A team of researchers have described a pathway for furan fatty acid production in bacteria and other cells. This long chain fatty acid could substitute for petroleum-based products including fuel, engine lubricant, medicines and food additives.
“Thirty percent of our plastic is ending up in the environment," says chemical and biological engineering Professor George Huber. "The current plastic infrastructure is not sustainable right now.”
The work may represent preliminary progress toward deciphering just how enzymes, honed by evolution, so efficiently produce natural compounds.
What began as a holiday treat for long-suffering freshman chemistry students has turned into a 50-year tradition for chemistry Professor Bassam Shakhashiri.
Wearable, smart technologies are transforming the ability to monitor and improve health, but a decidedly low-tech commodity — the humble toilet — may have potential to outperform them all.
The work is far from jumpstarting life in the lab. Yet, it shows that simple laboratory techniques can spur the kinds of reactions that are likely necessary to explain how life got started on Earth some four billion years ago.
"You could say that we take the periodic table (of the elements) for granted," says UW–Madison chemistry instructor Matt Bowman. "But I could not imagine chemistry without it.”
On Sept. 20, Professor Heidi Dvinge passed away unexpectedly. Her colleagues describe her tragic loss as “devastating.”
The Chemistry Department has welcomed new faculty members with specialties ranging from quantum chemistry to STEM education. Read Q & A's with them in this New Faculty Focus.
A team of UW–Madison researchers has been awarded a patent for a method to synthesize acetaminophen — the active ingredient in Tylenol — from a natural compound derived from plant material.