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Concept: Wax


The plant cuticle is the outermost layer covering aerial tissues and is composed of cutin and waxes. The cuticle plays an important role in protection from environmental stresses and glaucousness, the bluish-white colouration of plant surfaces associated with cuticular waxes, has been suggested as a contributing factor in crop drought tolerance. However, the cuticle structure and composition is complex and it is not clear which aspects are important in determining a role in drought tolerance. Therefore, we analysed residual transpiration rates, cuticle structure and epicuticular wax composition under well-watered conditions and drought in five Australian bread wheat genotypes, Kukri, Excalibur, Drysdale, RAC875 and Gladius, with contrasting glaucousness and drought tolerance.

Concepts: Wax, Plant physiology, Epidermis, Leaf, Cuticle, Plant cuticle, Epicuticular wax, Cutin


Topical oils on baby skin may contribute to development of childhood atopic eczema. A pilot, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled trial assessed feasibility of a definitive trial investigating their impact in neonates. One-hundred and fifteen healthy, full-term neonates were randomly assigned to olive oil, sunflower oil or no oil, twice daily for 4 weeks, stratified by family history of atopic eczema. We measured spectral profile of lipid lamellae, trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), stratum corneum hydration and pH and recorded clinical observations, at baseline, and 4 weeks post-birth. Recruitment was challenging (recruitment 11.1%; retention 80%), protocol adherence reasonable (79-100%). Both oil groups had significantly improved hydration but significantly less improvement in lipid lamellae structure compared to the no oil group. There were no significant differences in TEWL, pH or erythema/skin scores. The study was not powered for clinical significance, but until further research is conducted, caution should be exercised when recommending oils for neonatal skin.

Concepts: Infant, Water, Randomized controlled trial, Fat, Wax, Human skin color, Toddler, Chrism


Objective: Solventless dry powder coating methods have many advantages compared to solvent-based methods: they are more economical, simpler, safer, more environmentally friendly and easier to scale up. The purpose of this study was to investigate a highly effective dry powder coating method using the mechanofusion system, a mechanochemical treatment equipped with high compressive and shearing force.Materials and methods: Acetaminophen (AAP) and carnauba wax (CW) were selected as core particles of the model drug and coating material, respectively. Mixtures of AAP and CW with and without talc were processed using the mechanofusion system.Results: Sustained AAP release was observed by selecting appropriate processing conditions for the rotation speed and the slit size. The dissolution rate of AAP processed with CW substantially decreased with an increase in talc content up to 40% of the amount of CW loaded. Increasing the coating amount by two-step addition of CW led to more effective coating and extended drug release. Scanning electron micrographs indicated that CW adhered and showed satisfactory coverage of the surface of AAP particles.Conclusion: Effective CW coating onto the AAP surface was successfully achieved by strictly controlling the processing conditions and the composition of core particles, coating material and glidant. Our mechanochemical dry powder coating method using the mechanofusion system is a simple and promising means of solventless pharmaceutical coating.

Concepts: Wax, Scanning electron microscope, Rotation, Micrograph, Beeswax, Shoe polish, Waxes, Carnauba wax


This article is an introduction and general discussion regarding the use of Fisher-Tropsch wax in petroleum jelly applications. Traditionally, petroleum jelly is prepared from a blend of microwax, paraffin wax and mineral oil that are all derived from crude oil. Sasol Wax has successfully prepared a petroleum jelly based on predominantly to fully synthetic Fisher-Tropsch wax. Sasol Wax was awarded a patent P53898ZP00-29 November 11 for a predominantly to fully synthetic petroleum jelly based on Fisher-Tropsch wax blends. The benefits of Fisher-Tropsch wax discussed in this article include the absence of aromatic compounds and polycyclic aromatic compounds in Fisher-Tropsch wax as well as the sustainable production that is possible with Fisher-Tropsch wax, as opposed to paraffin wax that may be affected by the closure of group I Base Oil plants. This article will be the first in a series of articles from the same authors, and follow-up articles will include solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance and crystallization studies to determine the influence of predominantly synthetic waxes on petroleum jelly network structures compared with more traditional mineral oil-derived petroleum jellies, final product performance and stability of synthetic petroleum jelly used in, for example, personal care lotions or creams. The influence of oxygenated compounds and product safety and rheological properties (including primary skin feel upon application and secondary skin feel after application) of synthetic petroleum jellies compared with traditional mineral oil-derived petroleum jellies are discussed.

Concepts: Petroleum, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, Hydrocarbon, Paraffin, Wax, Alkane, Beeswax, Mineral oil


The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform on April 20th, 2010 resulted in the second largest oil spill in history. The distribution and chemical composition of hydrocarbons within a 45 km radius of the blowout was investigated. All available certified hydrocarbon data were acquired from NOAA and BP. The distribution of hydrocarbons was found to be dispersed over a wider area in subsurface waters than previously predicted or reported. A deepwater hydrocarbon plume predicted by models was verified and additional plumes were identified. Because the samples were not collected systematically, there is still some question about the presence and persistence of an 865 m depth plume predicted by models. Water soluble compounds were extracted from the rising oil in deepwater, and were found at potentially toxic levels outside of areas previously reported to contain hydrocarbons. Application of subsurface dispersants was found to increase hydrocarbon concentration in subsurface waters.

Concepts: Water, Petroleum, Solubility, Hydrocarbon, Wax, Exxon Valdez oil spill, Oil spill, Oil


The fluorescence EEM technique, PARAFAC modeling, and hydrocarbon composition were used to characterize oil components and to examine the chemical evolution and degradation pathways of Macondo crude oil under controlled laboratory conditions. Three major fluorescent oil components were identified, with Ex/Em maxima at 226/328, 262/315, and 244/366nm, respectively. An average degradation half-life of ∼20d was determined for the oil components based on fluorescence EEM and hydrocarbon composition measurements, showing a dynamic chemical evolution and transformation of the oil during degradation. Dispersants appeared to change the chemical characteristics of oil, to shift the fluorescence EEM spectra, and to enhance the degradation of low-molecular-weight hydrocarbons. Photochemical degradation played a dominant role in the transformation of oil components, likely an effective degradation pathway of oil in the water column. Results from laboratory experiments should facilitate the interpretation of field-data and provide insights for understanding the fate and transport of oil components in the Gulf of Mexico.

Concepts: Petroleum, Chemistry, Carbon, Experiment, Hydrocarbon, Wax, Mexico, Natural gas


Blends of entirely bio-sourced polymers, namely polylactide (PLA) and starch, have been melt-compounded by lab-scale co-extruder with castor oil (CO) as a plasticizer. The enrichment of castor oil on starch had great effect on the properties of the blends. If the castor oil was mainly dispersed in PLA matrix, the properties of the blends were poor, but when the hexamethylenediisocyanate (HDI) was grafted on starch granules the ready reactions between the hydroxyl on CO and the isocyante on the HDI-grafted starch (HGSTs) brought CO molecules enriched on starch particles. DSC analysis shows that the CO layer on starch has a positive effect on the crystallization of PLA in the ternary blend. The accumulation of CO on starch greatly improves the toughness and impact strength of PLA/starch blends. The grafting content of HDI on the starch granules primarily determined the compatibility and properties of the resulted blends.

Concepts: Grafting, Wax, Differential scanning calorimetry, Plant reproduction, Castor oil, Lubricant, Plant propagation


Abstract Objective: To determine whether perineal massage during the second stage of labor using oil enriched with vitamins, increases the chances of delivering with an intact perineum as compared to perineal massage using pure liquid wax. Methods: A prospective, randomized, double-blind study was conducted. Women were assigned to liquid wax (jojoba oil) vs. purified formula of almond and olive oil, enriched with vitamin B1, B2, B6, E and fatty acids. The caregivers used the oils during the second stage of labor. Results: A total of 164 women undergoing vaginal delivery were recruited. No significant differences regarding perineal lacerations, number of sutures and length of suturing were noted between the two groups. Likewise, while analyzing separately nulliparous and multiparous women, no significant differences were noted. Controlling for birth-weight >4000 grams, using the Mantel-Haenszel technique, no association was noted between perineal lacerations and the type of oil used (weighted OR=0.9, 95% CI 0.3-2.4; p=0.818). Conclusion: The type of the oil used during the second stage of labor for prevention of perineal tears has no effect on the integrity of the perineum. Accordingly, it seems that there is no perfect oil.

Concepts: Childbirth, Water, Fat, Vitamin, Wax, Thiamine, Olive oil, Oil


Rapid advancements in carbon-based fillers have enabled a new and more promising platform in the development of electromagnetic attenuation composites. Alignment of fillers in composites with specific structures and morphologies has been widely pursued to achieve high performance based on taking advantage of unique filler characteristics. In this work, few-layer graphene (FLG), obtained from direct exfoliation of graphite, was fabricated into paraffin wax to prepare FLG/wax composites and investigate their electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding performance. The as-exfoliated FLG/wax samples have shown much improved EMI performance compared to the commercial graphite/wax ones. For further improvement of EMI shielding performance, split-press-merge approaches were applied to align the FLG fillers to achieve anisotropic characteristics in the plane perpendicular to the pressing direction. Much enhanced EMI shielding performance coupled with an improvement in absorption and reflection was observed in the post-alignment FLG/wax composites. An average interparticle distance model associated with improved electrically conducting interconnection and enlarged effective reflection regions with respect to enhanced reflection efficiency were discussed. The results suggest a platform and promising opportunities for preparing high-performance EMI shielding composites.

Concepts: Paraffin, Wax, Alkane, Graphene, Plane, Electromagnetic interference, Beeswax, Candle


Human meibomian gland secretions (meibum) are the major lipid component of the human preocular tear film. The predominant lipid classes found in meibum include waxes (WE), cholesteryl esters (CE), and varying amounts of cholesterol (Chl). The classical sulfo-phospho-vanillin assay (SPVA), adapted for a microplate reader, was used to quantitate lipids in meibum. To account for varying reactivities of different lipids in SPVA, a model meibomian lipid mixture (MMx) that approximated the WE/CE/Chl composition of meibum was developed and used to quantitate meibomian lipids. The overall SPV responses of MMx and meibum were found to be close, with similar intermediate and final reaction products for both. Saturated WE that had not been expected to be reactive were found to be SPV-positive. A reaction mechanism for these compounds in SPVA which involves the formation of alkenyl ethers is proposed and discussed. Tested proteins were non-reactive in SPVA. Thus, by comparing the results of gravimetric analyses of meibum samples with the results of a properly calibrated SPVA, it was estimated that the SPV-reactive lipid content of dry meibum in tested samples was about 78 % (w/w). The SPV method can also be adopted for analyzing other types of complex lipids secretions, such as sebum, as well as whole lipid extracts from other lipid-enriched organs and tissues, if proper standards are chosen.

Concepts: Protein, Fat, Lipid, Biochemistry, Wax, Lipids, Gland, Meibomian gland