February 7th, 2019
Results on its interaction with antibiotics may lead to the development of new forms of treatment for this disease
Tuberculosis is a chronic infection usually caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This bacterium infects cells of the immune system called alveolar macrophages, which are responsible for removing pollutants and microorganisms from the surface of the alveoli, where the exchange of gases occurs during respiration.
January 10th, 2019
Study contributes to the understanding of mechanisms involved in neurodevelopmental disorders
Once a disease-related protein or enzyme is identified as a therapeutic target, the study of its three-dimensional structure - the positions of each of its atoms and their interactions - allows a deeper understanding of its mechanisms of action.
This is possible not only for these substances produced by microorganisms, such as viruses or bacteria, capable of attacking our body. It is also possible, for example, to understand molecules normally produced by the human body itself, but which had their structure and function altered due to some genetic mutation.
December 14th, 2018
Research investigates material based on poly(butylene succinate), urea and clay
In agricultural production, several of the nutrients needed for the growth and development of plants are supplied or supplemented by fertilizers. Some nutrients, such as phosphorus ($ \rm P $) and potassium ($ \rm K $), are needed in large quantities, but obtained from limited mineral sources. Others - such as manganese ($ \rm Mn $), copper ($ \rm Cu $) or zinc ($ \rm Zn $) - are only needed in small quantities and the excess can be toxic to plants or to important microorganisms present in the soil. Therefore, there is an intense research into new fertilizers that allow the rational delivery of the nutrients necessary for agriculture, avoiding their use in excessive, inefficient use, or environmentally harmful ways.
November 19th, 2018
Research investigates method for the production of protein crystals, based on thin films organized by an external electric field
Once a disease-related protein is identified as a therapeutic target, the study of its three-dimensional structure - the positions of each of its atoms and their interactions - allows a deep understanding of its action in the body, and its interaction with a potential drug. In this way, it is possible to discover potential new drugs, or to understand the functioning of known drugs and to increase their effectiveness.
November 5th, 2018
Research determines markers to identify those responsible for the emission of iron-rich particles in cities
The contamination of the atmosphere by gases and solid particles affects not only human health in urban centers but also the ecosystem. The management of air quality depends on several actions including the establishment of quality standards, the regulation of the release of pollutants, and the monitoring of air quality in a given region.
Programs for air quality monitoring can point out levels of pollutants in the atmosphere and assess their compliance with standards set by legislation. However, they are not able to identify the individual contribution of each source responsible for the emission.
October 15th, 2018
Research investigates reproducing the morphology of complex biological systems in the nanoscale for technological purposes
The morphology of biological systems has fascinated both architects and scientists, and their reproduction in the nanoscale could be very useful for technological purposes. This type of structure is already considered a candidate for applications in chemical catalysis, air filters for virus elimination, and membranes for water purification and separation of proteins.
October 3rd, 2018
Research shows potential of combining mineral with graphene for the design of new devices
The development of electronic devices in the nanometric scale depends on the search for materials that have appropriate characteristics, and that are also efficient and inexpensive. This is the case of graphene, a material formed by a single layer of carbon atoms obtained from graphite. Graphene is a conductor with excellent optical and electrical properties that can be easily altered by the incidence of electric fields or light.
September 25th, 2018
Results have potential applications in the production of biomedical images and in the detection of individual molecules
Due to their extremely small size, and properties adaptable to virtually any application, nanoparticles have been attracting the interest of a wide range of science and technology fields. The characteristics of these tiny particles can be controlled by means of their composition, size and shape. Additionally, by combining different materials, it is possible to include different properties in the same nanoparticle or to make new properties emerge.
September 20th, 2018
Research investigates use of nanoparticles for advanced oil recovery
Brazil is a pioneering country in the exploration of oil in deep waters and a great quantity of this fossil fuel is stored in the porous space of carbonate rocks, especially in the pre-salt layer. These rocks are very heterogeneous and have complex pore systems, bringing great challenges to the extraction of oil and gas. After drilling an oil or gas reservoir, the natural pressure inside it causes the contents to flow naturally to the surface where the fluid is collected and directed to a tanker. However, a few years after the opening of the well, the amount of oil extracted daily tends to decrease due to the drop in internal well pressure.
September 11th, 2018
Research opens perspective for treatment of several diseases tailored to the needs of each patient
From the biochemical point of view, we are a complex set of interconnected chemical reactions. The molecules that make up our bodies are in constant transformation, and this is what makes it possible for us to get energy from food, to regenerate damage to our tissues, and to synthesize the compounds necessary for life.
These modifications usually occur with the aid of other molecules called enzymes, which promote and accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed during the process.