Posts

January 27, 2015

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11:15 PM | Engineer receives NSF CAREER award for nanotechnology research, educational outreach
A prestigious award will support a Kansas State University engineer's research on nanosheets and will help organize educational activities for high school students and teachers.
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11:10 PM | Rapid response to Ebola grant
Health care workers must diagnose and isolate Ebola victims at an early stage to have a chance to save them and prevent the virus from spreading. But the most sensitive and quickest diagnostic test produces a small percentage of false negative results that undermine efforts to control the deadly agent. A $100,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant has been awarded to develop a method to reduce the risk of the virus going undetected.
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8:08 PM | Food Chemistry – The Maillard Reaction
There’s one chemical reaction that, whether you have an interest in chemistry or not, we all carry out on a regular, maybe even daily, basis. That reaction? The Maillard Reaction. This is a process that takes place whenever you cook a range of foods – it’s responsible for the flavours in cooked meat, fried onions, […]
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4:58 PM | Chemistry Photo-Op
Carrying high-resolution cameras in our collective pockets has spawned a new age of lab photography. Witness Chemistry in Pictures, the official American Chemical Society Tumblr site. There you’ll find mazelike porphyrin crystals (below), glowing TLC plates, and ultralight aerogels poised atop fragile flowers. Credit: Anna Slater | Chemical & Engineering News TumblrWant to dive even deeper into the laboratory? Kristof Hegedus has you covered: his aptly-named site Photos from an […]
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4:46 PM | New pathway to valleytronics
A potential avenue to quantum computing currently generating quite the buzz in the high-tech industry is 'valleytronics', in which information is coded based on the wavelike motion of electrons moving through certain two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors. Now, a promising new pathway to valleytronic technology has been uncovered.
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4:39 PM | The laser pulse that gets shorter all by itself
Ultrashort laser pulses have become an indispensable tool for atomic and molecular research; a new technology makes creating short infrared pulses easy and cheap.
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2:09 PM | Chemistry Bumper Cars, 2015-2016
In the age of Google and Glassdoor, hiring has become a year-round activity. Postdocs and grads alike should keep their ears to the wall, since nowadays any group meeting could list "Relocation" on the agenda...From June 2014 - December 2014, comments, search engines, rumours, and tweets noted 50 faculty moves and 119 new faculty starts for academic chemists. I've started another page simply because the flow hasn't stopped; perhaps I should start up a database for next year?**Know of […]
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1:11 PM | A Nudge Towards "Scrudge"
Last night, while I trudged through Alexander Shulgin's seminal work* PiHKAL, I came upon scrudge, a fantastic heretofore-unknown-to-me term for a very common phenomenon:Love this word: "Scrudge." Defined in the #PiHKAL appendix, meaning low-running TLC impurities that may hamper rxn monitoring.— See Arr Oh (@SeeArrOh) January 27, 2015Here's the reaction Shulgin attempted:And, in his own words (emphasis mine):"The elephant labored and brought forth a mouse. A lot of work for a […]
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11:33 AM | Nanowaste - Nanomaterial-containing products at the end of their life cycle
At the end of their product life cycle, nanomaterials can enter waste treat ment plants and landfills via diverse waste streams. Little, however, is known about how nanomaterials behave in the disposal phase and whether potential environmental or health risks arise. The current assumption is that stable nanoparticles are neither chemically nor physically altered in waste incineration plants and that they accumulate especially in the residues (e.g. slag). These residues are ultimately dumped. […]
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10:55 AM | Carbon nanoballs can greatly contribute to sustainable energy supply
Researchers have discovered that the insulation plastic used in high-voltage cables can withstand a 26 per cent higher voltage if nanometer-sized carbon balls are added. This could result in enormous efficiency gains in the power grids of the future, which are needed to achieve a sustainable energy system.
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10:22 AM | Solid Vs. Dissolved Sodium Chloride
Most commonly known as table salt or common salt and used as a condiment, sodium chloride (NaCl) is not only responsible for the salinity in the sea, but has vital metabolic functions in multicellular organisms, as the principal ions in extracellular fluids, such as blood. You can browse the different types of sodium chloride on [...]
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9:29 AM | Peptide nanoparticle delivery of oligonucleotide drugs into cells
Therapeutic oligonucleotide analogs represent a new and promising family of drugs that act on nucleic acid targets such as RNA or DNA; however, their effectiveness has been limited due to difficulty crossing the cell membrane. A new delivery approach based on cell-penetrating peptide nanoparticles can efficiently transport charge-neutral oligonucleotide analogs into cells.
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9:22 AM | 'Bulletproof' battery: Kevlar membrane for safer, thinner lithium rechargeables
New battery technology should be able to prevent the kind of fires that grounded Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2013. The innovation is an advanced barrier between the electrodes in a lithium-ion battery.
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12:50 AM | Changing course, Part 5: Asking & answering the tough questions
Previously biochembelle unexpectedly shared her plan to change career directions with her postdoc adviser. Would his admonitions change her mind? I hadn’t expected my adviser to necessarily embrace the idea. I had even anticipated some pushback. But I had not … Continue reading →

January 26, 2015

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9:24 PM | The ‘magic’ of the FA Cup
With all the FA cup matches that have taken place this last weekend there has been the usual hype about the ‘magic’ of the FA Cup. I suspect the reality is somewhat different for most premiership clubs, whose main concern is staying in the PL and maybe getting into the European places! For them it … Continue reading The ‘magic’ of the FA Cup →
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8:31 PM | Engineering self-assembling amyloid fibers
Researchers have come up with methods to manipulate natural proteins so that they self-assemble into amyloid fibrils.
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8:25 PM | Researchers use oxides to flip graphene conductivity
By demonstrating a new way to change the amount of electrons that reside in a given region within a piece of graphene, scientists have a proof-of-principle in making the fundamental building blocks of semiconductor devices using the 2D material.
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4:47 PM | Solid or liquid - the nanoparticle size matters
Researchers elucidate how the phase state of aerosol nanoparticles depends on their size.
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4:25 PM | What do you do when your interviewer is wrong?
From this week's letters to the editors, a great #chemjobs question:I read “Interviewing Insights” with interest, even though I don’t foresee having to go through that process again (C&EN, Nov. 3, 2014, page 20). As with most articles I’ve read on that subject over the years, it seems to cover most of the bases (and traps and pitfalls) except one. I haven’t yet seen an article on this subject that includes any mention of the following scenario, which I ran […]
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4:17 PM | So that's an interesting quote about IP stuff in China: "Even if they are published, they are difficult to duplicate.”
From an article in this week's C&EN by Maureen Rouhi on R&D in China: Evonik’s Chen contends that enforcement of IP rights is improving in China. He points to the establishment of three IP courts and moves to improve judicial transparency. However, Chen adds, “the situation in small cities and remote areas is still behind that in the big cities.” In a sign of better IP protection for Solvay, in December 2013 the company won an IP lawsuit in a Chinese […]
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4:10 PM | This week's C&EN
Lots of great reads in this week's C&EN:Ann Thayer's piece on CMOs and their work towards making APIs was a worthwhile read. I really liked Rick Mullin's piece on chemblogosphere merchant/stalwart P212121 and Quartzy.Interesting "Patent Picks" on hydraulic fracturing technology.Inspiring story on former ACS Scholar and current University of Pennsylvania professor Daniel Mindiola. (by Linda Wang)
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3:20 PM | Nanoshuttle wear and tear: It's the mileage, not the age
Researchers observed a molecular shuttle powered by kinesin motor proteins and found it to degrade when operating, marking the first time, they say, that degradation has been studied in detail in an active, autonomous nanomachine.
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3:16 PM | Electronic circuits with reconfigurable pathways closer to reality
Will it be possible one day to reconfigure electronic microchips however we want, even when they are in use? A recent discovery suggests as much. The researchers have demonstrated that it is possible to create conductive pathways several atoms wide in a material, to move them around at will and even to make them disappear.
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2:23 PM | Researchers make magnetic graphene
Researchers have found an ingenious way to induce magnetism in graphene while also preserving graphene's electronic properties. They have accomplished this by bringing a graphene sheet very close to a magnetic insulator - an electrical insulator with magnetic properties.
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2:14 PM | Entanglement on a chip: Breakthrough promises secure communications and faster computers
A team of scientists has developed, for the first time, a microscopic component that is small enough to fit onto a standard silicon chip that can generate a continuous supply of entangled photons.
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2:08 PM | King Tut and BPA
King Tut was in the news last week, or more correctly, his burial mask was (although I bet most people don't really know the difference). The breaking news is over a polymeric material and the incompetence of some conservators to do the right thing. Specifically, it is reported that his iconic beard broke off, and was hastily repaired with an epoxy."Three of the museum's conservators reached by telephone gave differing accounts of when the incident occurred last year, and whether the beard was […]
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2:02 PM | Chemists control structure to unlock magnetization and polarization simultaneously
Chemists have controlled the structure of a material to simultaneously generate both magnetisation and electrical polarisation, an advance which has potential applications in information storage and processing.
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1:57 PM | Visualizing interacting electrons in a molecule
Scientists have succeeded in directly imaging how electrons interact within a single molecule.
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1:49 PM | Nanodiamonds may provide more effective cancer treatment
A new study shows that when the chemotherapy drug Epirubicin is attached to nanodiamonds, the treatment is more effective and patients suffer from less side effects.
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1:43 PM | Detecting cancer at the atomic level
Igor Sokolov's nanoscale research could yield better ways to identify and track malignant cells.
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