Posts

November 10, 2014

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4:18 PM | Job posting: process chemist, San Diego, CA
From the inbox, a process chemist position:Process Development Chemist (Scientist level $60-$80K) BS/MS Chemistry (maybe Biochem) 5-10 years experience Experimental design, Analytical methods “Recipe development” i.e. solvent ratios for extractions Knowledge of reaction systems Chromatography Tech transfer from lab bench to pilot scale Knowledge of bioprocess beneficial Interested? Contact Nathan Radosevich (recruiter for RemX […]
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4:09 PM | University of Minnesota chemistry has limited the scale of azide reactions?
Also in this week's C&EN, a really worthwhile article from Jyllian Kemsley talking to William Tolman, the chair of the chemistry department, on their recent TMS-azide explosion. While the whole article is worth reading, I think this section detailing Professor Tolman's decisions was very interesting (emphasis mine):“Overall, there was clearly a lack of proper hazard assessment,” Tolman continues. “They didn’t stop and say, ‘This is a really dangerous […]
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3:56 PM | As silly of a silicone product as you will ever find
Courtesy of Chemjobber, comes this silly idea: the Silibagz - a silicone bag that is pretty hard to take seriously.It's not as if silicone bakeware doesn't already exist. It does. So this is merely a bag instead of a muffin pan. And in fact, you can already buy silicone bags (which makes me wonder about the people behind this fundraiser and their supporters). What makes this funding effort silly are so many of the claims.Such as "We use platinum silicone exclusively, as we believe the only […]
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3:49 PM | Microbot muscles: Chains of particles assemble and flex
In a step toward robots smaller than a grain of sand, researchers have shown how chains of self-assembling particles could serve as electrically activated muscles in the tiny machines.
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3:41 PM | A greasy way to take better protein snapshots
The dream of analyzing the structure of large, hard-to-crystallize proteins and other bio molecules has come one step closer to reality. In new study, researchers used a newly developed grease to suspend small crystals of lysozyme, glucose isomerase, thaumatin, and fatty acid-binding protein type-3, which they then analyzed using the revolutionary serial femtosecond crystallography method.
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3:32 PM | Heat transfer sets the noise floor for ultrasensitive electronics
A team of engineers and scientists has identified a source of electronic noise that could affect the functioning of instruments operating at very low temperatures, such as devices used in radio telescopes and advanced physics experiments. The findings could have implications for the future design of transistors and other electronic components.
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3:26 PM | Good vibrations give electrons excitations that rock an insulator to go metallic
Scientists have made an important advancement in understanding a classic transition-metal oxide, vanadium dioxide, by quantifying the thermodynamic forces driving the transformation.
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3:23 PM | This week's C&EN
Plenty to chew on:A letter to the editor proposing a "Division of Cannabis Chemistry" -- I suspect this is really gonna happen, folks. Hey, look, it's some letters about climate change!This agreement between journals about reproducibility standards is interesting -- the non-explanation explanation from ACS Publications is interesting, too. (article by Andrea Widener)An article by Glenn Hess and Andrea Widener on the election results and chemical industry matters before Congress. I […]
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3:20 PM | New electron spin secrets revealed
Researchers have demonstrated that it is possible to directly generate an electric current in a magnetic material by rotating its magnetization. The findings reveal a novel link between magnetism and electricity, and may have applications in electronics.
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3:14 PM | A billion holes can make a battery (w/video)
Researchers have invented a single tiny structure that includes all the components of a battery that they say could bring about the ultimate miniaturization of energy storage components.
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3:06 PM | Materials researchers get first look at atom-thin boundaries
Scientists have made the first direct observations of a one-dimensional boundary separating two different, atom-thin materials, enabling studies of long-theorized phenomena at these interfaces.
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2:21 PM | New materials yield record efficiency polymer solar cells
Researchers have found that temperature-controlled aggregation in a family of new semi-conducting polymers is the key to creating highly efficient organic solar cells that can be mass produced more cheaply.
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2:15 PM | Carbon-based nanomaterials could lower cost of solar energy
Mike Arnold, associate professor at UW-Madison, leads a research team that focuses on the study of advanced electronic materials for photovoltaic solar energy, energy storage, and semiconductor electronics. Developing materials that can bring down the cost of PV energy is his team's passion and primary goal.
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2:09 PM | On-demand conductivity for graphene nanoribbons
Physicists have devised a theoretical model to tune the conductivity of graphene zigzag nanoribbons using ultra-short pulses.
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12:51 PM | A new way to grow uniform nanowire arrays
Researchers have developed a new way to grow nanowire arrays with a determined diameter, length and uniform consistency. This approach to growing nanomaterials will improve the efficiency of various devices including solar cells and fuel cells.
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12:01 PM | Applied Materials Develops Advanced Patterning Solution for Memory Devices
Applied Materials, Inc. today announced it collaborated with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and PSK Inc., a Korea-based leader in photoresist removal, to develop an advanced patterning solution for the manufacture of future generations of NAND and DRAM device designs.
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11:59 AM | Failure is an outcome
Failure. A simple concept. Yet there is vast complexity embedded in how we interpret and treat failure, particularly in how the term applies to our own lives. Failure comes in many forms. Standards go unmet. Objectives aren’t fulfilled. Deadlines are … Continue reading →
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11:57 AM | SouthWest NanoTechnologies to Demonstrate 3D Capacitive Touch Sensor Featuring Carbon Nanotube Ink
At the upcoming Printed Electronics USA 2014 Show, SouthWest NanoTechnologies, Inc. will demonstrate and discuss the use of carbon nanotube inks as a superior material for certain touch capacitance and membrane switch replacement applications.
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11:40 AM | If I had a Million dollars….
Thought experiment for academics: If someone handed you £50,000 (approx 65,000 euros and $80,000 US), what would you do with it? Would you use it for work related purposes? Perhaps a sabbatical, pump priming a pet project or funding a … Continue reading →
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11:23 AM | How I see the Labour leadership situation
In the 2010 Labour leadership election I voted for David Miliband. He was the candidate who represented my views most closely, and the one who I felt was best placed to lead the party to a future election victory. When his brother Ed was elected, I was prepared to give him a chance. Although I […]
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11:17 AM | Politics and the road to 2015
Politically we live in depressing times in the UK, at least for me. The Conservative side of the coalition seem to be lurching to the right in response to the (perceived) rise in popularity of UKIP, and their pathetic partners the LibDems have given up trying to have any influence (witness Norman Baker’s recent exit). […]
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8:58 AM | XEI Scientific Launches the Evactron EP Plasma Cleaning System for Custom-designed Vacuum Systems
XEI Scientific Inc. announces the release of the Evactron EP. This provides a new approach to plasma cleaning designed for those in the physics and materials science communities building and using custom-designed vacuum systems.

November 09, 2014

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7:59 PM | Dative bonds and theory
It seems to me there are two purposes for theory: to enable the calculation of things of interest so that predictions can be made, or to lead to understanding so that even if calculations are not practical, at least educated guesses can be made to guide further action. At the risk of drawing flak from the computational chemists, I think the second purpose is of more importance to chemists. The problem is, chemistry is based on a partial differential equation that cannot in general be solved, if […]
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12:07 PM | This Week in Chemistry – Battery Armour & Removing Fracking Contaminants
This week in chemistry has seen an ‘armoured’ battery developed, which could help reduce injury in cases where children accidentally swallow them, as well as a new method for producing aromatic chemicals from lignin. Links to more detailed articles on all of the featured stories are provided below, along with links to the original studies. Links […]
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10:29 AM | On the trail of proteins
Scientists have succeeded in electrochemically detecting protein binding on semiconductor materials for the first time, thanks to a newly developed investigative method based on differences in electrical charge. Now the physicists are working on an optical process to detect and localise protein binding directly under a microscope, for example, a method that could launch new applications in medical research and diagnostics.
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12:00 AM | What I’m doing for #digiwrimo 2014
November is a month for writing, at least judging by the virtual pledge campaigns. There’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo), and Digital Writing Month (DigiWriMo). Writing has long been one of my outlets. I hadn’t been … Continue reading →

November 08, 2014

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11:50 PM | Movie Review in a Few Words: Big Hero 6
Big Hero 6I didn't know too much about this series before watching the movie, but I have to say it was extremely well done (and not in the overcooked and burnt steak way).Action and adventure? Yes.Tragedy and sadness? Yeah, a bit.Superheroes? Yup.Villains? Of course.Science? Hell yeah.Humor? Goes without saying.Fun? Definitely.I highly recommend this movie for both kids and adults. Go watch it. You'll love it. Plus, at the beginning is a cute short (Feast) about a dog and his human friend.
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5:36 PM | Chemical Shortcuts
I was writing some lecture notes this morning when it occurred to me that I’d probably never told my students of some shortcuts that are really useful. I was trying to draw structures for a synthetic route towards paclitaxel…trying is … Continue reading →

November 07, 2014

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10:40 PM | Higgs and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Recently, I watched the documentary Particle Fever at Cine, a local theater here in Athens, GA. (The film is streaming on Netflix also.) It was a great look into the hoard of people at CERN that got the Large Hadron Collider running. It also highlighted the discovery of the Higgs boson, the elementary particle in the […]
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9:40 PM | Rotovaps are like heroin for Hollywood
Of course, it's not being used as an actual rotary evaporator. (Still from "Big Hero 6")They can't help but abuse them. (Off the top of my head, there's Rotovap Abuse in the very forgettable Formula 51 and in an early episode of "Fringe", as I recall?)In all honesty, I love the enthusiasm of the chemist in this clip (starts at 1:25), if not the adherence to PPE. And it is quite clear that the animators were given access to an actual, physical laboratory. 
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