Posts

December 15, 2014

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6:33 AM | Picosun Enables ALD Production on Powders
Picosun Oy, a leading provider of high quality Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) equipment and solutions for global industries, now offers ALD systems for production-scale coating of powders.
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1:01 AM | Another year gone
This will be my last post for 2014, and as is customary at this time of the year, I thought I should survey what I thought were the highlights for me this year. I started this year with posts on how the ancients could have considered the heliocentric theory, largely to support my science fiction trilogy that I had written. The key here was to get this into the plot as a key element, and that gave me the chance to try to explain what I believe science is all about. Now the good news is I have […]

December 14, 2014

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2:40 PM | "Although the advantages and sometimes necessity of protein self-assembly are often clear, Lynch..."
“Although the advantages and sometimes necessity of protein self-assembly are often clear, Lynch (2013) cautioned that speculation on the functional benefits has often run ahead of the evidence. He emphasized that in some cases, nonadaptive, stochastic processes may adequately explain evolutionary variation in homomerization, so great care should be taken before ascribing an adaptive purpose to protein self-assembly (Lynch 2012, 2013). Furthermore, it seems that a strong propensity for […]
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1:05 PM | This Week in Chemistry: Controlling Weight Gain, & Smartphone Gas Detectors
Here’s the weekly summary of chemistry research and news, this week featuring stories on the development of a compound which could help prevent weight gain in overweight adults, and confirmation of a new form of ice. As always, links to further articles and original research papers are provided below, as well as links to further stories […]
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9:30 AM | Paper of the year 2014: Crystalline Sponge X-Ray
Quite a difficult choice this year, with so many quality papers published. My favourite paper is actually a short series dealing with x-ray structure determination but with a difference! The key publication was submitted by Prof. Fujita of the University of Tokyo to Nature last year with a follow-up to Nature Protocols this year. The methodology […]

December 13, 2014

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9:09 PM | Tea transitions
Tea bag is paper. Vapor is from phase transition of waterIntroductory chemistry at my college has a broad audience.  My students are not just potential chemistry major and pre-meds, but I teach geologists, art historians, psychologists and even students who simply want to know more about how the hidden world of atoms and molecules works.I tell them my job is to help them transition from being science students to scientists -- or rather into people who can critically assess and use the […]
Editor's Pick
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9:09 PM | Tea transitions
Tea bag is paper. Vapor is from phase transition of waterIntroductory chemistry at my college has a broad audience.  My students are not just potential chemistry major and pre-meds, but I teach geologists, art historians, psychologists and even students who simply want to know more about how the hidden world of atoms and molecules works.I tell them my job is to help them transition from being science students to scientists -- or rather into people who can critically assess and use the […]

December 12, 2014

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10:13 PM | Penn State’s attempt to auction off 112 of its 540 active...
Penn State’s attempt to auction off 112 of its 540 active patents was disappointing. Only two bids were publically placed, one purchasing a license for a “metal-electroactive ceramic composite transducer” for $5,000. Penn State is the first institution in the country to sell patent licenses through an online auction modeled after eBay. In fact this was their second attempt. In April 2014 the University sold only 2 of 73 engineering patents. The winning bidder received an […]
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10:13 PM | Penn State’s attempt to auction off 112 of its 540 active...
Penn State’s attempt to auction off 112 of its 540 active patents was disappointing. Only two bids were publically placed, one purchasing a license for a “metal-electroactive ceramic composite transducer” for $5,000. Penn State is the first institution in the country to sell patent licenses through an online auction modeled after eBay. In fact this was their second attempt. In April 2014 the University sold only 2 of 73 engineering patents. The winning bidder received an […]
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5:48 PM | Bette Midler: "She doesn't let plastic in her house"
Bette Midler was making some outlandish statements recently (it's not as if that is news), and as you might expect, plastics got in the crossfire:"She doesn’t let plastic in her house."That's pretty amazing. I wonder what strange materials she has in her bathroom. Start with the toilet seat. While most are plastic, wood ones are available. Having sat on bare wood toilets on more than one camping trip, I think we can safely assume that she would not subject her derriere (or the derriere of […]
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3:19 PM | Stupid internet
Blogging soon.
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3:01 PM | Season's tweetings
In lieu of much further blogging as exams loom over the new year, I decided I’ll post some of my favourite tweets from bioscience research. I’m following almost 1,500 research-oriented scientists and departments on Twitter now (@biochemistries), but the proceedings of that academic ecosystem don’t tend to cross over to my writing here. Despite the platform’s reputation for hosting superficial/ephemeral natterings, I still think it’s a neat way to keep a finger on […]
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1:51 PM | Pulsing magnetic fields focus nanoparticles to deep targets
Recent research efforts have led to a new technique to magnetically deliver drug-carrying particles to hard-to-reach targets. The method has the potential to transform the way deep-tissue tumors and other diseases are treated.
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11:33 AM | Countdown to the 2014 Chemistry World science communication competition
Quentin Cooper, science journalist and one of the judges for the upcoming Chemistry World science communication competition writes about how in every scientist there is a bit of an artist. I’ve been asked to write 300 words on the topic of science and art. No problem. Although I can sum it up in one: scientists. The term ‘scientist’ was only coined [...]
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6:55 AM | Lining up for molecular memory devices
Self-arranging molecules produce ordered arrays that could form the basis for efficient optoelectronic memory devices.
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6:51 AM | Nanoshaping method points to future manufacturing technology
A new method that creates large-area patterns of three-dimensional nanoshapes from metal sheets represents a potential manufacturing system to inexpensively mass produce innovations such as plasmonic metamaterials for advanced technologies.
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2:50 AM | Automotive Lithium-Ion Batteries
Recently lithium-ion batteries have started to be used in a number of automotive passenger car applications. This paper will review these applications and compare the requirements of the applications with the capabilities of the lithium-ion chemistries that are actually being used. The gaps between these requirements and capabilities will be highlighted and future developments that may be able to fill these gaps will be discussed. It is concluded that while improvements to the lithium-ion cell […]
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1:03 AM | Publication of the week, number 55, 12th December 2014
Ever worried about traces of water spoiling your reaction or product, well your worries could be over with the publication of an Angewandte ASAP by Prof. Manos and colleagues discussing the development of a metal organic framework (MOF) luminescent sensor for the detection of traces of water in organic solvents. Karl-Fischer must really be starting […]
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1:02 AM | Comparison of geometric motifs common on Greek and American...
Comparison of geometric motifs common on Greek and American Indian weaving and pottery with the backbone folding patterns found for cylindrical β sheet structures in globular proteins. Indian polychrome cane basket, Louisiana. Polypeptide backbone of rubredoxin. Red-figured Greek amphora showing Cassandra and Ajax (about 450 B.C.) Polypeptide backbone of prealbumin. Early Anasazi Indian redware pitcher, New Mexico. Polypeptide backbone of triose phosphate […]

December 11, 2014

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8:00 PM | Bonus Process Wednesday: CSB speculation as to DuPont methanethiol deaths
From CSB chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso's written testimony in front of Congress today, the relevant portion on the November DuPont deaths due to methanethiol exposure: ...DuPont is certainly no “outlier.” In fact, DuPont has long been regarded as one of industry’s leading lights in safety, and it markets its safety programs to other companies. What happened last month, however, was the fifth release incident at a DuPont facility that the CSB has investigated since 2010, and […]
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7:19 PM | Well done, Intel
From an ad for a Materials Chemist (synthetically oriented) at Intel Corporation, these requirements (emphasis mine):Minimum Qualifications:The candidate must possess a Ph.D. in one of the following disciplines: Chemistry, specifically synthetic inorganic, synthetic organic, or synthetic organometallic chemistry Preferred Qualifications:Strong synthetic background, especially as it relates to the handling of air-sensitive compounds  Proficiency in using NMR spectroscopy, x-ray […]
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7:14 PM | Helping scientists see and measure at nanoscale
If seeing is believing, C.K. Choi has a passion for clarity - in a very tiny world. The assistant professor of mechanical engineering's research lies at the micro-scale, in channels no thicker than a strand of hair.
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7:10 PM | Daily Pump Trap: 12/11/14 edition
A few of the positions posted at C&EN Jobs this week:Norwell, MA: Battelle looking for a B.S. chemist (4 years experience) for a GLP study director -- looks to be pesticide-related. Posted salary: 60-105k.Santa Cruz, CA: Another entry in the #cannabischemjobs database. SC Laboratories hiring a M.S/Ph.D. analytical chemist.Floyd, VA:  Hollingsworth & Vose Company is searching for what seems like a product development scientist with some combination of education and experience […]
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7:07 PM | Scientists measure speedy electrons in silicon
Attosecond laser provides first 'movie' of fast electrons jumping band-gap of semiconductor.
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6:45 PM | Research outlines basic rules for construction with a type of origami
Origami is capable of turning a simple sheet of paper into a pretty paper crane, but the principles behind the paper-folding art can also be applied to making a microfluidic device for a blood test, or for storing a satellite's solar panel in a rocket's cargo bay.
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3:08 PM | 'Trojan horse' nanoparticles used to target hard-to-reach cancers
Scientists have found a way of targeting hard-to-reach cancers and degenerative diseases using nanoparticles, but without causing the damaging side effects the treatment normally brings.
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2:33 PM | What Happened this Year? The Most Important Discoveries in 2014 [Part 1]
Chemistry is an ever evolving field, but what were the most important achievements in the field during 2014? Let’s have a look at some of the most interesting and exciting discoveries of 2014, including new materials that can be used in 2D electronics and a wearable battery! Graphene and family The discovery of graphene was [...]
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2:22 PM | A good non-traditional careers story
Anonymous helpfully points out the continuing Fazlul Sarkar saga at Retraction Watch, including the affidavit in support of PubPeer by Dr. John Krueger, a former ORI investigator who stood up their forensic image group and:My direct expertise in forensic image analysis stems from 20 years of relevant federal work in my second career, starting as one of the original Investigator–Scientists in the Division of Research Investigations (or later the Division of Investigative Oversight), Office […]
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1:19 PM | Chemosensors for the ASSURED communication of science
Guest post from Tom Branson Sometimes all the computer graphics in the world can’t make up for a good old hand drawn image. These sketches may never appear in shining lights on 10 metre billboards but they are often simple and clear enough to show you exactly what’s going on. That straightforward approach and a couple [...]
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12:41 PM | Stacking two-dimensional materials may lower cost of semiconductor devices
Researchers have found that stacking materials that are only one atom thick can create semiconductor junctions that transfer charge efficiently, regardless of whether the crystalline structure of the materials is mismatched - lowering the manufacturing cost for a wide variety of semiconductor devices such as solar cells, lasers and LEDs.
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