Posts

October 13, 2014

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1:27 PM | Tailored flexible illusion coatings hide objects from detection
Developing the cloak of invisibility would be wonderful, but sometimes simply making an object appear to be something else will do the trick.
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12:52 PM | Dinosaur Mode
I had some very strange dreams towards morning including this gem: a cellphone that would mock me. Every time I would try and do something with it such as texting, a picture of an apatosaurus-type dinosaur would appear on the screen, implying that I was using an old, outdated technique and that faster, more efficient options now existed. That's not fair! I can't text as fast as my son (whose replies seem to violate the space-time continuum), but I'm more than able to find an efficient option […]
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12:30 PM | On individual versus institutional responsibility for workplace injuries
A comment on personal versus institutional responsibili […]Related Posts:Improving graduate education in chemistryMoving forward at UCLA#Chemsafety at #ACSDallasProcess Safety Beacon mini-round-upNew lab safety video on personal protective equipment
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11:44 AM | Public attitudes to chemistry: ​take part in our research!
As you will have seen in the latest issue of RSC News we are working on a piece of research to inform how we should communicate with the public. We are developing this project with a leading market research company, TNS BMRB and their researchers are eager to listen to your ideas and learn from your experiences in communicating chemistry to non-chemists. We hope you can spare few minutes to take part in this online survey and help us in this important research. Thank you.Posted by […]
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11:00 AM | Why You Should Care about Auditory Myosin
By: Lina Jamis, 2nd year student in the Anatomy Graduate Program As much as we may enjoy denying it, our hearing is slowly, but surely, leaving us. In fact, considering how we often may follow the adage  “louder is better,” we’re probably headed for hearing aids sooner than we think. (That goes doubly for you, Skillrex fans).…
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9:21 AM | New battery uses nanotubes to recharge to 70% in just two minutes
Researchers have developed a new battery that can be recharged up to 70 per cent in only 2 minutes. The battery will also have a longer lifespan of over 20 years.
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9:12 AM | Nanoenhanced 'smart' lithium-ion battery warns of fire hazard (w/video)
Scientists have developed a 'smart' lithium-ion battery that gives ample warning before it overheats and bursts into flames. The new technology is designed for conventional lithium-ion batteries now used in billions of cellphones, laptops and other electronic devices, as well as a growing number of cars and airplanes.
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7:45 AM | Multifunctional RNA nanoparticles to combat cancer and viral infections
There is a significant need for new therapeutic approaches to combat diseases such as cancer and viral infections. Using RNA as a therapeutic modality brings to bear an entirely new approach, which not only allows for the construction of uniform scaffolds for attachment of functional entities, but also permits the use of all the different types of functionalities that are inherent in natural RNAs. New research demonstrates that multifunctional RNA nanoparticles with a nanoring design allow the […]
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7:28 AM | Nanolipid mimics 'good' cholesterol to fight heart disease
Scientists have created a synthetic molecule that mimics HDL cholesterol and have shown it can reduce plaque buildup in the arteries of animal models. The molecule, taken orally, improved cholesterol in just two weeks.
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7:00 AM | Finding Alkyl Halides in 13C NMR
Hat tip to a recent talk by Chris Braddock. 79/81Bromine and 35/37chlorine are easy to see in a mass spectrum, …Continue reading →

October 12, 2014

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11:57 PM | The age of earth's water, and how to draw a conclusion.
One theme of my posts that I have raised more than once is that while scientists are very good at collecting information and of measuring things, this leaves the problem of interpreting what it means. Scientific theory is based on either propositions or statements. A proposition is of one of two forms: (1)  If theory P is true, then you will observe A (2)  If and only if theory P is true, then you will observe A Failure to observe A falsifies either proposition, but if you observe A, […]
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4:29 PM | This Week in Chemistry: The Chemistry Nobel & Writing in Gold in Cells
This week, the award of the Nobel prizes, including the Nobel prize in chemistry, has dominated the headlines. However, there’ve been a range of other interesting stories too, including researchers succeeding in writing gold characters inside cells, and the development of a green tea-based anti-cancer drug delivery system. Links to articles and original research papers […]
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4:23 PM | Australian teams set new records for silicon quantum computing (w/video)
Two research teams working in the same laboratories at UNSW Australia have found distinct solutions to a critical challenge that has held back the realisation of super powerful quantum computers.
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4:20 PM | Revving up fluorescence for superfast LEDs
Researchers have made fluorescent molecules emit photons 1,000 times faster than normal - a record in the field and an important step toward superfast light emitting diodes and quantum cryptography.
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4:16 PM | A novel platform for future spintronic technologies
Spintronics is a new field of electronics, using electron spin rather than charge. Scientists have shown that a conventional electrical insulator can be used as an optimal spintronic device.
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4:11 PM | Solid nanoparticles can deform like a liquid
Nanoparticles can act like liquid on the outside and crystal on the inside.

October 11, 2014

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8:41 AM | Repost: Stinker or Smeller?
First published 04/2009 over at EP v2.0. The topic came up in conversation in the last couple of weeks so I thought I’d dig the post out! The images have disappeared but it makes sense without. — One of the … Continue reading →
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6:17 AM | 'Ese punto azul pálido' supera el millón de visitas [Sorteo de un libro para celebrarlo]
Pues así parece que ha sido, queridos amigos y mejores lectores. Según las estadísticas de Blogger este espacio personal que nació hace cuatro años y medio con esta entrada (un tanto simple y cutrecilla pero que continúa siendo el espíritu del blog) ha superado el... ¡tachán! MILLÓN DE VISITAS. ¡Muchas gracias a todos por hacerlo posible!Y lo mejor que se me ha ocurrido para celebrarlo es regalaros un libro. […]
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5:27 AM | Nanomaterials and toxicity
A couple of weeks ago I commented on the toxicity of carbon nano tubes. Well here is a timely review of the literature by Prof. Krug, discussing the toxicity of “engineered nanomaterials (ENMs)”. He examined 10,000 publications which appeared since 2000 for features pertaining to human health effects of studies involving some sort of biological conclusion. […]

October 10, 2014

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6:29 PM | Getting sharp images from dull detectors
Operating in the fuzzy area between classical and quantum light.
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5:09 PM | Parking some links for discussion
From this week, but not been addressed:I liked this Boston Globe story on life science postdocs. Nothing hugely groundbreaking for those in the know, but it's good that people are continuing to cover the issue and that professors like Greg Petsko are getting attention. On the other hand, I found this response to concerns about the glut of life science Ph.D.s to be insufficient, but of course, I would. Via "JJ", I see the Denver school teacher that burned some students doing a […]
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4:32 PM | Let's talk about the position that really matters: ACS CEO
Incidentally, no one that I am aware of has been talking about how there's an executive search going on for the actual top spot at ACS, i.e. Madeleine Jacobs' current position as executive director and CEO. Who do we think has more emphasis on the Society, the person who runs the ship day-to-day, or the seemingly ceremonial ACS president, who gets elected for a 1 year term?Here's the ad. I'm amused to learn that you only need a B.S. degree in chemistry/the chemical sciences to be […]
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3:48 PM | Edward Witten, chemistry and the problems with falsification
Science writer and journalist John Horgan who wrote the notorious and thought-provoking book "The End of Science" in the 90s has an interesting interview with theoretical physics giant Edward Witten. Witten, who won the Fields Medal back in the 80s, is widely regarded because of his huge status and influence as one of the main reasons a number of physicists switched to doing string theory in the 90s.The whole interview is worth reading but there was one chemistry-related response that Witten […]
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3:14 PM | Ebola Before The Outbreak
With the unprecedented outbreak of Ebola in West Africa this year, it is important to put the disease in historical perspective. The first major outbreak of Ebola occurred in the 1970s in Sudan and Zaire near the Ebola River, from which the virus gets its name. Doctors were shocked by symptoms that mirrored the flu at first but quickly escalated to vomiting, diarrhea, and internal hemorrhaging within a matter of days. Compounding the danger, these fluids had the potential to transmit the […]
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3:14 PM | Ebola Before The Outbreak
With the unprecedented outbreak of Ebola in West Africa this year, it is important to put the disease in historical perspective. The first major outbreak of Ebola occurred in the 1970s in Sudan and Zaire near the Ebola River, from which the virus gets its name. Doctors were shocked by symptoms that mirrored the flu at first but quickly escalated to vomiting, diarrhea, and internal hemorrhaging within a matter of days. Compounding the danger, these fluids had the potential to transmit the […]
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2:58 PM | Measuring Water Solubility of Platinum Group Metal Containing Substances
The water solubility of 22 platinum group metal (pgm) containing substances was evaluated to provide useful data for regulatory compliance and to aid assessment of their environmental impact. The flask method from OECD Guideline 105 (1) for the testing of chemicals (water solubility) was used to test each material. For substances that could not be isolated as pure solids, a simplified water solubility test was carried out. The results provide reliable data on solubility previously unavailable […]
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2:39 PM | ACS presidential candidates on #chemjobs issues
The relevant portion of the 3 ACS presidential candidates, presented in order that they were published in the September 8 edition of C&EN. Peter K. Dourhout:...2. I believe that the solution to our economic woes and the employment outlook resides with us as ACS members... ...Employment Solutions. I believe that the solution to our economic woes and changing the employment outlook resides with us as ACS members. To paraphrase the comic strip character Pogo: “I have seen the […]
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2:03 PM | Congrats to Betzig, Hell and Moerner for the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry!
Honestly, I don't have anything intelligent to add to this conversation. Derek Lowe has a nice post on it. Here's the official C&EN story, with a picture of the instrument in the living room where it was built.Until next year! 
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2:00 PM | Ebola Virus VP40 -A protein straight out of “transformers”
  Ebola. Just the word is enough to make people panic. Well “Ebola” is actually just a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Of course when they hear the word, most people think about the deadly virus discovered near this river in 1976. To clarify the terminology, “Ebola” is the river; “Ebolavirus” is […]

Bornholdt Z., Dafna M. Abelson, Peter Halfmann, Malcolm R. Wood, Yoshihiro Kawaoka & Erica Ollmann Saphire (2013). Structural Rearrangement of Ebola Virus VP40 Begets Multiple Functions in the Virus Life Cycle, Cell, 154 (4) 763-774. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2013.07.015

Feldmann H. (2011). Ebola haemorrhagic fever, The Lancet, 377 (9768) 849-862. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(10)60667-8

Citation
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1:49 PM | The chemistry of Cocktails: potatoes, absinthe and eggs!
You may not see many references to Margaritas or Vodka Martinis in scientific papers, but the basis for most cocktails are strongly rooted in chemistry. Riding on the “culinary train” of molecular mixology (which does not apply only to food, but also to drink!) let’s find out a little more about the scientific principles behind [...]
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