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Highlights in Chemical Science

News from across RSC Publishing.

Issue 1

Drugs dialogue needed to halt sports abuse

Top sports stars can take their pick of the very latest performance-enhancing drugs safe in the knowledge that testing authorities know too little about what pharmaceutical companies are developing, concede Graham Trout and Rymantas Kazlauskas who screened athletes at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. In this tutorial review, the pair discuss the latest challenges to detection and call for greater co-operation between testing laboratories and drug manufacturers so that screening tests are devised well before new products go on sale.

Protein's iron core at heart of solar switch

A new molecular switch that can transmit and process solar energy promises advances in photovoltaics and catalytic reactivity, claims a team of chemists from Germany and the US. Andreas Hirsch and Dirk Guldi and their colleagues created their switch by bringing together a protein, a fullerene and an electrode. Iron at the protein's centre is crucial to the switch's operation; by applying different electrochemical potentials, the iron's redox state changes, turning the device on and off

Essential Elements

We have lift off!

We have lift off!

Research Highlights

Biomaterialists promise 'nanovehicles' to deliver drugs

Custom-built carbon nanotubes can enter human cells as harmless drug-delivery vehicles, speculates a Franco-Italian team of biologists and materials chemists.

Catalysts for re-use

Simple chemistry can make catalysts recoverable and reusable without affecting their performance, claim two polymer chemists at Texas A&M University.

Gelatine fingerprints mark trail of cheats

After BSE, laser spectrometry looks set to ease policing of contaminated feed.

Identical nanotubes yield production clues

Nanotechnologists edge towards their Holy Grail of controlled fabrication.

Lab fungus to fight cancer

Successful synthesis of a fungal metabolite known to disrupt cancer cells could lead to a wide range of new drugs to fight the disease.

Lanthanoids set shining example to German chemists

In a piece of reverse science, German researchers have made nanocrystals luminesce more strongly by enclosing them in a crystalline shell.

Model theory unites enzyme actions

At last, computers are beginning to unravel the origins of enzyme catalysis.

Moves to molecular switch

A study of how the crystalline environment of a molecule can influence its behaviour over a range of temperatures brings the development of molecular switches a step closer.

New route to antimony compounds

Efficient and simple synthesis of distibenes, the antimony compounds regarded as notoriously difficult and hazardous to make.

Organic catalyst breaks alcohol record

Spanish chemists reveal their 'most efficient' catalyst for crucial transformation.

Pores for thought with rigid, contorted polymer

In an exciting communication heralding the discovery of a useful new class of materials, chemists at the University of Manchester introduce 'polymers of intrinsic microporosity'.

Press (hard) for your new plastic toy

US researchers develop plastics that can be reshaped at low temperatures.

Sensitive electrode detects arsenic

Diamond electrodes laced with boron and coated with iridium oxide could provide a cheap and simple way of detecting arsenic at exceptionally low concentrations.

Solid evidence of green union

Light so excites crystals of cinnamic acid that they can unite rapidly and undamaged without the need for potentially harmful solvents.

Spinning into a new era of computing

Flipping a spin is easier and faster than moving around electrons. So are we going to switch to spintronics? Michael Gross investigates.