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Dementia: BACE Inhibitor Improves Brain Function

Marc Aurel Busche at the two-photon microscope, which allows to visualize nerve cells with high temporal and spatial resolution in the intact brain. Credit: Copyrighted image: Kurt Bauer / Technical University of Munich

Marc Aurel Busche at the two-photon microscope, which allows to visualize nerve cells with high temporal and spatial resolution in the intact brain. Credit: Copyrighted image: Kurt Bauer / Technical University of Munich

BACE inhibitor successfully tested in Alzheimer’s animal model. The protein amyloid beta is believed to be the major cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Substances that reduce the production of amyloid beta, such as BACE inhibitors, are therefore promising candidates for new drug treatments. A team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has recently demonstrated that one such BACE inhibitor reduces the amount of amyloid beta in the brain. By doing so, it can restore the normal function of nerve cells and significantly improve memory performance.

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New Synthesis Route for Alternative Catalysts of Noble Metals

Synthesis schemes of (a) conventional carbonaceous catalysts and (b) this work for ordered carbonaceous frameworks. Credit: Copyright: Hirotomo Nishihara

Synthesis schemes of (a) conventional carbonaceous catalysts and (b) this work for ordered carbonaceous frameworks. Credit: Copyright: Hirotomo Nishihara

Researchers have developed a new synthesis route for alternative catalysts of noble metals for versatile chemical reactions that could help address environmental concerns. Noble metals such as platinum are useful as catalysts for versatile chemical reactions including fuel cell vehicles and reduction of CO2 emission. However, they are too costly to be used for these purposes.

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Complex chemistry in Saturn’s moon Titan’s atmosphere

Archival ALMA data have confirmed that molecules of vinyl cyanide reside in the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. Titan is shown in an optical (atmosphere) infrared (surface) composite from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. In a liquid methane environment, vinyl cyanide may form membranes. Credit: B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); NASA

Archival ALMA data have confirmed that molecules of vinyl cyanide reside in the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Titan is shown in an optical (atmosphere) infrared (surface) composite from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. In a liquid methane environment, vinyl cyanide may form membranes. Credit: B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); NASA

Saturn’s moon offers glimpse of Earth’s primordial past. Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is one of our solar system’s most intriguing and Earth-like bodies. It is nearly as large as Mars and has a hazy atmosphere made up mostly of nitrogen with a smattering of organic, carbon-based molecules, including methane (CH4) and ethane (C2H6). Planetary scientists theorize that this chemical make-up is similar to Earth’s primordial atmosphere.

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Glittering Stars: Spiral galaxy NGC 4248

Spiral galaxy NGC 4248, 24 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). Credit: European Space Agency

Spiral galaxy NGC 4248, 24 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). Credit: European Space Agency

This beautiful clump of glowing gas, dark dust and glittering stars is the spiral galaxy NGC 4248, located about 24 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). This image was produced by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope as it embarked upon compiling the first Hubble ultraviolet “atlas,” which targeted 50 nearby star-forming galaxies. The collection spans all kinds of different morphologies, masses, and structures. Studying this sample can help us to piece together the star-formation history of the Universe.

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