Posts

August 14, 2014

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9:45 PM | Synthetic Cannabinoid Illnesses in NH - August 2014
New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan has issued a state of emergency after a rash of overdoses on synthetic cannabinoids. On Monday night in Manchester, NH, there were 17-25 reported illnesses. There were 9 reported synthetic cannabinoid-related illnesses on Tuesday night. There have been at least 3 illnesses in Concord, NH in the last 24 hours.Some of these incidents were allegedly associated with a bubblegum flavored herbal incense product named "Smacked!". Two other products named in the […]
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6:08 PM | ZEISS Introduces LSM 880 With Airyscan
New confocal technology enables fast and sensitive superresolution microscopy.
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6:02 PM | Scientists fold RNA origami from a single strand
RNA origami is a new method for organizing molecules on the nanoscale. Using just a single strand of RNA, this technique can produce many complicated shapes.
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3:46 PM | Academic family: Sir William Ramsay
Guest post by Jessica Breen ‘The noblest exercise of the mind within doors, and most befitting a person of quality, is study’ – Ramsay A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Jack Dunitz at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Little did I know that he was the academic [...]
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3:24 PM | Meet our guest bloggers – Jessica Breen
I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Process Research and Development (iPRD) at the University of Leeds. My research is on the synthesis of chiral amines relevant to the pharmaceutical industry but I have a general interest in organic chemistry, catalysis and sustainable methodologies. When I am not in the lab, I blog [...]
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3:06 PM | Quote of the day: penicillin frustration
For some reason, I was reading about the scaling-up of penicillin and came across this wonderful quote, via an ACS writeup:Pfizer's John L. Smith captured the complexity and uncertainty facing these companies during the scale-up process: "The mold is as temperamental as an opera singer, the yields are low, the isolation is difficult, the extraction is murder, the purification invites disaster, and the assay is unsatisfactory."You know, that gives me a bit of perspective.  
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2:00 PM | Grant submitted, now what?
  You’ve spent years in training. You’ve spent months developing a project, collecting preliminary data, publishing manuscripts, and training students. You’ve attended all of the grant-writing workshops. Hopefully you’ve followed our advice on a stress-free grant writing experience, and you’ve now spent weeks writing your grant, editing your grant, generating tables, graphs, and other figures […]
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12:40 PM | Oh Brave New World!
I start a new aspect of my polymer chemistry career today - my first attempt at synthesizing an inorganic polymer. Up till now, acrylates, urethanes, ureas, polyesters (with and without styrene) and countless organic biobased substrates have been my playground. Today however, I need to strike out in a new direction, one where silicon and oxygen will now be the atoms of the polymers backbone. Carbon will still be around, but only as a moiety.It's pretty exciting, not just because of the new […]
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12:25 PM | How Not to Stink!
Last week we looked at why we sweat and why it smells, but it doesn’t have to be like that! We saw that sweat can be affected by many factors – including  how many X chromosomes you have (by the way, if genetics is not your strong point, females are XX while males are XY). [...]
Editor's Pick
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12:23 PM | Novel chip-based platform could simplify measurements of single molecules
A nanopore-gated optofluidic chip combines electrical and optical measurements of single molecules onto a single platform.
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9:12 AM | Atomic switch networks for cognitive technology
A self-organized network of inorganic synapses provides a unique approach toward the development of brain-like computers.
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9:02 AM | Molecular shuttle speeds up hydrogen production
Researchers have achieved a breakthrough in light-driven generation of hydrogen with semiconductor nanocrystals by using a novel molecular shuttle to enhance charge-carrier transport.
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8:51 AM | Nanotechnology invention improves effectiveness of the 'penicillin of cancer'
By combining magnetic nanoparticles with one of the most common and effective chemotherapy drugs, researchers have created a way to deliver anti-cancer drugs directly into the nucleus of cancer cells.
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8:25 AM | Andor iXon 897 Visualizes Simulated Quantum Matter
Max Planck researchers assemble metamaterial crystal formations that obey laws of quantum physics and allow exploration of the exotic nature of the microworld.
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8:00 AM | Upconverting synthetic leaf takes it cues from nature
A large part of low-energy photons, such as in the deep-red and infrared, are lost during conventional photovoltaic or photochemical processes. However, about half of all the solar energy reaching the Earth's surface can be found in these wavelengths. Harvesting this light more efficiently is possible thanks to a process called photon energy upconversion. Researchers now have successfully synthesized a bioinspired upconverting solid-state-like film using nanocellulose.
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6:34 AM | Nanotube-polymer composites give immune cells a cancer-fighting boost
Scientists have developed a novel cancer immunotherapy that rapidly grows and enhances a patient's immune cells outside the body using carbon nanotube-polymer composites; the immune cells can then be injected back into a patient's blood to boost the immune response or fight cancer.
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6:20 AM | To bolster lithium battery life, add a little salt
Cornell chemical engineers have achieved a breakthrough in the race to achieve safer, longer-lasting batteries to power the world?s automobiles, cell phones, computers and autonomous robots.

August 13, 2014

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7:34 PM | Nanotechnology helps solve mystery surrounding portrait of a mummy
A microscopic sliver of painted wood could hold the keys to unraveling a centuries-old mystery surrounding a portrait from 180 AD.
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7:23 PM | Can our computers continue to get smaller and more powerful?
A computer scientist reviews frontier technologies to determine fundamental limits of computer scaling.
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7:14 PM | Optical extraction of hot carrier energy makes solar cells more efficient
A layer of silicon nanocrystals and erbium ions may help solar cells to extract more energy from the ultraviolet (UV, high-energy) part of the solar spectrum.
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6:50 PM | Nanopore material could enhance fast and accurate DNA sequencing
Gene-based personalized medicine has many possibilities for diagnosis and targeted therapy, but one big bottleneck: the expensive and time-consuming DNA-sequencing process. Now, researchers have found that nanopores in the material molybdenum disulfide could sequence DNA more accurately, quickly and inexpensively than anything yet available.
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5:51 PM | ACS San Francisco Career Fair numbers: 94 positions, 651 job seekers
Reported to the ACS Council today:Onsite employers: 38Onsite seekers: 651Onsite jobs: 94 Virtual employers: 11Virtual registered seekers: 720Virtual jobs: 36That's a jobseeker-to-onsite positions ratio of ~7:1, which is slightly better than the 8:1 reported for the 2014 ACS Dallas Career Fair. Please note, registered seekers for the Virtual Career Fair are not representative of actual attendance. 
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4:47 PM | New test reveals purity of graphene
Graphene may be tough, but those who handle it had better be tender. The environment surrounding the atom-thick carbon material can influence its electronic performance, according to researchers who have come up with a simple way to spot contaminants.
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3:45 PM | The 2014 Fields and Nevanlinna prizes: Celebrating diversity
"And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity." - John F. KennedyAn Iranian woman, a first and a second generation Indian, an Englishman and a Brazilian. Most of them working in the United States - The 2014 Fields and Nevanlinna prizes celebrate diversity like no other.Quanta Magazine has a wonderful set of profiles of this year's top math prize winners that are worth reading. Maryam Mirzakhani is especially notable as the first woman to […]
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3:28 PM | Units Matter Part II
No summary available for this post.
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3:18 PM | Bonus Process Wednesday: You Can't Make A Baby In One Month with Nine Women
What do you mean, we've run out?Credit: happy otterMapp Biopharmaceuticals is the company that has a very experimental Ebola treatment. They've run out of manufactured supply, which is an interesting problem that was not discussed in the visual literature, i.e. the 90s movie "Outbreak.". Here's what The Hill (the paper that covers Congress) has to say about that:It will take months to produce even a small batch of a promising new drug to counter Ebola, according to U.S. health […]
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2:50 PM | Process Wednesday: overdried a hydrate? You can rehydrate it!
If I am overdried, re-hydrate me!Credit: Rassias et al., OPRDFlipping through Practical Process Research and Development, I happened upon an interesting entry in the index: "overdrying." Here's what Neal Anderson has to say about it: Polymorphism undoubtedly will continue to be an issue for developing drug substances and for continued manufacture of drug products... Solid-state transformations should not be overlooked. Hydrates may be overdried; rehydration of a dried phosphate salt was […]
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2:46 PM | A No-Brainer Approach to Turning Biowaste in Thermoplastics
Given all the incredible technology we have available in our labs, there is often the temptation to make our work more complicated and involved than it needs to be. Why measure molecular weight with an Ubbelholde tube (and the Mark-Houwink equation) when you can use the GPC with multi-angle and dynamic light scattering detectors? Why measure viscosity with a falling ball when you can use a stress-controlled rheometer? Why model something on a PC when you can use a parallel processing machine […]
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1:58 PM | The Teeth Beneath Your Feet: The Urban Archaeology Podcast
Where can you find a teacup, the molar of a goat, and an arrowhead all in one place? At an urban archaeology site, that’s where. This episode of Distillations goes underground, and reveals the fascinating worlds beneath our city shoes. “The Teeth Beneath Your Feet: Oddities in Urban Archaeology” features urban archaeologists Doug Mooney, senior archaeologist at URS corporation and president of the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum, and Deirdre Kelleher, who is […]
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1:58 PM | The Teeth Beneath Your Feet: The Urban Archaeology Podcast
Where can you find a teacup, the molar of a goat, and an arrowhead all in one place? At an urban archaeology site, that’s where. This episode of Distillations goes underground, and reveals the fascinating worlds beneath our city shoes. “The Teeth Beneath Your Feet: Oddities in Urban Archaeology” features urban archaeologists Doug Mooney, senior archaeologist at URS corporation and president of the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum, and Deirdre Kelleher, who is […]
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