Posts

September 08, 2014

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12:08 PM | Discovery advances understanding of graphene's friction properties
On the nanoscale, adding fluorine to graphene had been reported to vastly increase the friction experienced when sliding against the material. Through a combination of physical experiments and atomistic simulations, researchers have discovered the mechanism behind this surprising finding, which could help researchers better design and control the surface properties of new materials.
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12:06 PM | Multimodal graphene biosensor integrates optical, electrical, and mechanical signals
As a prime example of how the integration of multiple disparate nanotechnology fields allows the realization of novel or expanded functionalities, researchers have demonstrated a multimodal sensing device which integrates the functionalities of three traditional single mode sensors. Specifically, the team fabricated a graphene-based multimodal biosensing device, capable of transducing protein binding events into optical, electrical, and mechanical signals.
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12:02 PM | So you want to be a teacher?
Teachers, we all know at least one. This makes teaching a prime choice for people thinking about their next career move, but do you know what is really involved in being a teacher? As part of ChemCareers 2014 we are running three webinars in the three months before the main event, the first of which is on getting into teaching. Interested? Then coming along THIS Wednesday (10th September) at 2pm GMT where we will have a panel discussion talking to people who have been through the process […]
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10:54 AM | Making good on my "Open Access" pledge
My most recent paper has just been published in PeerJ . It was a LONG time in the making, to the point that my 12-yo daughter once told me (only half-in-jest), that I should "cut my losses and forget about it". I am quite happy about how it turned out: besides describing an analysis of a reaction mechanism and the influence of the redox state of a hard-to-converge Fe-S cluster , it also contains  the first computations including the weighed contributions of 1.2*1013 protonations states of […]
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10:28 AM | All Things Sweet about the Chemistry of Honey
Honey has been crowned as a health elixir for its endless health benefits and it is the only food that is produced by insects and eaten by humans, without the need to be processed first.  The many benefits of honey are:·         Treatment  of  sore throat, ulcers and burns·         Anti-bacterial properties·         Anti-oxidant […]
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8:07 AM | Researchers separate the nuclear spin states of water
Using an 'electric prism', scientists have found a new way of separating water molecules that differ only in their nuclear spin states and, under normal conditions, do not part ways. Since water is such a fundamental molecule in the universe, the recent study may impact a multitude of research areas ranging from biology to astrophysics.
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8:02 AM | Delphi, The World's First Fully Integrated Tabletop Fluorescence And Electron Microscope
Delphi is a complete solution that makes it possible to do fast correlative microscopy with unique overlay precision. The system is easy to use for both light- and electron-microscopists making correlation intuitive and fully automated.
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5:09 AM | Doped graphene nanoribbons with potential
Researchers developed a new method to selectively dope graphene molecules with nitrogen atoms. By seamlessly stringing together doped and undoped graphene pieces, they were able to form ?heterojunctions? in the nanoribbons, thereby fulfilling a basic requirement for electronic current to flow in only one direction when voltage is applied - the first step towards a graphene transistor.
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2:11 AM | Circle, Hunt Women for Sex; Post in a Forum about It
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 07, 2014

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4:44 PM | Continuing Bragg legacy of structure determination
Over 100 years since the Nobel Prize-winning father and son team Sir William and Sir Lawrence Bragg pioneered the use of X-rays to determine crystal structure, researchers have made significant new advances in the field.
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4:40 PM | High-speed graphene detector captures unprecedented range of light waves
New research could lead to light detectors that can see below the surface of bodies, walls, and other objects, with applications in emerging terahertz fields such as mobile communications, medical imaging, chemical sensing, night vision, and security.
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4:35 PM | Rethinking the basic science of graphene synthesis
A new route to making graphene has been discovered that could make it easier to ramp up to industrial scale. Graphene, which has super strength and the ability to conduct heat and electricity better than any other known material, has potential industrial uses that include flexible electronic displays, high-speed computing, stronger wind-turbine blades, and more-efficient solar cells, among other uses now under development.
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10:09 AM | Open knowledge dissemination (with @IFTTT)
An important part of science is communication. That is why we publish. New insights are useless if they sit on some desk. Instead, reuse counts. This communication is not just about the facts, but also a means to establish research networks. Efficient research requires this: you cannot be an expert in everything or at least not be experienced with everything. That is, for most things you do, there is another researcher that can do it faster. This is probably one of the reasons why many Open […]
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9:34 AM | Fungal metabolites
I see the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been very busy of late, a group led by Prof. Bugni reported the isolation and identification of a new anti-fungal polyketide, Forazoline A: This one is a bit more complex than the last one I posted about. Two tertiary amines, sugars, heterocycles, double bonds, halogens and a sulfoxide, not to mention […]
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2:25 AM | The Man with Two Names, for Charm and Retribution
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 06, 2014

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1:04 PM | First steps in Open Notebook Science
Scheme 2 from this Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry paper by Frank Hahn et al.I blogged a few weeks back I blogged about my first Open Notebook Science entry. The post suggest I will look at a few ONS service providers, but, honestly, Open Notebook Science Network serves my needs well.What I have in mind, and will soon advocate, is that the total synthesis approach from organic chemistry fits chem- and bioinformatics research. It may not be perfect, and perhaps somewhat artificial […]
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7:32 AM | Optical nanoparticle sensor to detect blood pressure drugs in blood
A new method was presented to determine one of the drugs used in the treatment of blood pressure.

September 05, 2014

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6:47 PM | Physicists explore biomimetic clocks
Scientists have engineered and studied 'active vesicles'. These purely synthetic, molecularly thin sacs are capable of transforming energy, injected at the microscopic level, into organized, self-sustained motion.
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6:25 PM | Introducing ICYMS: In Case You Missed Seminar
Fellow chemistry grad students, this one's for you.Seminar talks are important. Everyone knows that. But, as a graduate student, you've got fifty-six other obligations during a day. Sometimes you've got a class, sometimes your reaction goes out of control, sometimes that damned eluent just doesn't come out fast enough - and we've all had times where we look at the clock only to find in horror that it's 4:45 and you've missed the whole talk already.I've got you covered.Starting this coming […]
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3:20 PM | Nanotechnology and drug delivery: platforms
This collection discusses nanomedicines as an alternative to the often poor absorption and side effects of conventional drug delivery.
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3:00 PM | Seeing clearly through a liquid
Designing controlled, reproducible experiments in an in situ liquid stage.
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2:58 PM | Your morning longread: a court judgment on the Deepwater Horizon disaster
I know that you've always wanted to understand the physics, chemistry, engineering and operations of deepwater oil drilling and U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier is here to help. Here's a 153-page judgment of where exactly the Deepwater Horizon/Gulf oil spill began to go really wrong, including technical diagrams, internal e-mails and even an apportioning of blame. It's obviously too large to summarize well, but here's a couple relevant portions: On page 53, an interesting […]
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12:35 PM | The sound of nanoparticles
Three-dimensional optoacoustic tomography enables quantitative measurements of nanoparticle concentrations to evaluate their biodistributions in animal models.
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12:28 PM | First graphene-based flexible display produced
A flexible display incorporating graphene in its pixels' electronics has been successfully demonstrated in the UK, the first time graphene has been used in a transistor-based flexible device.
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10:58 AM | Miscellaneous research musings
In these valuable weeks before the new semester begins, I’ve been dividing my time between preparing new lectures and research, or at least research planning. In this post I’ll discuss my research plans for the coming year. I normally hope to get ideas for new research topics from conferences I’ve attended, and Eurodim 2014 certainly […]
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3:56 AM | Publication of the week, number 41, 8th September 2014
Here is a nice route to tetrahydropyridines, to quote the authors: “These products can be accessed on a gram scale with low catalyst loadings and at high reaction concentrations. Additionally, a modified Rh-catalyst, prepared from [RhCl(cod)]2 as a robust bench-stable pre-catalyst was developed to enable straightforward reaction set up without the use of a glovebox.” […]
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3:19 AM | Birth of a mineral
Using in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) , study shows calcium carbonate takes multiple, simultaneous roads to different minerals, provides insight into trapping carbon dioxide in underground rock.
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3:01 AM | Self-assembly of magnetite nanocubes into helical superstructures
Researchers, who found that magnetite nanocubes can self-assemble into helical superstructures under certain conditions, simulated the phenomenon and explained the conditions under which it can occur.

September 04, 2014

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11:25 PM | Why STEM is TE: inflation-adjusted wages edition
Many of you have read Michael Teitelbaum's article about the lack of a STEM shortage. I've actually purchased and mostly read his book, "Falling Behind?" Naturally, I enjoyed it, but I found it a bit weak in spots. Here's a link to a YouTube video of an Economic Policy Institute colloquy between Dr. Teitelbaum and number of prominent scholars about the book and science/technology workforces issues in general, including a very interesting critique of the book by Jonathan Rothwell, a research […]
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7:30 PM | How Can Xylitol Gum Help Prevent Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay, also commonly referred to as dental caries, is the result of acidic conditions in the mouth, due to bacterial activity. These conditions lead to the outer layers of the teeth slowly being dissolved, which can eventually lead to holes in the teeth (cavities) in serious cases. To combat this, xylitol gum has been suggested as […]
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