Nature Communications


02 Feb 2023
Blocking an immune-regulating protein reverses the damage caused by acute and chronic kidney disease, a preclinical study suggests.
31 Jan 2023
Pyroelectric catalysis (pyro-catalysis) can convert environmental temperature fluctuations into clean chemical energy, like hydrogen. However, compared with the more common catalysis strategy, such as photocatalysis, pyro-catalysis is inefficient due to slow temperature changes in the ambient environment. Recently, a team co-led by researchers at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) triggered a significantly faster and more efficient pyro-catalytic reaction using localized plasmonic heat sources to rapidly and efficiently heat up the pyro-catalytic material and allow it to cool down. The findings open up new avenues for efficient catalysis for biological applications, pollutant treatment and clean energy production.
31 Jan 2023
Metal oxides are a promising catalyst for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting to produce hydrogen as alternative energy. However, their effectiveness is restricted at low voltage. A research team led by scholars from City University of Hong Kong (CityU), Australia and Germany successfully mediated the poor charge carrier transport at low voltage by adding phosphorus to a metal oxide catalyst, which reduced energy losses during water splitting. The findings offer a potential option for achieving carbon neutrality.
An illustration of the facial expression changes in mice following stimulation and inhibition of the median raphe nucleus (Yu Ohmura).
28 Dec 2022
New insights into the opposing actions of serotonin-producing nerve fibres in mice could lead to drugs for treating addictions and major depression.
22 Dec 2022
Clean hydrogen energy is a good alternative to fossil fuels and is critical for achieving carbon neutrality. Researchers around the world are looking for ways to enhance the efficiency and lower the cost of hydrogen production, particularly by improving the catalysts involved. Recently, a research team from City University of Hong Kong (CityU) developed a new, ultra-stable hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) electrocatalyst, which is based on two-dimensional mineral gel nanosheets and does not contain any precious metals. The catalyst can be produced in large scale and can help achieve a lower hydrogen price in the future.
The sphaerimicin analogs (SPMs) inhibit the activity of MraY, and hence the replication of bacteria, with different degrees of effectiveness. The potency of the analog increases as the IC50 decreases (Takeshi Nakaya, et al. Nature Communications. December 20, 2022).
20 Dec 2022
Researchers have designed and synthesized analogs of a new antibiotic that is effective against multidrug-resistant bacteria, opening a new front in the fight against these infections.
19 Dec 2022
A research team led by Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) has identified a molecular target for bone anabolic therapies using a selected aptamer that serves as an inhibitor of sclerostin, a protein that prevents bone growth. The discovery offers hope for the development of an effective next-generation treatment for osteoporosis and osteogenesis imperfecta that is free of cardiovascular risk compared to the marketed antibody drug.
16 Dec 2022
An international team of researchers has studied the heterostructures of layered antiferromagnets, painting a better picture of what happens when two different magnetic orders are combined.
09 Dec 2022
Silencing the gene, called WWP2, in patients in the early stages of cardiomyopathy could delay progression to heart failure by controlling immune cell infiltration and activation, and halting the formation of excessive scar tissue, preclinical data suggest.
08 Dec 2022
Quinine and various drugs based on its chemical structure have been used to treat malaria for centuries. But parasites resistant to antimalarial drugs are becoming apparent. To pave the way for future medicine development, an efficient way to synthesize quinine was needed. And now a research team from Tohoku University has achieved just that.
07 Dec 2022
First-in-the-world high-resolution imaging allows scientists to study the dengue protein in greater detail to yield valuable insights.
28 Nov 2022
We don’t know much about the Earth’s inner core because recreating its conditions in a laboratory setting remains fraught with difficulties. Based on tracking seismic waves, scientists theorize that the area in and around the core comprises mostly of iron. But the values extracted from these indicators differ from how pure iron typically behaves. Now, a collaborative research group has succeeded, for the first time, in measuring the speed of sound of pure iron under pressures similar to the Earth’s inner core boundary.
28 Nov 2022
Most metal and alloys possess a high elastic strain rate at the micro level. But this changes when they are in their bulk shape, as they are for everyday engineering applications. Now, a research group has developed a bulk copper-based alloy boasting the largest tensile elastic strain at room temperature to date.
21 Nov 2022
Theory-guided development of an easier, more versatile process for synthesizing unsymmetric ligands provides new avenues of exploration in transitional metal catalysis.
18 Oct 2022
Hydrogen, a clean fuel, is incredibly dense in energy—three times more than diesel or gasoline. Its ability to power a sustainable future has been hindered by a lack of high performing catalysts. Now, a collaborative research group has developed nanoporous molybdenum-based intermetallic compounds that could address this conundrum.
14 Oct 2022
Researchers from Osaka University have developed a computational analysis tool called CAPITAL for comparative analysis of single-cell RNA sequencing data with complicated branching trajectories. As cells undergo a dynamic process, they can be placed on a “pseudotime trajectory” to analyze the gene expression changes throughout the process. While previously only straightforward linear trajectories could be compared, CAPITAL is proven to be able to accurately compare branching trajectories, significantly advancing the field of high-throughput single-cell sequencing.
06 Oct 2022
Researchers from Osaka University have found that serum albumin interferes with β2m amyloid fibril formation through macromolecular crowding. Monitoring serum albumin concentrations could therefore help prevent patients from developing dialysis-related amyloidosis, a serious complication of long-term dialysis.
30 Sep 2022
Researchers from Osaka University revealed that the surface electronic structure of topological insulators varies according to its surface atomic structure, even though it was believed to have been protected by the symmetry of the electronic structure inside the crystal and is therefore unaffected by differences in surface atomic structure. This work offers a new means of minimizing the power consumption and increasing the speed of next-generation technology.
[Figure 1] Comparison of the lithium-sulfur battery incorporating the porous silica/sulfur interlayer developed here with a lithium-sulfur battery prepared using a conventional conductive interlayer or polar interlayer.
27 Sep 2022
- The low-cost, high-energy, long-life lithium-sulfur battery is based on a novel silica/sulfur interlayer. - The battery is expected to be used in next-generation mobile phones, drones, and electric vehicles owing to its high energy density and improved lifespan.
26 Sep 2022
Hokkaido University researchers find a new way of producing the industrially important propylene that is more energy efficient than existing approaches—and in the process turns carbon dioxide into another usable resource. Their pioneering catalyst design thus contributes to the carbon neutralization of the petrochemical industry.
22 Sep 2022
A pathway that malfunctions in advanced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease could be fixed with the aid of spermidine, a compound naturally found in bodily cells and certain whole foods.
Faults developed in the olivine aggregate deformed at 15.5 GPa and 850 ºC
20 Sep 2022
The activity of deep-focus earthquakes, which increases with depths from ~400 km to a peak at ~600 km, is enigmatic because conventional brittle failure is unlikely to occur at elevated pressures. Our experiments showed that formation of thin weak layers filled with nano-crystalline olivine/wadsleyite, upon the pressure-induced phase transition of olivine, is the major cause of deep-focus earthquakes on the metastable olivine wedge in deep slabs.
Scientists from Hiroshima University created 12 policy scenarios with the business-as-usual scenario to investigate the pathway toward the decarbonization of the transport sector.
15 Sep 2022
Researchers develop a new integrated framework that factors in the many variables relevant to accurate carbon emissions modeling in the transportation sector, allowing for policymakers to choose the best path to achieve carbon neutrality.
12 Aug 2022
Rare earth metals, when linked, can act as a conduit for energy flow, and show promise for the development of novel materials.
10 Aug 2022
- Joint research team of DGIST Professor Um Ji-won and Professor Ko Jae-won discovered several SLITRK2 synaptic adhesion gene mutations related to intellectual disabilities - Identified the abnormal pattern in the signaling mechanism of SLITRK2 and presented a new therapeutic biomarker
08 Aug 2022
Scientists from the Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, demonstrate that accounting for liquid preordering is essential to predicting crystal growth
15 Jul 2022
A team co-led by a City University of Hong Kong (CityU) neuroscientist has identified a key mechanism of a biological clock that ensures roundworms stay regular by defecating at steady intervals.
05 Jul 2022
Innate immunity is activated when the pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). We show that a liver-derived secretory protein LECT2, a hepatokine, binds to the HGF receptor MET, a proto-oncogene product, to suppress the proliferation signal of MET. LECT2 activates retinoic acid-inducible gene-I, enhancing antiviral and innate immune responses through MET. Thus, LECT2 is an anti-proliferative and immunoregulatory factor that could be a therapeutic target for viral infections and cancer.
Structural features of SiO2 glass under pressure.
27 Jun 2022
Understanding the structural origin of the anomalous properties of SiO2 liquid and glass is of great interest in a wide range of scientific fields. The fraction of the S state with tetrahedral symmetry structure is considered to be the controlling parameter of the anomalous properties of SiO2 liquid in theoretical studies. However, it has not been well identified in experiments. In this work, we find experimental evidence of tetrahedral symmetry breaking in SiO2 glass under pressure.
23 May 2022
Tetraphenylammonium, with all four hydrogens of ammonium (NH4+) replaced with benzene rings, has neither been discovered in nature nor chemically synthesized, calling into question whether it could exist. Here, we succeeded in synthesizing tetraphenylammonium for the first time, demonstrating its stable existence. The synthetic strategy used in this study, radical coupling, may be applicable to the synthesis of various related ammoniums with high structural novelty.


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