Scientists unlock key to better preservativesFebruary 27th, 2009 - 2:41 pm ICT by IANS
London, Feb 27 (IANS) Scientists have stumbled on a basic property of preservatives that might extend the shelf life of vaccines, food and library books - and save money while doing it.
Besides jams, sugars are often used to preserve pharmaceuticals and similar biological materials. There are a number of mechanisms involved, but recently the local stiffening of the preservative was identified as a factor that can increase shelf life.
Basically, stiffening decreases ‘rattling’ of the fluid’s molecules and stabilises the product, because these motions are intimately involved in spoiling - for instance, in the protein degradation processes that lead to the loss of biological function.
Several years ago, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) team discovered the practical importance of high-frequency molecular rattling for protein preservation.
But while sugars and other preservatives such as salts have been used since ancient times, the prediction of how well a preservative works for a specific material has remained more an art than a science, said a NIST release.
However, the NIST method “should remove much of the guesswork in determining the best way to protect a particular commodity,” said Jack Douglas of Polymers Division, NIST.
- New class of vaccines won't require cold storage - Jul 10, 2012
- 'Killer paper' could improve food safety - Jan 20, 2011
- 'Lab on a chip' micro rheometer to improve viscosity tests dramatically - Sep 02, 2010
- Spin soliton to revolutionize cell phone communication - Sep 16, 2010
- Vaccine-delivering nanoparticles may help fight HIV, malaria - Feb 23, 2011
- Super vaccine could knock out 70 percent of cancers - Dec 13, 2011
- Bacteria-killing paper for next-generation food packaging - Feb 20, 2011
- Sunless tanning spray may help heal post-surgery wounds - Jun 01, 2010
- Scientists locate malaria parasites' Achilles heal - Apr 22, 2012
- Unexpected exoskeleton remnants discovered in Paleozoic fossils - Feb 08, 2011
- Bio-based polymers that heal cracks on the anvil - Jan 09, 2011
- New sugar-based polymer to help compost plastic items at home - Feb 18, 2010
- Artificial cells to trap deadly viruses - Mar 03, 2011
- 'Bacterial rope, DNA chips to shape Indian biotech scene' - Sep 04, 2012
- Carbon nanotubes make up ultrasensitive biosensor to identify proteins - Jun 28, 2010