recently, Google announced a breakthrough in the field of quantum computing with the invention of Sycamore, the “world’s fastest computer,” which could solve a highly complex problems in mere seconds. And although the prospect of making quantum computers that could be useful in the real world is exciting, it is still a few steps away. They are extremely challenging to stabilize, with the slightest disruption affecting their quantum behavior. …


Scientists develop a relatively simple synthesis strategy to produce high-performance tin telluride nanosheets, a promising thermoelectric material

Thermoelectric semiconductors can convert waste heat into useful electricity. However, obtaining lead-free semiconductors with high thermoelectric performance has proven to be difficult. Now, scientists from Chung-Ang University, Korea, have developed a novel strategy to produce tin telluride (SnTe) nanosheets directly from tin selenide nanosheets (SnSe), the latter of which are easier to fabricate. Their strategy paves the way for better nanostructuring in SnTe, which greatly enhances its thermoelectric properties.

Thermoelectric materials will let us produce useful electricity from the enormous amounts of waste heat generated continuously in industrial processes. | Photo courtesy: Wirestock on Freepik
Thermoelectric materials will let us produce useful electricity from the enormous amounts of waste heat generated continuously in industrial processes. | Photo courtesy: Wirestock on Freepik
Thermoelectric materials will let us produce useful electricity from the enormous amounts of waste heat generated continuously in industrial processes. | Photo courtesy: Wirestock on Freepik

In our ongoing struggle to reduce the usage of fossil fuel, technology to directly…


Scientists establish phase-shift interferometry as a robust tool for rapid characterization of graphene surface with potential for industrial applications

Transferring graphene grown on metal catalysts to desired functional surfaces is essential for fabricating electronic devices. However, this often damages the graphene surface. Fast characterization of surface defects, generally unachievable with usual techniques, is highly desired. To this end, scientists from Korea and the USA resorted to phase-shift interferometry, a well-established surface profiling technique, demonstrating it to be equally robust in characterizing graphene, paving the way for its implementation in the 2D materials industry.

A schematic diagram of a method for analyzing defects such as polymer residues, tears, and wrinkles on graphene using a phase shift interferometer
A schematic diagram of a method for analyzing defects such as polymer residues, tears, and wrinkles on graphene using a phase shift interferometer
A schematic diagram of a method for analyzing defects such as polymer residues, tears, and wrinkles on graphene using a phase shift interferometer | Image Courtesy: Hyungbin Son from Chung-Ang University

Since its discovery, graphene has been a…


Scientists design a high-performance laser-printed graphene-electrode biosensor, with potential for point-of-care diagnostic applications

Thrombin, found in increased concentrations in the blood under abnormal conditions, is a crucial indicator of blood disorders. Aptamer-based electrochemical biosensors, known for their high sensitivity and low detection limit, are best suited to detect low concentrations of thrombin. Scientists in Germany and Korea took these biosensors to the next level in their new “label-free” design consisting of laser-induced graphene (a highly porous material), thus paving the way for their easy application in point-of-care diagnostics.

Scientists design a high-performance laser-printed graphene-electrode biosensor, with potential for point-of-care diagnostic
Scientists design a high-performance laser-printed graphene-electrode biosensor, with potential for point-of-care diagnostic
A “label-free” biosensor to detect small concentrations of disease markers such as thrombin is essential to developing point-of-care diagnostics in the future | Photo courtesy: Amornthep Srina from Pexels

Thrombin is an enzyme that plays a vital role in wound healing…


Scientists design a novel 3D cell culture-based electrical platform for high-throughput anti-cancer drug testing using a new type of gold nanostructure

Brain cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer with poor treatability. Now, scientists from Korea and China have developed a multi-functional platform using gold nanostructures that allows growth of 3D spheroid cancer cells and their real-time monitoring under drug treatment in a non-invasive and repeatable fashion, crowning a novel approach to creating a realistic brain tumor model along with a rapid and precise method for anti-cancer drug screening.

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The high risk of recurrence of brain cancer along with its resistance to standard clinical therapies makes it imperative to come up with synthetic drugs or natural compounds that can suppress tumor growth | Photo courtesy: National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Despite remarkable advances in medicine and health technology, the…


The revolutionary gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 can now allow the selection of cells with DNA structural alterations at single locations.

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The quest to change the very nature of being, has driven philosophical and metaphysical debates for ages. Now, with the advent of genome editing techniques, man is changing the very fabric of biological existence quite literally. One revolutionary tool in the genome editing toolbox is the CRISPR-Cas9 system.

There are two key molecules in this system: A single-molecular guide RNA (sgRNA) that binds to foreign DNA, and an enzyme, called Cas9, which acts as molecular scissors to cleave the targeted…


Scientists have identified the best eco-friendly methods to fight bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses

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Foodborne illnesses are typically caused by microorganisms living in organized and complex networks called “biofilms.” These can be “mono-species” or “multi-species” biofilms. Eating food contaminated with pathogenic microbes causes an estimated 420,000 deaths annually according to the World Health Organization. While some microbes like lactic acid bacteria confer benefits in food safety and nutrition, no current physical or chemical methods can eliminate unfriendly biofilms from food entirely without causing adverse side effects.

Now, in a new article published in Trends in Food Science & Technology, the…


Scientists from Korea develop an effective yet simple strategy to quantify histamine levels in fish samples

Histamine is a dangerous compound that occurs in spoiled food, such as mackerel, left at room temperature for too long. Unfortunately, existing histamine detection methods are inconvenient and expensive. To tackle this issue, a team of scientists from Chung-Ang University, Korea, has developed a novel histamine quantification strategy based on fluorescent carbon nanoparticles and histamine-binding peptides. Their approach is simple and inexpensive and allows one to efficiently assess food safety.

Scientists from Korea develop an effective yet simple strategy to quantify histamine levels in fish samples
Scientists from Korea develop an effective yet simple strategy to quantify histamine levels in fish samples
Spoiled food, especially fish, can have high levels of histamine, which can be dangerous to humans; thus, it is important to devise methods for the detection of such harmful chemicals in food | Photo courtesy: maplerockdesign on Unsplash

Consumers of purchased foods have no way of ascertaining the quality and safety of…


A faster and more accurate camera orientation estimation method that could make self-driving cars safer

A faster and more accurate camera orientation estimation method that could make self-driving cars safer
A faster and more accurate camera orientation estimation method that could make self-driving cars safer

Autonomous or self-driving vehicles watch the roads before them using inbuilt cameras. Ensuring that accurate camera orientation is maintained during driving is, therefore, key to letting these vehicles out on roads. Taking us one step closer to realizing autonomous driving systems, scientists from Korea have developed a highly accurate and efficient camera orientation estimation method that will enable such vehicles to navigate safely across distances.

Since their invention, vehicles have constantly advanced. As vehicular technology progresses, it seems that the roads of the near future…


Scientists in Korea uncover a key regulatory pathway involved in repairing damaged DNA strands

Methylation of a major DNA repair protein is critical to cell survival after DNA damage
Methylation of a major DNA repair protein is critical to cell survival after DNA damage

Unrepaired DNA can cause serious diseases, including cancer. In a recent study, scientists from Chung-Ang University discovered an important pathway that regulates DNA damage repair. They showed that methylation of a major DNA repair protein is critical to cell survival after DNA damage and identified two other proteins involved in this process. This novel discovery could help us understand how abnormal DNA damage repair is involved in the occurrence of various diseases, including cancer.

DNA is a molecule that carries important genetic information — and thus…

Chung Ang University

Chung-Ang University is a private comprehensive research university located in Seoul, South Korea. Website: https://neweng.cau.ac.kr/index.do

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