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Posts

April 21, 2014

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5:53 PM | The Week That Was(n't)
As some of you noticed, this blog was absent last week, as in completely inaccessible as the domain had expired. But it's back. Here's a brief explanation of what happened to those who were curious.I publish this blog via Blogger/Blogspot which was acquired by Google some year back. Rather than having the blog URL be www.rheothing.blogspot.com, for the low, low price of $10 a year I registered through Google for the domain name www.rheothing.com. I put the billing on a credit card with […]
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3:53 PM | Chemists overcoming challenges
In this week's C&EN, Linda Wang's collection of inspirational stories of people overcoming a variety of personal challenges in their journey to becoming chemists. I really enjoyed Dr. Charlotte Cutler's story -- she has cerebral palsy and did work in grad school as a synthetic organic chemist: ...In the lab, I cannot reliably hold anything with my left hand alone. My first research experience was in a synthesis lab working on moisture-sensitive cyclo­proparene chemistry. Looking […]
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3:47 PM | Size-based chromatography nanotechnology technique for the study of living cells
Using nanodot technology, Berkeley Lab researchers have demonstrated the first size-based form of chromatography that can be used to study the membranes of living cells. This unique physical approach to probing cellular membrane structures can reveal information critical to whether a cell lives or dies, remains normal or turns cancerous, that can't be obtained through conventional microscopy.
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1:34 PM | New material coating technology mimics nature's Lotus effect
Using a two-step technique, researchers produced a low-cost and simple approach for coating metallic surfaces with an enduring superhydrophobic film of copper.
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11:05 AM | Hydrogen sulfide nanoreporters tell 'sour' oil from 'sweet'
Scientists have created a nanoscale detector that checks for and reports on the presence of hydrogen sulfide in crude oil and natural gas while they?re still in the ground.
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10:59 AM | Samsung and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Collaborate on 14nm FinFET Semiconductor Technology
Shared technology allows global capacity for 14nm FinFET fabrication in the U.S. and Korea.

April 20, 2014

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4:01 PM | Researchers discover new method to produce large volumes of high quality graphene
Researchers in AMBER, the Science Foundation Ireland funded materials science centre headquartered at Trinity College Dublin have, for the first time, developed a new method of producing industrial quantities of high quality graphene.
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5:27 AM | “in the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” (Margaret Atwood)
It’s finally spring in New York City! Here are some shots a friend and I took over a walk in Central Park.

April 19, 2014

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11:35 PM | HIV antiretrovirals as drugs of abuse From around 2008, an...
HIV antiretrovirals as drugs of abuse From around 2008, an unusual new street drug has been appearing in South Africa, containing HIV antiretroviral (ARV) efavirenz. Reports have described robberies of both clinics and HIV patients, often by those high on the drug intending to sell them on to the ‘cooks’. Vice magazine reporter Hamilton Morris has been investigating various drugs for the publication, and in this installment covered whoonga, or nyaope as […]
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5:46 PM | Hidden secrets of the hippos
The hippopotmus, whose name means “river horse” in ancient Greek, looks nothing like a horse. Nor, in fact, does he boast any of our beloved mare’s galloping majesty. Wider, shorter, and slightly more awkward, the hippo looks more like a baby whale – the seemingly docile river-dweller of sub-Saharan Africa (see above picture*). He spends the night alone, eating grass by the kilo, […]
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1:04 PM | Print your Own
I noticed this the other day! Surely it can’t be real or is it someone patent busting? It’s all about printing your own compounds with a 3D printer. “In drug discovery, de novo compounds are usually difficult to synthesise  purify and suffer low yields. Thus, DrugPrinter, a novel protocol for ‘printing’ any compound instantly instead of […]
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7:08 AM | I CANNOT believe this was published
Via Egon Willighagen, a truly bizarre article in Drug Discovery Today that appears to have been accepted for publication:In drug discovery, de novo potent leads need to be synthesized for bioassay experiments in a very short time. Here, a protocol using DrugPrinter to print out any compound in just one step is proposed. The de novo compound could be designed by cloud computing big data. The computing systems could then search the optimal synthesis condition for each bond–bond […]

April 18, 2014

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10:41 PM | ENC 2014 Post 1
SPECIAL NOTE:  I wrote this post at the ENC, but for some reason it never got posted.  (I blame the crappy wi-fi in my hotel!).  Sorry ...Day 1 of the 2014 ENCThe first session was the Laukien Prize session.The prestigious Laukien prize is given to recognize excellence in experimental nuclear magnetic resonance published within the last three years.  The 2014 Laukien prize is awarded to a group of six leading solid-state NMR spectroscopists for their development and […]
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9:20 PM | Friday Fun: Masthead Surprise
Ever stop and read a magazine masthead? Y'know, the page where they list all the editors, staff, and Board members?Sometimes you find fun* surprises. National Geographic Magazine*Please state your answer in the form of a question...
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7:38 PM | Distillations April Webcast: Alchemy's Rainbow
Our latest webcast explores the colorful (and sometimes risk-filled) history of pigments and painters, and the conservationists who save paintings from the ravages of time and accidental chemistry. "Alchemy’s Rainbow: Pigment Science and the Art of Conservation" features art conservator Mark F. Bockrath and art historian and CHF fellow Elisabeth Berry Drago. Our guests discuss and show the messy and occasionally dangerous process of making paints from pigments and the transition to using […]
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7:13 PM | Gecko-like adhesives now useful for real world surfaces (w/video)
Researchers report how they have expanded their design theory to allow Geckskin to adhere powerfully to a wider variety of surfaces found in most homes such as drywall, and wood.
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7:08 PM | Louisiana Still Backs Project Planned By Russia’s EuroChem
Back in July 2013, the Russian fertilizer maker EuroChem, in a joint press release with Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, announced it was planning to build a $1.5 billion ammonia and urea complex in Louisiana. At the time, the announcement was just one in a long line of chemical and fertilizer projects meant to take advantage […]
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7:07 PM | Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on a molecular scale
Researchers develop system that could one day peer into the atomic structure of individual molecules.
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6:58 PM | Impurity size affects performance of emerging superconductive material
New research finds that impurities can hurt performance - or possibly provide benefits - in a key superconductive material that is expected to find use in a host of applications, including future particle colliders. The size of the impurities determines whether they help or hinder the material's performance.
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6:51 PM | Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair
A significant breakthrough could revolutionize surgical practice and regenerative medicine. A team of researchers has just demonstrated that the principle of adhesion by aqueous solutions of nanoparticles can be used in vivo to repair soft-tissue organs and tissues.
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6:05 PM | As if water didn’t have enough unusual aspects (of...
As if water didn’t have enough unusual aspects (of interest to biologists, since, well, it’s only the primary solvent in all living organisms) a paper out today highlights its disobedience to a fundamental law describing molecular diffusion. Aqueous guanidium hydrochloride ‒ a “water neutral” denaturant used to produce chemical unfolding of proteins. The particular paper I’m thinking of is Exploring Early Stages of the Chemical Unfolding of Proteins at […]
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3:10 PM | Lawsuit stemming from November 2013 rainbow flame incident
Via DNAinfo Chicago, news of a lawsuit:LINCOLN PARK — The mother of a student who was burned in a chemistry lab fire at Lincoln Park High School is suing the school, Chicago Public Schools and the teacher involved.Jennifer Dryden, the mother of student Tatiana Schwirblat, filed the lawsuit last week arguing the chemistry teacher, Joy Walter, and other defendants were negligent. The chemistry lab fire broke out just before noon Nov. 25 and injured a total of five students, authorities said […]
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1:58 PM | Notes from the broader economy
From this morning's news trawl, an interesting comment on wage increases in the broader economy. From the Wall Street Journal: Are American workers finally starting to see some decent wage increases? A report Thursday offers hope, showing incomes picked up at a healthy pace in the first three months of the year. The weekly earnings of the typical full-time worker rose 3% in the first quarter compared to a year earlier, the fastest pace since 2008, the Labor Department said. That […]
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8:46 AM | Education, breastfeeding and gender affect the microbes on our bodies
Trillions of microbes live in and on our body. We don’t yet fully understand how these microbial ecosystems develop or...
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8:46 AM | Education, breastfeeding and gender affect the microbes on our bodies
Trillions of microbes live in and on our body. We don’t yet fully understand how these microbial ecosystems develop or...
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6:42 AM | Taurine (and also cysteate) are described as “amino acids” in...
Taurine (and also cysteate) are described as “amino acids” in the literature, even though their acid group is a sulphonic, not carboxylic one. Both are derived from the essential but interconverted Cys & Met. It’s odd to notice, as I guess it’s something I would just take for granted. Similarly, there are phosphonic amino acids. A large part of this oversight is that the amino acids making up proteins are all carboxylic, but in the living cell these building blocks […]

April 17, 2014

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10:07 PM | Publication of the week, number 22, 18th April 2014
Here is a nice synthesis of (+)-chloriolide from Ostermeier and Schobert from the University of Bayreuth in Germany which appeared in this weeks JOC ASAPs. This simple looking macrolide can be isolated from a fungus found on decaying wood and did not possess any antibiotic activity. I said simple looking, however previous routes were relatively […]
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7:44 PM | Magnetic nanovoyagers in human blood
While nanotechnology researchers have made great progress over the past few years in developing self-propelled nano objects, these tiny devices still fall far short of what their natural counterparts' performance. Today, artificial nanomotors lack the sophisticated functionality of biomotors and are limited to a very narrow range of environments and fuels. In another step towards realizing the vision of tiny vessels roaming around in human blood vessels working as surgical nanorobots, […]
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7:18 PM | Exotic material is like a switch when super thin
Researchers have shown how to switch a particular transition metal oxide, a lanthanum nickelate, from a metal to an insulator by making the material less than a nanometer thick.
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6:41 PM | More effective kidney stone treatment, from the macroscopic to the nanoscale
Researchers have hit on a novel method to help kidney stone sufferers ensure they receive the correct and most effective treatment possible.
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