Karol obtained a scholarship within Bekker program founded by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange NAWA. This allowed him to spend one year at Caltech, The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, USA, where he started his work on non-equilibrium physics in the context of experiments on bacterial antibiotic resistance.
You can read it here!
Dream Chemistry Award is a unique contest in which a prize is awarded to a young scientist with a chemistry background for an idea of a scientific project in the field of chemistry or chemistry-related disciplines that she/he dreams to solve. The applications are assessed based on the originality of the proposal; the CV of the Candidate is considered as well.
2020 edition agenda
Day 1 November 30th, 18.00-22.00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DW5PZ_JlANQ
Talks by five nominees Yunyan Qiu, Northwestern University, USA, Claudia Bonfio, University of Cambridge, UK, Pawel Dydio, Universite de Strasbourg, ISIS, France, Ivana Drienovska, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Christopher Hendon, University of Oregon, USA.
Day 2 December 1st, 18.00-21.00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPyRJDlVF2g
Award Ceremony and SPECIAL EVENT (Russell Johnson, Editor at Nature Chemistry
“Perspectives on the chemistry publishing landscape”)
SERSitive got two patent granted!
P.408785 The method of electrochemical deposition of metal nanoparticles on surface, the surface obtained by this method and the use thereof
Monika Księżopolska-Gocalska, Weronika Michałowicz, Marta Siek, Joanna Niedziółka-Jonsson, Marcin Opałło, Robert Hołyst
P.412548 Method for deposition of analyte from solution onto the substrate for surface enhanced spectroscopy in the electric field
Łukasz Richter, Jan Paczesny, Monika Księżopolska-Gocalska, Robert Hołyst
During his studies he was already active in research, working on topological insulators and supramolecular self-assembly. Subsequently, he performed his PhD studies with prof. dr. René van Roij on charged colloidal suspensions at Utrecht University which he finished in 2016. Later, from 2017-2020 he was a postdoc in topological soft matter with prof. dr. Miha Ravnik at the University of Ljubljana as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie individual fellow. His current research interests are transport properties of (interacting) complex fluids in biological settings, ion-doped liquid crystals for liquid-like microelectronics and ion electrostatics of charged colloidal suspensions.
More info can be found on his personal website: https://sites.google.com/view/jeffreyeverts/home
If we were talking about food, most experts would choose the former, but in the case of energy storage the opposite is true. It turns out that more energy can be stored by charging less often, but right up to 100%.
At least, this is the conclusion arrived at from research carried out by a team of scientists at the IPC PAS. Although the studies involved idealized two-dimensional lattice systems, at the end of the day, a principle is a principle. Dr. Anna Maciołek, one of the authors of the work published in Physical Review E, describes it as follows. “We wanted to examine how the manner in which energy is stored in a system changes when we pump energy in the form of heat into it, in other words – when we heat it locally.” It is known that in systems heat spreads out and diffuses. But is the collection of energy influenced by the way it is delivered; speaking professionally “the delivery alignment”? Does it matter whether we provide a lot of energy over a short period of time, none for a long time and then again a lot of energy, or small portions of energy one after the other, almost without any breaks?
Cyclic energy supply is very common in nature. We provide ourselves with energy in just this manner by eating. The same number of calories can be provided in one or two large portions eaten during the day, or broken down into 5-7 smaller meals with shorter breaks between them. Scientists are still arguing about which regimen is better for the body.
However, when it comes to two-dimensional lattice systems, it is already known that in terms of storage efficiency the “less often and a lot” method wins. “We noticed that the amount of energy the system can store varies depending on the portion size of the energy and the frequency of its provision. The greatest amount is when the energy portions are large, but the time intervals in between their supply are also long,” explains Yirui Zhang, a PhD student at the IPC PAS. “Interestingly, it turns out that if we divide this sort of storage system internally into compartments or indeed chambers, the amount of energy that can be stored in such a divided-up “battery”- if it were possible to construct – increases. In other words, three small batteries can store more energy than one large one,” says the researcher. All this, assuming that the total amount of energy put into the system remains the same, and only the method of its delivery changes.
Although the research carried out by the IPC PAS team is quite basic and simply shows the fundamental principle governing energy storage in magnets, its potential applications cannot be overestimated. Let’s imagine, for example, the possibility of charging an electric car battery not in a few hours, but in just under twenty minutes, or a significant increase in the capacity of such batteries without changing their volume, i.e. extending the range of the car after one charge. The new discovery may also, in the future, change the methods of charging different types of batteries by determining the optimal periodicity of supplying energy to them.
The research was financed by Polish National Science Centre (Harmonia Grant No. 2015/18/M/ST3/00403).
Author: Dr. Anna Maciolek
The only thing that appears to be unchanging in living cells is that they are constantly changing. However, scientists from the IPC PAS have managed to show that there is a certain parameter that does not change. It’s their viscosity. This research, although basic, may contribute to the development of completely new diagnostic and therapeutic method.
It would seem that during the life of cells – DNA replication, protein formation, the constant changes in their quantity, metabolites, etc., such drastic transformations take place within them that the viscosity related to the ratio of water to the number of biological molecules in the cell should, (when looked at intuitively), change. This is what many scientists thought, including the authors of the paper published in Scientific Reports. “We wanted to examine how the viscosity of cytoplasm changes at various important moments in a cell’s life, such as during division. That’s why the result, i.e. the constancy of viscosity, was a complete surprise to us,” says Dr Karina Kwapiszewska. The measurement itself was a difficult and tedious process. A full cell cycle takes about 24 hours, and although cells can be synchronized like dancers in a ballet, i.e. made to all divide roughly at the same time, they cannot be persuaded to wait for an observer to take a picture of them. They constantly dance to their own inner music.
“Here a big nod to my colleague, Dr. Krzysztof Szczepański, who spent more than one night carrying out fluorescence correlation spectroscopy measurements. They have to be performed every half hour during the whole cell cycle, and the cell won’t wait until the morning to divide,” says Dr Kwapiszewska. “Thanks to him and his perseverance we mapped the viscosity throughout the entire cycle. And that’s with the right number of repetitions. This is the only way we could prove that what we measured was an actual parameter, not an artefact,” she adds.
What’s more, the IPC PAS scientists discovered that the cell’s viscosity remains constant regardless of whether the cell comes from the lung or e.g. the liver, although these are very different tissues. And since it is constant, this means that the cell must need it to be so for a purpose. Especially since the size of cells can vary within a single population (e.g. skin cells) even ten-fold and this does not matter to them as much as their viscosity. So there must be a mechanism that regulates it.
The viscosity of a medium is undoubtedly very important for biochemical processes. Simply put, the higher the viscosity, the harder it is for particles to meet in order to react. Cells must actively regulate their viscosity otherwise reactions would be slower in some conditions and faster in others. And if one of the reactions were to slow down too much – the whole system could fall apart and the cell would never be able to restore its balance. “In one of our team’s earlier papers (Sozański et. al., Phys Rev Lett 2015) it was shown that only a 6-fold increase in viscosity (this really isn’t much) is sufficient to stop the entire active transport in a cell,” explains Dr Kwapiszewska.
And here we come to the potential, though at present distant, applications of this discovery. Since an increase in viscosity inhibits life processes in the cell then perhaps this can be used, for example, to create therapeutics against cancer cells. The sort that would employ physical processes instead of, for example, inhibiting DNA replication.
“We also suspect that some neurodegenerative diseases may be caused by a local increase in viscosity in cells,” says the author. “So, compensating for this could be a way to stop damage in Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease and improve a patient’s prognosis.”
Now researchers want to find out how viscosity changes during cell death and whether this change in viscosity is the result or the cause of the process itself.
The research was financed by the MAESTRO grant, no. UMO-2016/22/A/ST4/00017, headed by Professor Robert Hołyst.
Author: dr Karina Kwapiszewska