Scientific articles

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Jul 312016
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Alexander F. G. Goldberg,a Klaus Roth,b,1 CJ Chemjobberc

a Department of Organic Chemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel

b Institut für Organische Chemie und Biochemie, Freie Universitaet Berlin

c 3170 Road 40 1/2, Shell, WY 82441, USA

Adapted and translated with permission from A. F. G. Goldberg, K. Roth, CJ Chemjobber, Chem. unserer Zeit 2016, 50, 144–145.

© 2016 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co KGaA, Weinheim.

JUnQ, 6, 2, 8–9, 2016

Household products from the food and cosmetics industry are advertized as “chemical free” in a nearly inflationary way. This declaration is mostly incorrect and it suggests that the products are produced from natural products, are extremely healthy, or completely free of artificial ingredients. We have investigated these labels for a broad variety of such products, including herbal supplements, processed food and beverages, next to cosmetic products and cleaning agents. As a result we were able to compile a complete list of all “chemical free” domestic products.

Download the article here: Chemical Free Household Products

Unusable Pretreatment of Steel and Zinc Surfaces Based on Phytic Acid

 Latest Contributions, Scientific articles, Vol. 6, Issue 2, Jul 2016  Comments Off on Unusable Pretreatment of Steel and Zinc Surfaces Based on Phytic Acid
Apr 142016
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M. Dornbusch, T. Biehler, M. Conrad, A. Greiwe, D. Momper, L. Schmidt, M. Wiedow

University of Applied Sciences, Adlerstraße 32, 47798 Krefeld, Germany

Received 12.06.2015, accepted 29.02.2016, published 14.04.2016

JUnQ, 6, 2, 1–7, 2016

The formation of a conversion layer for corrosion protection based on phytic acid (PA) solutions is described several times in the literature. The promising results induced us to verify the performance of PA based conversion layers as pre-treatment for organic coatings. The spectroscopic and optical analysis with infrared spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy of the generated layer strengthened the hypothesis of a corrosion protective layer. Furthermore, the electrochemical analysis with cyclic voltammetry supported it but the results of the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy provided a first hint of an instable layer. Unfortunately, all kinds of tested conversion layers based on PA with and without a combination with molybdate increased the delamination of an applied coating and accelerated the corrosion process in the salt spray test. Therefore, all investigated PA based conversion layers are not suitable as pre-treatments for organic coatings.

Download the article here: [download id=”118″]

Apr 012015
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W. Bishop,a B. S. Johnson,b and W. Seuntjensc

aUniversity of Berlin, Berlin

bSt. Luke’s College, Cambridge

cDutch Academy of ‘Pataphysics, Amsterdam

Received 20.03.2015,1 accepted 31.03.2015, published 01.04.2015

JUnQ, 5, 2, Article – Rapid Communication, 08-15, 2015

Using the technique of gene silencing, it was possible to turn three-leaved clover into four-leaved clover. Exposure to genetically modified four-leaved clover over a period of one week increased aggregate happiness in human subjects by approximately 200 percent. This technological adaptation of an age-old idea opens up the possibility of piecemeal social engineering and grand-scale political engineering. Ultimately it might lead to global peace.

1International Day of Happiness; vernal equinox (Le printemps est arriv?. L’amour et la joie sont revenus chez toi.)

[download id=”95″] or read more about recent developments at this website.

Mary Symmetrical and Mary Nonsymmetrical – A Hitherto Undetected Difference in the Iconography of the Two Most Important Women in the New Testament?

 Archive, Scientific articles, Vol. 4, Issue 2, July 2014  Comments Off on Mary Symmetrical and Mary Nonsymmetrical – A Hitherto Undetected Difference in the Iconography of the Two Most Important Women in the New Testament?
Jul 312014
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W. Seuntjens

Dutch Academy of ‘Pataphysics, Amsterdam

Received 25.03.2014, accepted 18.06.2014 published 31.07.2014

JUnQ, 4, 2, Article – Rapid Communication, 18-27, 2014

Symmetry is an esthetic quality both in art and in life. Symmetry is generally associated with beauty, evolutionary fitness, and perfection whereas asymmetry is associated with the lack of beauty, diminished evolutionary fitness, and imperfection. The physical aspect of praying behavior is almost exclusively bilaterally symmetrical. In the Christian tradition, praying with hands held together can be done in three ways: symmetrically, quasi-symmetrically, and asymmetrically. In the history of Christian art the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene are undoubtedly the two most frequently depicted women. Contrary to expectation, the praying postures in which the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene are depicted are not random. The Virgin Mary prays most often symmetrically whereas Mary Magdalene prays predominantly nonsymmetrically (first rule). Moreover, both Marys pray mainly symmetrically in depictions of pre- and post-Passion scenes whereas they pray mostly nonsymmetrically in Passion scenes (second rule). The exception to the second rule is the theme of The Penitent Mary Magdalene, in which Mary Magdalene is depicted mostly praying nonsymmetrically (third rule). As a tentative explanation of these differences it is proposed that: (1) The Virgin Mary is for the most part depicted symmetrically because she is the epitome of serene perfection whereas the more often nonsymmetrically depicted Mary Magdalene is the embodiment of emotional perfectability. (2) In Passion scenes both Marys are shown mainly in nonsymmetrical praying postures because of the extreme emotionality whereas in pre- and post-Passion scenes they both display the more beatific symmetrical praying postures. (3) The Penitent Mary Magdalene is generally depicted in the emotional nonsymmetrical praying posture because in that particular part of the post-Passion period Mary Magdalene’s sainthood was still in the balance.

[download id=”82″]

Predicting Half Metallic Ferromagnets – A Little Bit More Realism Please

 Scientific articles, Vol. 3, Issue 2, July 2013  Comments Off on Predicting Half Metallic Ferromagnets – A Little Bit More Realism Please
Jun 062013
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Lukas Muechler and Claudia Felser

Max-Planck-Institut fuer Chemische Physik fester Stoffe, 01187 Dresden, Germany

JUnQ, 3, 2, Articles, 6–9, 2013 (Received 06.05.2013, accepted 26.05.2013, published online 06.06.2013)

In this paper we critically examine recent claims about half metallic ferromagnetism in open p-shell systems.

Odd valence electron compounds like CaAs have been predicted to show a 100 % spin polarization

at the Fermi level, if they can be grown in the zincblende structure. It has furthermore been argued that

this should be possible under special conditions. We will give several arguments against this claim based

on concepts from chemistry and density functional calculations.

Read more: [download id=”60″]


Trends in Condensed Matter Physics: Is Research Going Faster and Faster?

 Scientific articles, Vol. 3, Issue 1, Jan 2013  Comments Off on Trends in Condensed Matter Physics: Is Research Going Faster and Faster?
Nov 052012
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C. Attaccalitea and S. Barlandb

aInstitut Néel, CNRS/UJF, 25 rue des Martyrs BP 166, Bâtiment D 38042 Grenoble cedex 9 France

bUniversité de Nice – CNRS UMR 7335, Institut Non Linéaire de Nice, 1361 route des lucioles, 06560 Valbonne, France

JUnQ, 3, 1, Articles, 1–5, 2013 (Received 30.08.2012, accepted 04.11.2012, published online 06.11.2012)

In this paper we study research trends in condensed matter physics. Trends are analyzed by means of the number of publications in the different sub-fields as function of the years. We found that many research topics have a similar behavior with an initial fast growth and a next slower exponential decay. We derived a simple model to describe this behavior and built up some predictions for future trends.

Read more: [download id=”43″]

The decreasing Whorf-effect: A study in the classifier systems of Mandarin and Thai

 Latest Contributions, Scientific articles, Vol. 2, Issue 2, July 2012  Comments Off on The decreasing Whorf-effect: A study in the classifier systems of Mandarin and Thai
Jun 232012
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Fabian Bross and Philip Pfaller

Ludwig Maximilian-University, Munich, Germany

Journal of Unsolved Questions, 2, 2, Articles 19-24, 2012 (Received Feb 14th, accepted June 20th 2012, published online June 22nd, 2012)

The goal of this study was to test a weak form of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis dealing with one of the biggest unsolved questions in linguistics: Does language affect the way we think? Grammatical systems in the world’s languages differ in many aspects. Unlike English or German many languages group nouns on the basis of noun classifiers. Recently research has adressed the question if these linguistic categories built up by classifier systems influence non-linguistic thought. In this paper we studied Mandarin Chinese and Thai—two languages with classifier systems. Although both are classifier languages they categorize objects in different ways. We tested if these system differences lead to different similarity judgements of objects in a non-linguistic rating task (participants had to rate the similarity of picture pairs). In contrast to previous studies we suprisingly observed no difference in categorization. It seems that the so-called Whorf effect, i. e. that language affects the way we perceive and categorize the world, diminishes rapidly over the time speakers are exposed to a different language system such as, in this case, German.

Read more: [download id=”37″]

The human lung surfactant proteins A (SP-A) and D (SP-D) share similar binding mechanisms and common ligands on macrophages and dendritic cells

 Latest Contributions, Scientific articles, Vol. 2, Issue 2, July 2012  Comments Off on The human lung surfactant proteins A (SP-A) and D (SP-D) share similar binding mechanisms and common ligands on macrophages and dendritic cells
Feb 182012
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Anne Jaekel and Robert B. Sim

MRC Immunochemistry Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, UK

Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, UK

Journal of Unsolved Questions, 2, 2, Articles 12-18, 2012 (Received Nov. 21st 2011, accepted Jan. 19th 2012, published online Feb. 18th, 2012)

The lung surfactant collectin proteins SP-A and SP-D have been shown to interact with phagocytic cells, such as macrophages and dendritic cells to facilitate uptake of pathogens and apoptotic cells. However, the mechanism by which the collectins interact with the phagocytes and which surface molecules on the phagocytic cells are involved is not yet clear. In the present study, we demonstrate the interaction of SP-A and SP-D with phagocytic cells including human monocyte-derived macrophages and immature dendritic cells. Results show that both proteins bind in a similar manner to both cell types. A prominent 20-22 kDa doublet band was observed on SDS- PAGE analysis as the major Ca2+ -dependent ligand for SP-A and SP-D on both macrophages and dendritic cells. However, we were unable to identify the proteins involved.

Read more: [download id=”34″]

Dec 282011
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Sonja Landertshamer, Clemens Schwarzinger

Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria

Journal of Unsolved Questions, 2, 1, Articles 5-8, 2012 (Received November 8th, accepted December 3rd, published online December 27th 2011)

2,4,6-triamino-1,3,5-triazine (melamine ) was first prepared in 1834 by Liebig. It has already been used for several decades for the production of melamine-formaldehyde resins and has therefore gained industrial importance. Particularly, during the last years new possibilities for the cross-linking of melamine have been developed to replace harmful formaldehyde. The synthesis of epoxy modified melamine derivatives is one possibility for this purpose. 2-Diallylamino-4,6-bis(dimethylamino)-1,3,5-triazine was chosen as difunctional starting material, whereat solubility in organic solvents is enhanced by the use of the N-alkylated product. Epoxidations of the allyl functionalities were carried out using several common epoxidation agents. Partially, conversion took place forming mainly by-products like substituted hydroxyl amines and hydroxy triazine derivatives. Nevertheless, epoxidation of double bonds took place forming different epoxy containing structures, which may be useful starting materials for further conversions.

Read more: [download id=”32″]

Dependence of E. coli Chemotaxis on CheB Phosphorylation in Silico and in Vivo

 Latest Contributions, Scientific articles, Vol. 2, Issue 1, Jan 2012  Comments Off on Dependence of E. coli Chemotaxis on CheB Phosphorylation in Silico and in Vivo
Dec 032011
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Lorenz Adlung

BioQuant Insitute, Im Neuenheimer Feld 267, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Zentrum fuer Molekulare Biologie der Universitaet Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 282, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Journal of Unsolved Questions, 2, 1, Articles 1-4, 2012 (Received October 17th, accepted November 30th, published December 3rd 2011)

The protein CheB is an integral component of sensory adaptation in the chemotaxis system of Escherichia coli. It catalyzes demethylation of the chemoreceptors thereby opposing the effect of ligands on kinase activity. The kinase enhances the activity of the methylesterase via phosphotransfer, thus creating a negative feedback. Although CheB phosphorylation depends on the receptor state, it is not essential for precise adaptation. Therefore, the feedback mechanism is proposed through modeling to compensate for protein fluctuations in the chemotaxis network.

Swarm plate assays revealed that chemotaxis performance in general was even more robust against deviations of single protein concentrations than predicted. However, phosphorylation deficient mutants of CheB still enabled an appropriate chemotaxis response as compared to wild type CheB. Furthermore, when simulations were recoded to include CheB phosphorylation, there was no effect on swarming. Hence both, measured and calculated swarm efficiencies indicate that CheB phosphorylation does not improve robustness of chemotaxis against perturbations in protein levels.

[download id=”31″]

Keywords: Bacteria, Chemotaxis, Feedback, Robustness