Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

 
Standing up for Science
Continuing our drive to ensure research is both understood and applied globally, we travelled to Ghana for the second round of our science reporting workshop ‘Reach & Turn’. Along with our sister institute UNU-INRA and the UN Info Centre Accra we led two days of learning and debate with around 50 researchers, communications officers, and journalists from five mainly West African countries (Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Togo and Rwanda). For some this was a real innovation: the first time they had shared a platform with people from outside their field.
See: http://www.merit.unu.edu/ghana-reach-and-turn-2017/
Call for Papers: 10th Conference on Model-based Evidence on Innovation and DEvelopment (MEIDE)
The aim of the conference is to bring together researchers from around the world to discuss various aspects of innovation and its relation to economic development. Priority will be given to empirical papers, but there is also room for methodological and theoretical papers, as well as for case studies, as long as they address the issue of innovation and development. Innovation is to be understood broadly as any kind of innovation in what firms, households, communities and governments do, or in the way they operate. It also includes knowledge creation, diffusion, measurement and evaluation issues. Development comprises growth but also welfare, poverty alleviation, environmental concerns and fairness in the distribution of wealth/income. Since last year, we have enlarged the scope of the conference to include papers based on macro or industry data.
See: http://www.merit.unu.edu/meide10/



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  • Hydrogen-bond strength measured directly
    The first direct measurements of the strength of hydrogen bonds in individual molecules have been claimed by an international team of physicists. Unlike chemical bonds, which involve the sharing or transfer of electrons, hydrogen bonds are dipole-dipole interactions between certain molecules containing hydrogen. As well as playing key roles in defining the properties of proteins and nucleic acids, hydrogen bonds are also responsible for the relatively high boiling point of water.

    Researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland and Aalto University in Finland used an atomic force microscope (AFM) to study hydrogen bonds in molecules called propellanes - which arrange themselves on surfaces such that two hydrogen atoms are pointing upwards. Their AFM tip comprised a single oxygen atom, which was positioned so close to a propellane molecule that a hydrogen bond formed between the oxygen atom and the two hydrogen atoms.

    Then, the AFM was used to measure the strength of the bond as a function of the separation between the oxygen and hydrogen atoms. The measurements confirmed that the hydrogen bond is much weaker than chemical bonds, but much stronger than van der Waals forces - which is a dipolar interaction that is weaker than hydrogen bonding. The measurements were also in agreement with calculations of bond strength done by members of the team. The technique could be used to identify 3D molecules such as DNA and polymers.

    Physics World / Science Advances    May 15, 2017