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Latest Chitin Stories

Cyphochilus beetle
2014-08-18 04:00:18

University of Cambridge The physical properties of the ultra-white scales on certain species of beetle could be used to make whiter paper, plastics and paints, while using far less material than is used in current manufacturing methods. The Cyphochilus beetle, which is native to South-East Asia, is whiter than paper, thanks to ultra-thin scales which cover its body. A new investigation of the optical properties of these scales has shown that they are able to scatter light more...

Cellulose Nanocrystals Are A Possible 'Green' Wonder Material
2013-12-17 09:07:01

Purdue University The same tiny cellulose crystals that give trees and plants their high strength, light weight and resilience, have now been shown to have the stiffness of steel. The nanocrystals might be used to create a new class of biomaterials with wide-ranging applications, such as strengthening construction materials and automotive components. Calculations using precise models based on the atomic structure of cellulose show the crystals have a stiffness of 206 gigapascals,...

Shrimp Fight Club: 'Holy Grail For Materials Engineers'
2012-06-08 09:50:14

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com Engineers at the University of California, Riverside are looking to nature for inspiration in creating stronger vehicle frames and body armor. They may have found a key structure in the club-like claw of the sea floor-dwelling mantis shrimp, according to a report published online this week in the journal Science. The 4-inch crustacean, also known as a stomatopod, uses its claw with the deadly speed of a 22-caliber bullet to crack open everything from crab...

2012-03-17 00:10:17

Shrimp shell nanotech for wound healing and anti-aging face cream Nanoparticles containing chitosan have been shown to have effective antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus saprophyticus and Escherichia coli. The materials could be used as a protective wound-healing material to avoid opportunistic infection as well as working to facilitate wound healing. Chitosan is a natural, non-toxic and biodegradable, polysaccharide readily obtained from chitin, the main component of the...

2012-02-14 00:05:41

Fungi with additional foreign genes have been created at the Vienna University of Technology - They can now turn chitin into pharmaceuticals Usually, mould fungi are nothing to cheer about — but now they can be used as "chemical factories". Scientists at the Vienna University of Technology have succeeded in introducing bacterial genes into the fungus Trichoderma, so that the fungus can now produce important chemicals for the pharmaceutical industry. The raw material used by the...

Insect Cuticle Inspires Low-Cost Material With Exceptional Strength, Toughness
2011-12-14 03:45:28

"Shrilk" could one day replace plastic in consumer products, be used to suture wounds, and serve as scaffolding for tissue regeneration Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have developed a new material that replicates the exceptional strength, toughness, and versatility of one of nature's more extraordinary substances -- insect cuticle. Also low-cost, biodegradable, and biocompatible, the new material, called "Shrilk," could one day...

2011-09-21 18:55:20

Discovery in insects' skin could lead to improved pest control, new bioplastics technology Scientists may soon be able to make pest insects buzz off for good or even turn them into models for new technologies, all thanks to a tiny finding with enormous potential. Sujata Chaudhari, a Kansas State University doctoral candidate in biochemistry, Pune, India, is the senior author of a study that was published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also called PNAS....

2011-02-07 15:55:13

Surprising new research shows that, contrary to conventional belief, remains of chitin-protein complex"”structural materials containing protein and polysaccharide"”are present in abundance in fossils of arthropods from the Paleozoic era. Previously the oldest molecular signature of chitin-protein complex was discovered in 25 million year old Cenozoic fossils and remnants of structural protein have also been discovered in 80 million-year-old Mesozoic fossils. Carnegie's George Cody...


Word of the Day
omadhaun
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.