Achievements

Influence of alkali and alkaline earth metals on catalytic epoxidation of propene
Ljubljana, 09.07.2018

Propylene oxide (PO) is a key component for the production of propylene glycol, its ethers and polyether polyols. Most of PO currently in use is obtained through processes that produce a lot of waste (are not environmentally friendly), or are found to be cost inefficient (use of expensive oxidants like hydrogen peroxide). These drawbacks have driven research into direct gas-phase epoxidation of propylene using molecular oxygen. We examined the mechanism by which alkali metals, added to the...[more1]

New water-assisted catalytic mechanism of the glycoside hydrolase family demonstrated on the Staphylococcus Aureus Autolysin E
Ljubljana, 16.04.2018

Glycoside hydrolases (GH) are widespread enzymes with different roles in nature from degradation of biomass, anti-bacterial defense, pathogenetic mechanisms to physiological cellular functions. From mechanistic point of view they are commonly classified as inverting or retaining ones, the latter are further subdivided into several different catalytic mechanisms, which are in many cases for specific GH families and their members still hypothesized. It remains a challenge to elucidate their...[more1]

Prof. dr. Roman Jerala awarded the ERC Advanced Grant 2017
Ljubljana, 13.04.2018

We are delighted to inform you that the results of the ERC Advanced Grant 2017 call have now been released and that in the intense competition, the application of the well-established scientist Professor Roman Jerale, Head of the Department of Synthetic Biology and Immunology at the National Institute of Chemistry, was selected for funding. The results were officially published today, 6th April. It is a great honour for us that the European Commission highlighted the MaCChines project out of a...[more1]

Metal-organic framework glasses
Ljubljana, 13.03.2018

Two researchers of the Department of Inorganic Chemistry and Technology (D09) participated in the discovery of a new type of glassy materials, consisting of metal centers and organic ligands. This is the fourth type of glass beside oxide, metallic and organic glasses, and the first type that was discovered after 1960. The ability to make glassy metal-organic frameworks means that these materials with outstanding properties can also be prepared in a solid, transparent form, making them much...[more1]

New insight into electrochemical peformance of organic cathode materials
Ljubljana, 15.02.2018

Organic cathode materials can be used in various battery systems like lithium, sodium, magnesium batteries and can be prepared from low-cost and sustainable resources, which makes them one of the promising materials for future batteries. One of the pressing issues of contemporary research on the cathode materials was the lack of characterization techniques that would allow real-time monitoring of changes inside cathodes during electrochemical cycling. With the financing from the Honda R&D...[more1]

Discovery of the new mechanism of signaling complex transfer from cancer cells with extracellular vesicles
Ljubljana, 24.01.2018

Cells react to environmental changes by transmitting the signals, which induce processes like inflammatory response. MyD88 protein is important in immune response signaling induced by infection or other injuries. On the other hand, exaggerated cell activation can lead to pathologies. In Waldenström’s macroglobulinaemia (WM), a type of B-cell lymphoma, MyD88L265P mutation has been observed in >90% of patients. MyD88L265P triggers receptor independent cell activation. Blocking of MyD88...[more1]

Researchers at the National Institute of Chemistry coordinated a research project explaining microbe cytolysin specifics and binding mechanism
Ljubljana, 15.12.2017

Plant pathogenic microorganisms have a vast selection of effector molecules that are used for infecting and spreading throughout tissues. Researchers from two departments of the Institute of Chemistry, in cooperation with the Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana, have determined a receptor on the plant cell surface and explained why certain microbe toxins are dicotyledon specific. Plant pathogenic organisms usually have a vast selection of molecules for infecting plants,...[more1]

On phonons and water flow enhancement in carbon nanotubes
Ljubljana, 11.12.2017

The intriguing physics of water transport through carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has motivated numerous studies, reporting flow rates higher than those estimated by continuum models. The quantification of water transport in CNTs remains unresolved, however, with flow rates reported by different experiments and simulations having discrepancies of over three orders of magnitude. Employing a combination of computationally intensive molecular dynamics and continuum fluid dynamics simulations together with...[more1]

Coiled-coil protein origami -- a new generation of designed protein structures
Ljubljana, 17.10.2017

Proteins are nature’s nano-robots performing key processes necessary for sustaining life. They are built as a linear chain of amino acids which encodes information about the 3D structure and their function. The number of possible sequences is practically infinite: all possible combinations of a 64 amino acid long protein exceed the number of atoms in the known universe. Design of novel proteins is also hampered by extremely complex folding rules. Researchers at the department of Synthetic...[more1]

New Ir-Ru electrocatalyst for sustainable water electrolysis
Ljubljana, 27.09.2017

The transition to renewable energy sources through hydrogen technologies involves the electrolysis of water. Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysis represents a highly efficient, responsive, dynamic and convenient solution for storing large quantities of electricity in the form of hydrogen to cover the gap between the production of renewable energy (the sun and the wind) and the demand of the network at different time periods (day / night and summer / winter). Article introduces a new...[more1]

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Achievements

Stability of iridium-based electrocatalysts
Ljubljana, 05.09.2017

Iridium-based particles are regarded as the most promising electrocatalysts to be used in future electrolyzers. In this work we investigated in detail the electrocatalytic performance (oxygen evolution reaction) of three...[more1]

Molecular systems with open boundaries: Theory and simulation
Ljubljana, 10.07.2017

Typical experimental setups for molecular systems must deal with a certain coupling to the external environment, that is, the system is open and exchanges mass, momentum, and energy with its surroundings. Instead, standard...[more1]

Modulation of stability of building modules for designed bionanostructures
Ljubljana, 09.06.2017

The coiled-coil dimer is a widespread protein structural motif and, due to its designability, represents an attractive building block for assembling modular nanostructures, which we demonstrated in 2013 in a paper in...[more1]

Structure of a Stable G Hairpin
Ljubljana, 04.04.2017

An 11-nt long G-rich DNA oligonucleotide, 5′-d(GTGTGGGTGTG)-3′, corresponding to the most abundant sequence motif in irregular telomeric DNA from Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast) has been shown to fold into a G-hairpin. The first...[more1]

Comparative genomics reveals high biological diversity and specific adaptations in the industrially and medically important fungal genus Aspergillus
Ljubljana, 17.02.2017

The fungal genus Aspergillus is of critical importance to humankind. Species include those with industrial applications, important pathogens of humans, animals and crops, a source of potent carcinogenic contaminants of food, and...[more1]

Origin of hydrophobicity
Ljubljana, 24.01.2017

Hydrophobicity or water repelling is one of the most important phenomena in nature. The physical origin of hydrophobicity remains unclear even after seven decades of intense research. The classical explanation of hydrophobicity...[more1]

A superior material for solar-energy storage and application in heat pumps and cooling devices
Ljubljana, 11.01.2017

In novel technologies of heating and cooling of buildings, alternative approaches to energy storage and allocation are investigated. Several of these approaches aim at energy storage that would not require the transformation of...[more1]

Publication in Nature Materials
Ljubljana, 15.11.2016

Researchers from Jožef Stefan Institute and National Institute of Chemistry, in collaboration with colleagues from Switzerland and Japan, were the first to identify accumulation of charged defects at domain walls in ferroelectric...[more1]

New concept of platinum dissolution for the purposes of green recycling
Ljubljana, 25.10.2016

Metals present the perfect recycling material, since they are completely recyclable and in theory do not get consumed in the process circle from product to waste and back. Precious metals are extremely resistant to corrosion...[more1]

NMR Structure of a Triangulenium-Based Probe Bound to a G-Quadruplex
Ljubljana, 12.10.2016

NMR structural study of the interaction between a small-molecule optical probe (DAOTA-M2) and a G-quadruplex from the promoter region of the c-myc oncogene revealed that they interact at 1:2 binding stoichiometry. NMR restrained...[more1]

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