Shipment tracking for 'fat parcels' in the body

Without fat, nothing works in the body: Fats serve as energy suppliers and important building blocks, including for the envelopes of living cells. Numerous diseases are related to disorders in fat metabolism such as obesity ...

Nanoparticles could someday give humans built-in night vision

Movies featuring heroes with superpowers, such as flight, X-ray vision or extraordinary strength, are all the rage. But while these popular characters are mere flights of fancy, scientists have used nanoparticles to confer ...

Lab produces simple fluorescent surfactants

Laboratories use surfactants to separate things, and fluorescent dyes to see things. Rice University chemists have combined the two to simplify life for scientists everywhere.

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A dye is a colored substance that has an affinity to the substrate to which it is being applied. The dye is generally applied in an aqueous solution, and requires a mordant to improve the fastness of the dye on the fiber.

Both dyes and pigments appear to be colored because they absorb some wavelengths of light more than others. In contrast with a dye, a pigment generally is insoluble, and has no affinity for the substrate. Some dyes can be precipitated with an inert salt to produce a lake pigment, and based on the salt used they could be aluminum lake, calcium lake or barium lake pigments.

Dyed flax fibers have been found in the Republic of Georgia dated back in a prehistoric cave to 36,000 BP. Archaeological evidence shows that, particularly in India and Phoenicia, dyeing has been widely carried out for over 5000 years. The dyes were obtained from animal, vegetable or mineral origin, with no or very little processing. By far the greatest source of dyes has been from the plant kingdom, notably roots, berries, bark, leaves and wood, but only a few have ever been used on a commercial scale.

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