Keyword: chemistry

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  • 'Tennessine' acknowledges state institutions' roles in element's discovery

    12/02/2016 4:39:37 AM PST · by bert · 20 replies
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory ^ | November 30, 2016 | Bill Cabbage
    The recently discovered element 117 has been officially named "tennessine" in recognition of Tennessee’s contributions to its discovery, including the efforts of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and its Tennessee collaborators at Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee. "The presence of tennessine on the Periodic Table is an affirmation of our state's standing in the international scientific community, including the facilities ORNL provides to that community as well as the knowledge and expertise of the laboratory's scientists and technicians," ORNL Director Thom Mason said.

    08/15/2016 12:30:53 PM PDT · by C19fan · 30 replies
    Hot Air ^ | August 15, 2016 | Steven Hayward
    Did you know there is an International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry? Neither did I, but of course it exists, for there really is no crazy identity politics “intersection” that doesn’t have its own journal read by dozens. The IJPC recently offered up a two-part article on “Gender in the Substance of Chemistry,” by Agnes Kovacs, who you will be unsurprised to learn is a professor of gender studies at Central European University in Hungary. Part 1 considers “the ideal gas,” which will certainly prompt a number of obvious suggestions from our regular commenters:
  • How is Ammonium chloride different that mixing ammonia and chlorine?

    08/13/2016 10:53:00 AM PDT · by rey · 33 replies
    I know never to mix cleaners and to certainly never mix ammonia and chlorine but many cleaners contain ammonium chloride. Is this not essentially ammonia and chlorine? If not, how does it differ? If it is similar, what is done to it so it doesn't kill the user? I am obviously not a chemist and have merely an nodding acquaintance with the periodic table, so I would ask that your explanations be simplified as much as possible, as Einstein said, "As simple as possible but no simpler." Thanks
  • Science Saturday: A Little Hydrogen Bonding

    03/19/2016 7:40:20 AM PDT · by NOBO2012 · 7 replies
    Michelle Obama's Mirror ^ | 3-19-2016 | MOTUS
    I see that a new type of hydrogen bond has been discovered.  Series HHNo, not a Wall Street instrument, some kind of new-fangled chemistry discovery: An entirely new class of hydrogen bond that forms between a boron–hydrogen group and the aromatic, π-electron system of a benzene ring has been discovered. – Chemistry World I can’t even pretend to know what that means. Maybe Janice the Elder can help us out.So what’s up in the world of science anyway? First we had to deal with the detection of gravitational waves a few weeks ago and now…new hydrogen bonds! I’m confused by all these...
  • When Will We Reach the End of the Periodic Table?

    02/02/2016 4:29:12 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 78 replies
    Smithsonian ^ | 19 Jan, 2016 | Devin Powell
    Chemistry teachers recently had to update their classroom decor, with the announcement that scientists have confirmed the discovery of four new elements on the periodic table. The as-yet unnamed elements 113, 115, 117 and 118 filled in the remaining gaps at the bottom of the famous chart-a roadmap of matter's building blocks that has successfully guided chemists for nearly a century and a half. The official confirmation, granted by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), was years in the making, as these superheavy elements are highly unstable and tough to create. But scientists had strong reason to...
  • Chemistry Set

    12/18/2015 10:08:29 AM PST · by rey · 59 replies
    Where can you get a REAL chemistry set like we did in the 60s and earlier?
  • Chemistry Friends Lanthanum chloride hydrate

    08/07/2015 10:07:11 AM PDT · by rey · 15 replies
    I have a water feature I care for at work. This feature has an algae problem. I have put in ridiculous quantities of chlorine and acid with little effect. I believe the problem is due to a compost in the landscaping that is blowing into the feature. I think the compost is high in phosphate and is causing the resistant algae. The chemical store recommends a product that has lanthanum chloride hydrate. I need to know if this is harmful to animals as the owner's dog drinks and goes into this feature. Also, the feature drains into a cow pasture....
  • Breakthrough Molecular 3D Printer Can Print Billions of Possible Compounds

    03/14/2015 9:58:12 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 21 replies
    3D Print ^ | March 13, 2015 | Brian Krassenstein
    What will 3D printers ultimately evolve into? No one has a functioning crystal ball in front of them I assume, but a good guess would be a machine which can practically build anything its user desire, all on the molecular, and eventually atomic levels. Sure we are likely multiple decades away from widespread molecular manufacturing, but a group of chemists led by medical doctor Martin D. Burke at the University of Illinois may have already taken a major step in that direction. Burke, who joined the Department of Chemistry at the university in 2005, heads up Burke Laboratories where he...
  • This Chemistry 3D Printer Can Synthesize Molecules From Scratch

    03/13/2015 5:55:35 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 11 replies
    Popular Mechanics ^ | March 12, 2015 | William Herkewitz
    Need an obscure medicinal compound found only in a jungle plant? Just print it.Say you're a medical researcher interested in a rare chemical produced in the roots of a little-known Peruvian flower. It's called ratanhine, and it's valuable because it has some fascinating anti-fungal properties that might make for great medicines. Getting your hands on the rare plant is hard, and no chemical supplier is or has ever sold it. But maybe, thanks to the work of University of Illinois chemist Martin Burke, you could print it right in the lab. In a new study published in the journal Science...
  • Complex organic molecule found in interstellar space

    09/30/2014 4:03:21 PM PDT · by Natufian · 20 replies
    BBC ^ | 09/26/14 | Michael Eyre
    Scientists have found the beginnings of life-bearing chemistry at the centre of the galaxy. Iso-propyl cyanide has been detected in a star-forming cloud 27,000 light-years from Earth. Its branched carbon structure is closer to the complex organic molecules of life than any previous finding from interstellar space.
  • Air Show Math

    09/14/2014 8:19:53 PM PDT · by rey · 72 replies
    Vanity | 14 Sept. 2014 | Rey
    I home school a young girl. In years past, we have gone to the local air show and done such things as measure the tops and bottom of wings and rotos and figure the ratio or difference between the area of the top of the wing versus the bottom and estimated which wings had more lift than others. We measure how much area the wheels occupied on the ground and consulted with the crew chief what the tire pressure was and calculated the weight of the plane. In years past we were able to see F18s form a vapor cone...
  • Organic synthesis: The robo-chemist (3D molecular printers, anyone?)

    08/10/2014 9:10:16 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 7 replies
    Nature ^ | 8/6/14 | Mark Peplow
    The race is on to build a machine that can synthesize any organic compound. It could transform chemistry.In faded photographs from the 1960s, organic-chemistry laboratories look like an alchemist's paradise. Bottles of reagents line the shelves; glassware blooms from racks of wooden pegs; and scientists stoop over the bench as they busily build molecules. Fast-forward 50 years, and the scene has changed substantially. A lab in 2014 boasts a battery of fume cupboards and analytical instruments — and no one is smoking a pipe. But the essence of what researchers are doing is the same. Organic chemists typically plan their...
  • Kevlar Inventor Stephanie Kwolek Dead at 90

    06/20/2014 12:05:59 PM PDT · by Kartographer · 4 replies
    GMA via Yahho News ^ | 6/20/14 | ALYSSA NEWCOMB
    As one of the few pioneering female chemists in the 1960s, Stephanie Kwolek invented the flexible, tougher than steel fibers that were used to create life-saving body armor for law enforcement and soldiers. Kwolek died this week at the age of 90, her co-workers at DuPont, the chemical company where Kwolek worked, confirmed to ABC News. "She leaves a wonderful legacy of thousands of lives saved and countless injuries prevented by products made possible by her discovery," DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman said in a statement.
  • New type of microengine using internal combustion of hydrogen and oxygen

    03/13/2014 11:23:48 AM PDT · by Kevmo · 5 replies
    MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, ^ | March 2014 | Vitaly B. Svetovoy*1,2, Remco G. P. Sanders1, Kechun Ma1 & Miko C. Elwenspoek1,3
    New type of microengine using internal combustion of hydrogen and oxygen Vitaly B. Svetovoy*1,2, Remco G. P. Sanders1, Kechun Ma1 & Miko C. Elwenspoek1,3 MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, PO 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands ( 2Institute of Physics and Technology, Yaroslavl Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 150007,Yaroslavl, Russia 3FRIAS, University of Freiburg, 79104 Freiburg, Germany Microsystems become part of everyday life but their application is restricted by lack of strong and fast motors (actuators) converting energy into motion. For example, widespread internal combustion engines cannot be scaled down because combustion reactions are quenched in a small...
  • Mass spec backpack for chemical analysis on the go

    03/05/2014 2:55:52 PM PST · by neverdem · 7 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 4 March 2014 | Emma Stoye
    The Mini S analyser may look like something out of Ghostbusters but it is designed for use in hazardous locations © ACSThe latest gadget to come out of the labs of Purdue University in the US may look like the fictional ‘proton pack’ from Ghostbusters, but it’s actually a portable mass spectrometer that can be carried around on the user’s back. While it can’t capture an unruly poltergeist, the team who developed it say it could be a useful tool for environmental and forensic monitoring, and have shown it can identify chemical weapons, drugs and explosives.Most mass spectrometry happens in...
  • Fuel cells put in the frame with catalysts that need far less platinum

    03/01/2014 10:05:03 AM PST · by neverdem · 6 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 28 February 2014 | Tim Wogan
    The platinum nanoframes have 22 times the sepcific catalytic activity of standard electrodes © Science/AAASUS scientists have created an exceptional fuel cell catalyst that contains far less platinum – conventional catalysts need 36 times more platinum to hit the same levels of activity. The manufacturing process, which was discovered by accident, uses simple techniques that the researchers believe can be easily scaled-up. The work could help to make fuel cells economically viable for applications such as cars as the precious metal makes up much of the cost of the cell.Fuel cells react hydrogen with oxygen to produce water, using the...
  • Will Courts Lift Veil of Secrecy Around Lethal Injections?

    02/27/2014 10:45:17 PM PST · by CorporateStepsister · 15 replies
    NBC News ^ | February 28, 2014 | By Pete Williams
    Despite growing controversy over the use of anonymous pharmacies for lethal injections, the U.S. Supreme Court has thus far declined to block any executions based on 11th-hour appeals challenging the drug connections. That includes the case of Michael Taylor, a convicted rapist and murderer who was put to death at 12:10 a.m. Wednesday in Missouri after a furious legal battle that stretched well into the night. It's worth nothing, however, that three high court justices wanted to block Taylor's execution and cited the words of an appeals judge who said so little was known about the source of the deadly...
  • Chemistry set Kickstarter looks to recapture the wonder of days gone by

    11/23/2013 8:47:19 AM PST · by AdmSmith · 100 replies ^ | Nov 14, 2013 | Graham Templeton
    The phrase “chemistry set” is embedded in the collective unconscious, but try to actually call one to mind. What does a chemistry set look like? What does it include? What can you do with it? If you’re anything close to being a millennial, you probably have only vague answers to these questions. If you’re a little older, however, you probably remember one of the classic sets that is responsible for our powerful (if nonspecific) connection to the concept of a chemistry set. Chief among these, in many people’s eyes, is the Gilbert Chemistry Set, which inspired untold numbers of young...
  • Scientists Create Terminator 2-Like Material That Heals Itself

    09/16/2013 7:33:55 PM PDT · by DogByte6RER · 20 replies
    DVICE ^ | Monday, September 16, 2013 | Robin Burks
    Scientists Create Terminator 2-Like Material That Heals Itself ... (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Technological Singularity) In Terminator 2, the T-1000 android was blown nearly in two, only to mend itself by pulling its mercury-like substance back together. Scientists have long been working on creating a polymer to do the same thing, but previous research always required an external factor (like temperature or pressure) to work. Scientists at the CIDETEC Center for Electrochemical Technologies in Spain succeeded where other scientists have failed: they've invented a plastic polymer that will heal itself all on its own....
  • Contains Loud Bangs - Periodic Table of Videos {video only]

    08/28/2013 5:34:10 PM PDT · by servo1969 · 4 replies ^ | 8-28-2013 | Periodic Videos
    It's detonation vs deflagration. More slow motion at More chemistry at us on Facebook at on Twitter at the School of Chemistry at The University of Nottingham: Periodic Videos films are by video journalist Brady Haran: Brady's other channels include: (Physics and astronomy) (Numbers and maths) (Space stuff) (Science and behind the scenes) (Food science) (Big science facilities) (Favourite scientists) (Academic look at the Bible) (Modern language and culture) (Philosophy stuff) Thanks to Destin from smartereveryday for helping us out!!!
  • Ball lightning captured in the lab

    08/22/2013 8:20:43 PM PDT · by neverdem · 19 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 21 August 2013 | James Urquhart
    US researchers have developed a new way to create glowing orbs of plasma similar to ball lightning in the lab, allowing them to study their chemical and physical properties. The work could help scientists unravel the mysteries of this very rare natural phenomenon.Ball lightning has been known for millennia, but its rarity and short lived nature – typically lasting between 1 and 10 seconds – has prevented it from being studied and understood. In recent years, however, lab experiments that mimic ball lightning have been developed.One method involves a glowing discharge produced above an aqueous electrolyte solution. However, high...
  • Upsalite: Scientists make 'impossible material'... by accident

    08/15/2013 8:47:20 AM PDT · by neverdem · 49 replies ^ | August 13th, 2013 | NA
    Enlarge Credit: Simon Ydhag, Uppsala University Credit: Simon Ydhag, Uppsala UniversityResearchers in Uppsala, Sweden accidentally left a reaction running over the weekend and ended up resolving a century-old chemistry problem. Their work has led to the development of a new material, dubbed Upsalite, with remarkable water-binding properties. Upsalite promises to find applications in everything from humidity control at home to chemical manufacturing in industry.Maria Strřmme and colleagues at Uppsala University, whose work appears in the journal PLOS ONE, have modified a procedure dating back to 1908 to make a powdered and dry form of magnesium carbonate (MgCO3). The reaction...
  • Synthetic Cactus Needles Could Clean Up Oil Spills

    08/12/2013 9:36:59 AM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 2013-08-06 | Jennifer Wong
    Leica DM4000M microscopySuper sucker. Copper needles could help remove oil from the ocean. Researchers looking for a better way to clean up oil spills are taking a cue from the humble cactus. A new study shows that synthetic needles based on those of the desert plant can take up oil droplets from the ocean much as the cactus takes up water from the air.Cactus needles have a curious effect on water. When tiny water droplets in the air land on them, the needlesÂ’ conical shape distorts them, nudging them into a clamlike shape. Because water droplets like to be circular,...
  • Press P to print

    07/23/2013 11:17:17 PM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 25 June 2013 | Katharine Sanderson
    The use of 3D printers to create lab equipment, deliver reagents and even build biomaterials is on the rise. Katharine Sanderson installs drivers and prints away © Frank WojciechowskiThe latest piece of cool technology at the top of every self-confessed geek’s wish list is quite likely to be a 3D printer. Who wouldn’t want the wherewithal to print a range of gadgets on a whim, from plastic toys to a spare pair of glasses or even pizza? And now seems like the perfect time to splash out on your own 3D printer: companies like MakerBot are selling 3D printers...
  • Two-photon microscopy: New research may help drastically reduce cost of powerful microscope...

    06/29/2013 12:04:25 PM PDT · by neverdem · 4 replies ^ | Apr 21, 2013 | NA
    Two-photon microscopy: New research may help drastically reduce cost of powerful microscope technique Enlarge The same section of a mouse brain imaged with a femtosecond laser (above) and a much weaker laser but the new dye (below). ( —A dye-based imaging technique known as two-photon microscopy can produce pictures of active neural structures in much finer detail than functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, but it requires powerful and expensive lasers. Now, a research team at the University of Pennsylvania has developed a new kind of dye that could reduce the cost of the technique by several orders of magnitude....
  • Ionic liquid formulation improves herbicide

    06/28/2013 9:52:19 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 28 June 2013 | Helen Potter
    Scientists in Poland and the US have reformulated the herbicide dicamba to reduce its environmental impact.© Shutterstock The use of chemicals in agriculture is widespread, however, there are increasing concerns about their other environmental effects. Dicamba, used to control broadleaf weeds in grain fields and grasslands, is known to enter the environment via water runoff and evaporation following its application.In an attempt to reduce its volatility, a team led by Robin Rogers, from the University of Alabama, and Juliusz Pernak, from Poznan University of Technology, has formulated dicamba as an ionic liquid. Ionic liquids are liquid salts, consisting of a...
  • Artificial 'superatoms' for a new periodic table

    06/09/2013 12:09:23 AM PDT · by neverdem · 20 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 7 June 2013 | Simon Hadlington
    'Superatoms' can be used to make ionic-esque lattices using C60 (black) and metal chalcogenides © Science/AAASCould a new periodic table be on the horizon, populated not by conventional elements but by new ‘superatoms’ designed in the lab? This is the intriguing implication of new work by US chemists, who have made structural analogues of simple ionic compounds such as sodium chloride and cadmium iodide by interacting large molecular clusters instead of individual atoms.The new compounds have unexpected electronic and magnetic properties, opening the prospect for the design of bespoke solid state materials whose properties can be tuned by the...
  • Haemoglobin mimic mops up cyanide

    06/04/2013 11:31:53 PM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 3 June 2013 | Emma Stoye
    The supramolecule mimics the structure of haemoglobin (below) with iron(III) at it's centre © Wiley-VCHJapanese researchers have created a supramolecule that binds to cyanide ions in a similar way to the blood protein haemoglobin. This could pave the way for faster, more effective cyanide antidotes.The effects of cyanide poisoning are well known to fans of spy stories and murder mysteries. It rapidly shuts down respiration, and high doses can kill in a matter of minutes. Every year, industrial accidents result in several cases of cyanide poisoning, and there is growing concern that it could be used in a terrorist...
  • Sugar solution to toxic gold recovery

    05/21/2013 1:42:33 PM PDT · by neverdem · 7 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 15 May 2013 | James Urquhart
    The specific self-assembly between α-cyclodextrin and KAuBr4 leads to the precipitation of nanowires © Dennis CaoUS researchers have discovered a way to selectively isolate and recover gold from raw materials, including alloys, using a simple sugar derived from corn starch. The work could offer a greener and cheaper alternative to conventional processes, which use cyanide and often result in environmental contamination.Gold is typically recovered from mined ore and waste materials, including electronic waste, using highly poisonous cyanide to convert gold into a water-soluble coordination complex through a process known as leaching. But while effective, this process poses a risk...
  • Mineral dust plays key role in cloud formation and chemistry

    05/10/2013 11:29:47 PM PDT · by neverdem · 12 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 9 May 2013 | Simon Hadlington
    Scientists flew a plane into high up cirrus clouds and used a sampler that resembled a hair dryer to examine cloud formation © Karl FroydMineral dust that swirls up into the atmosphere from Earth’s surface plays a far more important role in both cloud formation and cloud chemistry than was previously realised. The findings will feed into models of cloud formation and chemistry to help produce more accurate assessments of the role of clouds in climate change.Relatively little is understood about the formation of cirrus clouds, wispy ‘horsetails’ that are made of ice crystals and form at extremely high altitudes...
  • Understanding defects in graphene

    05/10/2013 10:09:26 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 9 May 2013 | Emma Stoye
    The products of thermally exfoliating graphite oxide to make graphene are much more complex than previously thought, new research shows. The volatile compounds formed vary with reaction conditions, and may influence the graphene’s structure.The most common way to prepare graphene is by thermally reducing – or ‘exfoliating’ – graphite oxide. But the graphene produced often contains defects and lacks the perfect honeycomb structure. One explanation is that these defects may be the result of organic by-products forming and escaping as gases during the reaction.‘It has been commonly believed that the only gaseous products of graphite oxide exfoliation are water, carbon...
  • Device Sniffs Out Black Powder Explosives

    05/04/2013 5:21:22 PM PDT · by neverdem · 12 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 3 May 2013 | Sam Lemonick
    Enlarge Image Deadly powder. New technology could help bomb-sniffing devices spot black powder. Credit: Lord Mountbatten/Wikimedia Commons The Boston marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev reportedly purchased several pounds of black powder explosive before the bombing. Used in fireworks and bullets, the explosive substance is both deadly and widely available. It's also very hard to detect. Now, researchers have modified one bomb-sniffing device to accurately spot very small amounts of black powder, an advance that could make us safer from future attacks. Invented in China as early as the 7th century, black powder is a mixture of charcoal, sulfur,...
  • Felony Science - Making stuff explode is a seductive way to become a scientist.

    05/04/2013 4:32:31 PM PDT · by neverdem · 39 replies
    Slate ^ | May 3, 2013 | Michelle M. Francl
    Sixteen-year-old Kiera Wilmot’s curiosity was apparently piqued when a friend told her that if you mixed hydrochloric acid and aluminum, an exciting reaction happened. So she did what countless amateur chemists before her have done: She went ahead and tried it. She mixed toilet bowl cleaner—essentially colored hydrochloric acid—and balls of aluminum foil in a small water bottle. The top of the bottle blew off with a satisfying bang, and there was even a puff of smoke. Unfortunately, Kiera got more excitement than she bargained for. When a teenage Oliver Sacks experimented with explosive reactions of aluminum in his basement...
  • (Florida) Teen Girl Expelled, Charged With a Felony After Science Experiment Goes Awry

    05/02/2013 9:48:34 AM PDT · by Zakeet · 66 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | May 2, 2013
    Science experiments don't always go the way they are intended. This, a 16-year-old Florida teenager knows all too well. This week, Kiera Wilmot went to school and mixed some household chemicals in a tiny 8-ounce water bottle. It looked like a simple chemistry project but then the top popped off when a small explosion occurred. Wilmot, who is in good standing as a student, said it was an accident. The Bartow High School principal told a local television station that the teen made a “bad choice” and called her a a good kid who has never previously been in trouble....
  • Colour changing nanoparticles inspired by deep sea denizens

    04/24/2013 7:41:26 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 24 April 2013 | James Urquhart
    Cuttlefishes' camouflage skills have many admirersInspired by the camouflage abilities of marine organisms, such as the cuttlefish, US researchers have created striped ellipsoid particles using controlled self-assembly of diblock copolymers. By swelling and rotating the particles their colour can be changed, which could lead to a variety of optical applications including computer displays and better camouflage.Cuttlefish blend into their environment because their skin has cells containing striped structures. These structures have a layer of pigmented sacs called chromatophores and a layer of reflecting plates called iridophores. By contracting and relaxing muscles attached to chromatophores they can control the amount of...
  • Court convicts ex-Aptuit researcher over drug data

    03/22/2013 3:34:20 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 21 March 2013 | Andy Extance
    A UK court has found a man guilty of illegally altering pre-clinical trial data. Steven Eaton, a former employee at drug discovery and development firm Aptuit’s Riccarton site in Scotland, produced flawed data over six years. This is the first case of someone being successfully prosecuted under current Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) Regulations. A spokesman for the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) underlines how unusual this is. ‘This type of activity is very rare and, based on the results of a significant number of inspections, we have no evidence to indicate the problem is widespread,’ he tells...
  • A biomass bonanza

    03/18/2013 7:43:05 AM PDT · by neverdem · 1 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 21 February 2013 | Emma Davies
    Companies have put biofuels on the back burner to aim for higher margin chemicals, as Emma Davies finds out Tom Welton gives the wooden desk in his office a sharp rap with his knuckles. ‘That’s the sound of lignin,’ he says, grinning. ‘Have you seen its structure? It’s beautiful, full of aromatics, lovely compounds that make you think: I could make something useful from this.’Welton, who is head of chemistry at Imperial College London, UK, views lignin – the ‘really hard stuff’ that protects plants from biological attack – as a valuable source of renewable speciality chemicals. His group has...
  • Deadly mushroom chemistry

    03/17/2013 7:22:25 PM PDT · by neverdem · 61 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 13 March 2013 | Emma Shiells
    Can you tell the difference between a tasty paddy straw mushroom and a toxic death cap? Emma Shiells talks to the experts about the potentially deadly chemistry hidden in those gills Death cap mushrooms are, as the name suggests, deadly © Science Photo LibraryOn a damp and drizzly autumnal morning you may think there are better places to be than foraging in the undergrowth of an orchard, but amateur mushroom hunters are sure to disagree with you. Martin Newcombe, an ecologist and fungi enthusiast, is one of those hooked.‘The fact that fungi can grow so quickly makes them fascinating,’ says...
  • Recycling rare earth elements using ionic liquids

    03/17/2013 4:07:52 PM PDT · by neverdem · 8 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 15 March 2013 | Ian Farrell
    © Science Photo LibraryRecycling old magnets, so that rare-earth metals can be re-used, could help to solve an urgent raw material supply problem in the electronics industry. Researchers from the University of Leuven, Belgium, have used ionic liquids to separate neodymium and samarium from transition metals like iron, manganese and cobalt – all elements that are used in the construction of permanent rare-earth magnets, which are found in electronic devices ranging from hard drives to air conditioners and wind turbines.‘The process involves the liquid-liquid extraction of rare-earth metals from the other elements present in neodymium-iron-boron and samarium-cobalt magnets,’ explains Koen...
  • Chemical velcro sticks underwater

    02/14/2013 5:32:27 PM PST · by neverdem · 4 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 14 February 2013 | James Urquhart
    Ferrocene 'hooks' (yellow) fit into cucurbituril 'loops' (grey) to hold the two sheets of silicon together © Wiley-VCHSouth Korean scientists have developed a chemical velcro that shows promise as a strong and reversible underwater adhesive. The team suggests it could have many applications that require controllable adhesion in aqueous environments.Previous efforts to create underwater adhesives have mainly focused on biomimetic catechol-based polymers that are secreted by marine organisms, including mussels. However, these require curing agents and work by covalent crosslinking, which results in permanent adhesion.Now, Kimoon Kim and colleagues at Pohang University of Science and Technology, have developed a reversible...
  • Nuclear detectives sniff out North Korea - Radioisotopes may provide key details on nuclear test.

    02/13/2013 2:50:15 AM PST · by neverdem · 4 replies
    Nature News ^ | 12 February 2013 | Geoff Brumfiel
    With this morning's announcement by North Korea that it has conducted its third nuclear test, experts are closely watching a network of seismic monitoring stations for hints of what sort of test it was. Ratios of radioisotopes could help to verify the explosion and perhaps even provide clues about the type of device detonated — but only if the radioactive gases can be identified before they decay. Seismic stations detected the underground blast at 9:57 a.m. local time. The data, from the US Geological Survey and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), showed a sudden, strong...
  • Richard III body found under Leicester car park

    02/07/2013 4:14:55 PM PST · by neverdem · 17 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 4 February 2013 | Patrick Walter
    The skeleton showing curvature of the spine (scoliosis) consistent with historical accounts © University of LeicesterThe mortal remains of England's warrior king Richard III have been found, bringing to a close a mystery that has puzzled scholars for centuries. Analytical tests on a skeleton found under a Leicester car park have confirmed the last resting place of the final king in the Plantagenet line.The announcement comes after months of feverish speculation. In September 2012, the University of Leicester announced that its detective work combing ancient texts had led its team to conclude that the King was buried at Greyfriars Monastery...
  • Mopping up oil spills with marshmallows (flexible aerogels)

    01/28/2013 8:46:48 PM PST · by neverdem · 10 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 22 January 2013 | James Urquhart
    Japanese researchers have developed a marshmallow-like material that can mop up hydrocarbons like a sponge and can then be wrung out.1 The work could one day lead to a cheap and simple solution for cleaning up large oil spills such as one that decimated the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Although similar materials have been made before, they have had shortcomings for large-scale clean-up operations including a lack of hydrophobicity, difficult or expensive production methods and an inability to be reused. Now, researchers at Kyoto University have made marshmallow-like macroporous gels that are free from all of these drawbacks.The...
  • Chemical climate proxies

    01/23/2013 10:04:25 PM PST · by neverdem · 8 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 23 January 2013 | Jon Evans
    With the climate change debate as heated as ever, how do scientists reconstruct what the weather was like in the past? Jon Evans looks at the detective chemistry behind such environmental forensic work © Pete Bucktrout/British Antarctic SurveyThe Earth is not particularly good at keeping records, especially of its past climate. Like those of a disorganised businessman, its climate records are difficult to find, hard to interpret and often contradictory. But like diligent auditors, scientists are making great efforts to get to the bottom of the Earth’s disorganised records, both to understand how the Earth’s climate behaved in the past...
  • The Marvelous Marie Curie

    01/18/2013 12:29:18 AM PST · by neverdem · 23 replies
    The New Atlantis ^ | Fall 2012 | Algis Valiunas
    Marie Curie (1867–1934) is not only the most important woman scientist ever; she is arguably the most important scientist all told since Darwin. Einstein? In theoretical brilliance he outshone her — but her breakthroughs, by Einstein’s own account, made his possible. She took part in the discovery of radioactivity, a term she coined; she identified it as an atomic property of certain elements. When scoffers challenged these discoveries, she meticulously determined the atomic weight of the radioactive element she had revealed to the world, radium, and thereby placed her work beyond serious doubt. Yet many male scientists of her day...
  • Cutting edge chemistry in 2012

    12/31/2012 5:49:22 PM PST · by neverdem · 9 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 20 December 2012 | Laura Howes
    I’ve been expecting you Mr Bond This year saw more work probing the nature of bonding. In Germany, Holger Braunschweig of Julius-Maximillians University in Würzberg, found that reacting a bis(N-heterocyclic carbene)-stabilised tetrabromodiborane with sodium naphthalene gave diborene or diboryne compounds with the world’s first stable boron–boron triple bond.1 Although boron has been an obvious target for triple bond creation, up until now the element has been reluctant and had only formed a triple bond at a chilly 8K. The new work, at room temperature, is distinctly warmer. The world's first stable germanium–oxygen double was created © NPG And if...
  • Unlocking New Talents in Nature: Protein Engineers Create New Biocatalysts

    12/30/2012 1:17:16 PM PST · by neverdem · 5 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | Dec. 20, 2012 | NA
    Protein engineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have tapped into a hidden talent of one of nature's most versatile catalysts. The enzyme cytochrome P450 is nature's premier oxidation catalyst -- a protein that typically promotes reactions that add oxygen atoms to other chemicals. Now the Caltech researchers have engineered new versions of the enzyme, unlocking its ability to drive a completely different and synthetically useful reaction that does not take place in nature. The new biocatalysts can be used to make natural products -- such as hormones, pheromones, and insecticides -- as well as pharmaceutical drugs, like antibiotics,...
  • Nanoparticle blast caught on film - Combustion could help to make minuscule matter.

    12/08/2012 9:09:00 PM PST · by neverdem · 4 replies
    NATURE NEWS ^ | 05 December 2012 | Eugenie Samuel Reich
    Explosive debut A droplet of xylene containing a tin compound is ignited, and then explodes to produce uniform nanoparticles (courtesy: Ch. Rosebrock & L. Mädler, Univ. Bremen). It was a pretty explosive premiere for a movie about a chemical reaction. A microscopic droplet drifted across the screen — almost in homage to the panning gun barrel of the James Bond movies — and then: bang! Scientists watching the scene last week at a meeting of the Materials Research Society (MRS) in Boston, Massachusetts, were gripped, because the death of the droplet was also an act of creation. Lutz Mädler, a...
  • New Chemical Reaction Could Explain How Stars Form, Evolve, and Eventually Die

    12/08/2012 8:44:00 PM PST · by neverdem · 16 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | December 7, 2012 | NA
    University of North Dakota scientist Mark Hoffmann's version of Star Search goes a long way -- a very long way -- out into the universe. Hoffmann, a computational chemist, and his colleagues Tryve Helgaker, a well-known Norwegian scientist, and co-authors E.I. Tellgren and K. Lange, also working in Norway, have discovered a molecular-level interaction that science had puzzled over for decades but had never seen. That discovery, it turns out, may redefine how science views chemical compound formation. It also answers questions about what goes on in places like white dwarfs, the super dense cores of stars nearing the end...
  • We don’t need no intuition

    12/06/2012 1:38:10 AM PST · by neverdem · 2 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 5 December 2012 | Neil Withers
    US scientists have developed a way to solve crystal structures that combines powerful computational methods with data from experiments or databases – but that does not require much human input. Previous computational methods to predict structures rarely use experimental data, take a long time and are limited to compounds with small unit cells. They also give structures that generally have lower symmetry than those which have been experimentally determined, suggesting that the answers may not be quite right.‘One of the dirty little secrets that people don’t generally talk about is that, with a lot of these methods, you always...