Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Acetic acid


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Dendrobium longicornu, commonly known as the ‘Long-horned Dendrobium’, is an endangered and medicinally important epiphytic orchid. Over-exploitation and habitat destruction seriously threaten this orchid in Northeast India. Our objective was to develop an efficient protocol for the mass propagation of D. longicornu using axillary bud segments. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL RESULTS: Axillary buds cultured in Murashige and Skoog semi-solid medium supplemented with α-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA), 2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid (2,4-D) and 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) readily developed into plantlets. These formed either directly from shoot buds or from intermediary protocorm-like bodies (PLBs). The maximum explant response (86.6 %) was obtained in medium supplemented with NAA at 30 µM, while the maximum number of shoots (4.42) and maximum bud-forming capacity (3.51) were observed in medium containing 15 µM BAP and 5 µM NAA in combination. Protocorm-like bodies were obtained when the medium contained 2,4-D. The maximum number of explants forming PLBs (41.48 %) was obtained in medium containing 15 µM BAP and 15 µM 2,4-D. Well-developed plantlets obtained after 20-25 weeks of culture were acclimatized and eventually transferred to the greenhouse. Over 60 % of these survived to form plants ∼3-4 cm tall after 90 days in glasshouse conditions using a substrate of crushed brick and charcoal, shredded bark and moss. CONCLUSIONS: The method described can readily be used for the rapid and large-scale regeneration of D. longicornu. Its commercial adoption would reduce the collection of this medicinally important and increasingly rare orchid from the wild.

Concepts: Bud, Culture, Acetic acid, Plant stem, Vinegar, Shoot, Orchidaceae


To investigate different Musa sp. leave extracts of hexane, ethyl acetate and methanol were evaluated for antibacterial activity against multi-drug resistant pathogens causing nosocomial infection by agar well diffusion method and also antioxidant activities.

Concepts: Bacteria, Pneumonia, Staphylococcus aureus, Antibiotic resistance, Ethanol, Acetic acid, Solvent, Clostridium difficile


Yeast strains and acetic acid bacteria were isolated from spoiled soft drinks with characteristic flocs as a visual defect. Polymerase chain reaction and amplification of a partial region of the LSU rRNA gene identified the bacteria as Asaia spp. Sequence analysis of the D1/D2 region of the 26S rDNA in turn identified the yeast isolates as Wickerhamomyces anomalus, Dekkera bruxellensis and Rhodotorula mucilaginosa. The hydrophobicity and adhesion properties of the yeasts were evaluated in various culture media, taking into account the availability of nutrients and the carbon sources. The highest hydrophobicity and best adhesion properties were exhibited by the R. mucilaginosa cells. Our results suggest that Asaia spp. bacterial cells were responsible for the formation of flocs, while the presence of yeast cells may help to strengthen the structure of co-aggregates.

Concepts: DNA, Carbon dioxide, Gene expression, Bacteria, Enzyme, Ethanol, Yeast, Acetic acid


Poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) is used extensively worldwide in plastic products, and its accumulation in the environment has become a global concern. Because the ability to enzymatically degrade PET has been thought to be limited to a few fungal species, biodegradation is not yet a viable remediation or recycling strategy. By screening natural microbial communities exposed to PET in the environment, we isolated a novel bacterium, Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, that is able to use PET as its major energy and carbon source. When grown on PET, this strain produces two enzymes capable of hydrolyzing PET and the reaction intermediate, mono(2-hydroxyethyl) terephthalic acid. Both enzymes are required to enzymatically convert PET efficiently into its two environmentally benign monomers, terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol.

Concepts: Bacteria, Metabolism, Enzyme, Fungus, Natural environment, Acetic acid, Environmentalism, Polyethylene terephthalate


Thioesters and thioacetic acid (TAA) have been invoked as key reagents for the origin of life as activated forms of acetate analogous to acetyl-CoA. These species could have served as high-energy group-transfer reagents and allowed carbon insertions to form higher molecular weight compounds such as pyruvate. The apparent antiquity of the Wood-Ljungdahl CO2 fixation pathway and its presence in organisms which inhabit hydrothermal (HT) environments has also led to suggestions that there may be a connection between the abiotic chemistry of compounds similar to TAA and the origins of metabolism. These compounds' apparent chemical simplicity has made their prebiotic availability assumed, however, although the kinetic behavior and thermochemical properties of TAA and analogous esters have been preliminarily explored in other contexts, the geochemical relevance of these compounds merits further evaluation. Therefore, the chemical behavior of the simplest thiolated acetic acid derivatives, TAA and methylthioacetate (MTA) were explored here. Using laboratory measurements, literature data, and thermochemical models, we examine the plausibility of the accumulation of these compounds in various geological settings. Due to the high free energy change of their hydrolysis and corresponding low equilibrium constants, it is unlikely that these species could have accumulated abiotically to any significant extant.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Life, Molecule, Chemistry, Acid dissociation constant, Acetic acid, Carboxylic acid, Gibbs free energy


When a person consumes ethanol, the body quickly begins to convert it to acetic acid, which circulates in the blood and can serve as a source of energy for the brain and other organs. This study used 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy to test whether chronic heavy drinking is associated with greater brain uptake and oxidation of acetic acid, providing a potential metabolic reward or adenosinergic effect as a consequence of drinking. Seven heavy drinkers, who regularly consumed at least 8 drinks per week and at least 4 drinks per day at least once per week, and 7 light drinkers, who consumed fewer than 2 drinks per week were recruited. The subjects were administered [2-13C]acetate for 2 hours and scanned throughout that time with magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the brain to observe natural 13C abundance of N-acetylaspartate (NAA) and the appearance of 13C-labeled glutamate, glutamine, and acetate. Heavy drinkers had approximately 2-fold more brain acetate relative to blood and twice as much labeled glutamate and glutamine. The results show that acetate transport and oxidation are faster in heavy drinkers compared with that in light drinkers. Our finding suggests that a new therapeutic approach to supply acetate during alcohol detoxification may be beneficial.

Concepts: Oxygen, Alcohol, Amino acid, Ethanol, Magnetic resonance imaging, Acetic acid, Vinegar, Drink


Solar-driven photocatalytic conversion of CO2 into fuels has attracted a lot of interest; however, developing active catalysts that can selectively convert CO2 to fuels with desirable reaction products remains a grand challenge. For instance, complete suppression of the competing H2 evolution during photocatalytic CO2-to-CO conversion has not been achieved before. We design and synthesize a spongy nickel-organic heterogeneous photocatalyst via a photochemical route. The catalyst has a crystalline network architecture with a high concentration of defects. It is highly active in converting CO2 to CO, with a production rate of ~1.6 × 10(4) μmol hour(-1) g(-1). No measurable H2 is generated during the reaction, leading to nearly 100% selective CO production over H2 evolution. When the spongy Ni-organic catalyst is enriched with Rh or Ag nanocrystals, the controlled photocatalytic CO2 reduction reactions generate formic acid and acetic acid. Achieving such a spongy nickel-organic photocatalyst is a critical step toward practical production of high-value multicarbon fuels using solar energy.

Concepts: Oxygen, Catalysis, Acetic acid, Solvent, Carboxylic acid, Carbon monoxide, Formic acid, Propionic acid


Rapeseed oil methyl ester (RME) and (bio)ethylene are converted into biofuel with an evenly rising boiling point curve, which fulfills the strict boiling specifications prescribed by the fuel standard EN 590 for modern (petro)diesel engines. Catalyzed by a Pd/Ru system, RME undergoes isomerizing metathesis in a stream of ethylene gas, leading to a defined olefin, monoester, and diester blend. This innovative refining concept requires negligible energy input (60°C) and no solvents and does not produce waste. It demonstrates that the pressing challenge of increasing the fraction of renewables in engine fuel may be addressed purely chemically rather than by motor engineering.

Concepts: Acetic acid, Carboxylic acid, Ester, Distillation, Methyl acetate, Internal combustion engine, Biodiesel, Banana


Localised infections, and burn wound sepsis are key concerns in the treatment of burns patients, and prevention of colonisation largely relies on biocides. Acetic acid has been shown to have good antibacterial activity against various planktonic organisms, however data is limited on efficacy, and few studies have been performed on biofilms.

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Ethanol, Medical emergencies, Acetic acid, Wound, Vinegar, Burn


Microplastics have been found in seas all over the world. We hypothesize that sea salts might contain microplastics because they are directly supplied by seawater. To test our hypothesis, we collected 15 brands of sea salts, lake salts and rock/well salts from supermarkets throughout China. The microplastics content was 550-681 particles/kg in sea salts, 43-364 particles/kg in lake salts and 7-204 particles/kg in rock/well salts. In sea salts, fragments and fibers were the prevalent types of particles compared with pellets and sheets. Microplastics measuring less than 200 μm represented the majority of the particles, accounting for 55% of the total microplastics, and the most common microplastics were polyethylene terephthalate, followed by polyethylene and cellophane in sea salts. The abundance of microplastics in sea salts was significantly higher than that in lake salts and rock salts. This result indicates that sea products, such as sea salts, are contaminated by microplastics. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on microplastic pollution in abiotic sea products.

Concepts: Scientific method, Observation, Acetic acid, Hypothesis, Sea, Null hypothesis, Polyethylene terephthalate, Caspian Sea