Posts

September 24, 2014

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12:08 PM | The aspirin screen experiments
The aspirin screen experiment is a freely available digital resource. The interactive tool enables students to undertake an aspirin synthesis, perform recrystallisations, thin layer chromatography and modify experimental conditions to determine the effect on yield. This interactive resource introduces students to the aspirin synthesis and coaches them through the steps needed to complete a class […]
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11:24 AM | Taking advantage of graphene defects in security screening
A potential application in security screening: new theoretical model for estimation of electric current rectification in graphene.
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11:17 AM | 'Funnel' attracts bonding partners to biomolecule
New experimental technologies, such as terahertz absorption spectroscopy, pave the way for studies of the dynamics of water molecules surrounding biomolecules.
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10:57 AM | 135nm thin perovskite solar cells serve free lunch
Researchers have developed a new method for making perovskite solar cells worthy of attention.
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10:44 AM | Charge transport jamming in solar cells
Polymer researchers decipher the working mechanism of novel perovskite solar cells.
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10:14 AM | What is Nitric Acid?
Also known as aqua fortis or spirit of niter, nitric acid (HNO3) is a highly corrosive and hazardous compound. This colourless chemical is typically sold as a 53-68% solution suitable for most common applications, but higher concentrations, commonly referred to as fuming nitric acid, are also available. Most important physical and chemical properties Name: Nitric [...]
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8:52 AM | Magnetic field opens and closes nanovesicle
Chemists and physicists managed to open and close nanovesicles using a magnet. This process is repeatable and can be controlled remotely, allowing targeted drug transport in the body, for example.
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6:27 AM | Cheap nanocomposites for metal-mechanic and food industry
In Mexico, nanocomposites have been developed for the economical production of instruments directed to the metalworking industry in the region.
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5:57 AM | Stabilization of highly reactive reagents upon nanoscale encapsulation
Researchers have demonstrated that the radical initiators used widely in the synthesis of polymers and organic compounds can be remarkably stabilized against light irradiation and heat through encapsulation by a molecular capsule. They have also revealed that the stabilized initiators can be used for usual polymer synthesis.
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5:52 AM | Skin regeneration - Healing with nanofibrous hydrogels
Nanofibrous hydrogels applied to burn wounds can accelerate healing and enhance the regeneration of skin tissue.
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5:48 AM | Quantum spectroscopy of plasmonic nanostructures
Researchers overcome noise problems in ultrasensitive measurements of tiny amounts of compounds.
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5:43 AM | Genetic testing - Colorful nanoprobes make a simple test
Gold nanoparticles linked to single-stranded DNA create a simple but versatile genetic testing kit.
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5:39 AM | Nanocomposites toughen up for car, space and defense industries
An alternative fabrication route improves the properties of aluminum-based nanocomposites with great potential for vehicles of the future.
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2:16 AM | Facebook Updates While Homeless and in Rehab
This post is part of a collaborative narrative series composed of my writing and Chris Arnade’s photos exploring issues of addiction, poverty, prostitution and urban anthropology in Hunts... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

September 23, 2014

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7:21 PM | Breaking News: Fish Confused by Optical Illusions
Despite the sarcastic title, this work is pretty neat. In a recent Scientific Reports paper (open access, yay!), researchers from the University of Padua in Italy found that fish pretty much see the world as we do, as least when talking about motion illusions. If you’ve spent time as a child, you’re probably familiar with optical illusions […]
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2:07 PM | EdX class in medicinal chemistry
Just like last February, Professor Erland Stevens of Davidson College is teaching a class on medicinal chemistry on EdX. Here's a brief syllabus:The edX course (Medicinal Chemistry) starts October 13th and runs eight weeks. Cost: free with both free and for-pay certification optionsPrerequisites: general chemistry (binding energies, intermolecular forces), some organic chemistry (line-angle structures and functional groups), knowledge of cell parts and functions, comfort with […]
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2:01 PM | I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.
Robert Platt from Northwestern has used a new technology created by Edward Adelson from MIT to make a robot that plugs in USBs. This is more difficult than it sounds (unless you’ve had experience with fourth-dimensional USBs, then it’s exactly as difficult as it sounds). If the robot is not pre-programmed, like these on-the-fly USB pluggers, […]
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7:42 AM | Nano-Sensors: Small size, big impact
If you took high school chemistry, you might remember using pH indicator strips. You’d take a piece of the specially treated paper, dip it in your solution, and watch it change color depending on whether you had an acid or base. At the time, you might have been more excited by the fact that the […]
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2:08 AM | Honing Halophilicity
Let's say you have a late-stage drug candidate, with an alcohol, an olefin, and a pyridine. Now you toss in one equivalent of a chlorinating reagent.Which functional group gets halogenated first?Babak Borhan and colleagues from Michigan State and Dow may have your answer. In a recent JACS full article, they disclose the HalA (halenium affinity) scale, a DFT-calculated delta to describe the relative reactivity of various groups to an incoming halogen source. They back up their calculations […]
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1:49 AM | The Unspeakable Stillness of HIV
This post is part of a collaborative narrative series composed of my writing and Chris Arnade’s photos exploring issues of addiction, poverty, prostitution and urban anthropology in Hunts... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:33 AM | WWWTP - Lab Signs Edition
From the Sept 2014 issue of Wired magazine:I understand that magazines require flashy, highly-posed photographs to move copy.That said, did no one in the Editor's office notice all the warnings on that hood sash?They read:"Wear proper PPE (Goggles, Gloves, Protective Clothing)""Always properly label your chemicals, including your initials. Any unknowns will be disposed of as Hazardous Waste""NO STORAGE"As far as I can tell, the researcher pictured is in violation of all three signs.
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1:21 AM | WWWTP? SciAm Epigenetics Edition
From the August 2014 issue of Scientific American:This illustration hurts on a few levels. "Methyl" and "Acetyl" are functional groups - common clusters of atoms that appear in larger molecules - not themselves chemicals, per se. If the methyl were actually represented by this red ball, it wouldn't be quite so large (it's only four atoms), nor would it be attached at the outside of the sugar backbone (it's on the nucleobases themselves).Did no one see last year's Discover infographic? At least […]

September 22, 2014

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10:43 PM | 100 chemists on Twitter
This is not a list of the top 100 chemists on Twitter. For a start, I’m not really comfortable defining ‘top’. Most followers? Most tweets? Shiniest avatar? Funniest bio? Most well-known in the real world? (Define ‘well-known’ and ‘real world’, … Continue reading →
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8:38 PM | What Makes Jam Set? – The Chemistry of Jam-Making
If you’ve ever tried your hand at jam-making, you’ll know that it’s something of a tricky process. A number of factors need to be just right to achieve a perfectly set jam – and chemistry can help explain why. There are three key chemical entities that go into jam-making: sugar, pectin, and acids. Here, we’ll […]
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7:24 PM | White Tea Inhibits Proliferation of Colon Cancer Cells
I was searching for journals about new research within cosmetic chemistry when I came across this journal about white tea. This is the first time I have heard about white tea. Black, green and herbal teas are the most renowned teas that everybody hears of and green tea has been getting a lot of good media coverage for its anti-oxidant properties. White tea (biological name: Camellia
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6:31 PM | War on Cancer: Tumors as Ecological Systems
By: Ross Keller, 4th year PhD candidate in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program The War on Cancer series has so far covered: How Can We Win?, Targeted Therapy, and Tumor Relapse. In this fourth part of the War on Cancer, I will discuss a phenomenon that has only recently been pushed to the forefront of cancer biology, and…
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5:30 PM | New chip promising for tumor-targeting research
Researchers have developed a chip capable of simulating a tumor's 'microenvironment' and plan to use the new system to test the effectiveness of nanoparticles and drugs that target cancer.
Editor's Pick
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3:56 PM | Graphene imperfections key to creating hypersensitive 'electronic nose'
Researchers have discovered a way to create a highly sensitive chemical sensor based on the crystalline flaws in graphene sheets. The imperfections have unique electronic properties that the researchers were able to exploit to increase sensitivity to absorbed gas molecules by 300 times.
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3:55 PM | What if the Manhattan Project had been like an Alzheimer's disease drug discovery project
The vast K-25 gaseous diffusion plant at Oak Ridge - anengineering endeavor (Image: Nuclear Secrecy Blog)Every once in a while you will find someone comparing a major scientific or technological challenge to the Manhattan Project - among such comparisons would be the Human Genome Project and the Brain Map Initiative. It's also not unheard of for drug discovery being uttered in the same breath as the Manhattan project; for instance administrators and scientists have been calling for […]
Editor's Pick
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3:50 PM | Engineers show light can play seesaw at the nanoscale
Discovery is another step toward faster and more energy-efficient optical devices for computation and communication.
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