Posts

October 12, 2014

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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 →
Editor's Pick
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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

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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 [...]
Editor's Pick
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1:23 PM | Rare 'baby rattle' molecules reveal new quantum properties of H2O and H2
Neutron scattering experiments have revealed the existence of quantum selection rules in molecules, the first experimental confirmation of its kind. Small molecules such as water and hydrogen were inserted into C60 buckyballs to form rare compounds ideal for testing the predictions of quantum theory. Similar confinement techniques could open the door to new insights about the quantum properties of molecules by providing a unique testing ground for quantum theory.
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1:12 PM | Tiny sensor uses radio waves to detect subtle changes in pressure
Device is used to monitor brain pressure in lab mice as prelude to possible use with human patients; future applications of this pressure-sensing technology could lead to touch-sensitive 'skin' for prosthetic devices.
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1:00 PM | When Mentoring Undergraduates, Educate, Don't Regulate
This post was originally published on the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School's "student voices" blog. I've reposted the first bit here, and you can find the full text here."Universities often advertise student to faculty ratios in publicity pamphlets. Would you want to go to a class where the ratio was 1,000 to 1? How about 20 to 1? 8 to 1? What about 1 to 1? Undergraduate students who get involved in research put themselves in a unique position. They typically work under the […]
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12:25 PM | Charged graphene gives DNA a stage to perform molecular gymnastics (w/video)
When researchers set out to investigate a method to control how DNA moves through a tiny sequencing device, they did not know they were about to witness a display of molecular gymnastics.
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11:31 AM | By-election results October 2014
The results of the by-elections held on 9 October 2014 are predictably being over-hyped in the media. OK, UKIP won in Clacton and came a close second in Heywood and Middleton. But I don’t think these results are as significant as some would claim. Concerning the Clacton result: (i) By-election protest votes are not unusual, […]
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8:47 AM | New technique yields fast results in drug, biomedical testing
A new technique makes it possible to quickly detect the presence of drugs or to monitor certain medical conditions using only a single drop of blood or urine, representing a potential tool for clinicians and law enforcement.
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8:37 AM | CNT@NCNT coaxial nanocables - Toward full exposure of 'active sites'
Researchers have demonstrated a unique coaxial carbon nanocable material with pristine carbon nanotubes as the core and nitrogen-doped wrinkled carbon layer as the shell. The active sites rendered by the surface enriched dopant atoms on the carbon nanocables are accessible and effective to catalyze the oxygen involved electrochemical reactions. These coaxial nanocables afford higher ORR/OER current compared with the routine bulk doped nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes.
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5:38 AM | Electrically conductive plastics promising for batteries, solar cells
An emerging class of electrically conductive plastics called 'radical polymers' may bring low-cost, transparent solar cells, flexible and lightweight batteries, and ultrathin antistatic coatings for consumer electronics and aircraft.
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5:32 AM | A critical point for the materials of tomorrow
Theoretical calculations predict an exotic state of matter in which electrons barely interact with each other.
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5:28 AM | Dissolvable silicon circuits and sensors
Early results demonstrate the entire complement of building blocks for integrated circuits, along with various sensors and actuators with relevance to clinical medicine, including most recently intracranial monitors for patients with traumatic brain injury. The advances suggest a new era of devices that range from green consumer electronics to 'electroceutical' therapies, to biomedical sensor systems that do their work and then disappear.
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5:23 AM | Plasmonic paper detects trace amounts of molecules
Using a common laboratory filter paper decorated with gold nanoparticles, researchers have created a unique platform, known as 'plasmonic paper', for detecting and characterizing even trace amounts of chemicals and biologically important molecules - from explosives, chemical warfare agents and environmental pollutants to disease markers.
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3:31 AM | Publication of the week, number 46, 10th October 2014
Here are a couple of new antibiotics, discformycins A and B, isolated by a group from the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research in Germany. Müller and his colleagues reported their structures to be  respectively:- differing only in the placement of the topmost C=C. The usual NMR experiments allowed the structural assignment. This group has been re-screeing […]

October 09, 2014

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8:39 PM | Así ponía los exámenes Carl Sagan
Fuente de la imagen: SmithsonianYa sabéis que desde que descubrí hace unos meses este filón me suelo pasar de vez en cuando en busca de nuevo material. Esta tarde he encontrado un documento bastante interesante. Se trata de un examen que puso Carl Sagan a sus alumnos de la universidad de Cornell; una universidad, por cierto, muy de actualidad en estos momentos porque dos de sus antiguos alumnos han recibido el Premio Nobel de Química este año. Pero […]
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7:03 PM | Like the coelacanth
A full-page ad for Gilead chemistry in the 2nd-to-latest C&EN. Looks like lots of positions in both Foster City and Seattle. Haven't been one of those in a long, long, long time. (Maybe 1 in the past year, maybe 3 or 4 in the past 3?)Also, the fact that Gilead is expanding seems to be good news.Best wishes to those applying. 
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