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Highlights in Chemical Science

News from across RSC Publishing.

Issue 8

Magnetic AND chiral

Unique chiral molecules that are optically active whilst presenting magnetic order have been prepared by a team from Barcelona, Spain. The synergy which may take place between optical activity and magnetic fields is attracting interest, and Jaume Veciana and his team are investigating new molecular materials that combine magnetic and chiral properties whilst exhibiting synergistic effects like magneto-chiral dichroism. These chiral molecules are the first materials of their kind, and could exhibit magneto-chiral dichroism under sensitive experimental conditions

Off-the-shelf microfluidics

US researchers led by Peter Gascoyne at the University of Texas present a programmable system of accurately titrating, moving and mixing microfluidic droplets of any composition using dielectrophoresis (DEP). In DEP movement of droplets depends only on dielectric properties and is independent of polarity or electrical conductivity. They have coupled this technology to control software creating a general-purpose device which could offer an off-the-shelf solution to almost any fluid-based analysis or microscale-synthesis problem.

MALDI with a soft touch

Renato Zenobi and co-workers in Zurich and Estonia have developed matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) methods that are softer, avoiding the high-vacuum conditions which can damage molecules of biological interest by undoing reactions relevant in proteomics, eg phosphorylation. They interface their new method to liquid chromatography (LC), which should allow analysis of complex samples from environmental, forensic and pharmaceutical analysis, and medical diagnostics.

Nano fillings

Oxford researchers describe single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) as the world's smallest test tubes with potential applications in the electronic, engineering and medical sciences. A novel procedure is presented for the filling of SWNTs with alkali metal hydroxides. The filling is washed out and the tubules re-filled with clusters and molecules under mild conditions. They believe that this methodology will be widely applicable for the filling of SWNTs with a variety of chemicals and materials.

Essential Elements

RSC Journals Archive reaches new heights

Full access to the RSC Journals Archive has just got one step closer for all UK-based students and academics.

Dalton meets MEDLINE

Dalton Transactions has been selected by the National Library of Medicine to be indexed and included in Index Medicus/MEDLINE

Making a major impact

The latest impact factors, released by ISI, show encouraging growth for a number of RSC journals.

Research Highlights

A malarial miracle?

A better understanding of the activity of malaria and an effective vaccine for the disease are both a step closer thanks to a team of chemists in Switzerland and the US.

All the herbs in China

Current intense interest in natural products as antioxidants has prompted scientists from China and Singapore to revisit the antioxidant properties of Chinese herbal medicines (CHM...

Consistent atmospheric measurements

Operations spanning 10 years have yielded the first review of validation exercises using ozone and temperature lidar measurements from the Network for the Detection of Stratospheri...

Desulfurisation goes green

Ionic liquids can remove sulfur from oil refinery streams.

Naturally trapped enzymes

Enzymes trapped in biomimetically synthesised silica retain their activity.

New light on bad beer

Sunlight on isohumulones gives beer a skunky off-flavour.

Non-stop homogeneous catalysis

Reactor enables rhodium to be used as a catalyst without decomposition.

Progressing the battle against cancer

There are two closely linked research areas in the fight against cancer: microtubules and epothilones.

Smoky black depths of the ocean

Instruments robust enough to survive the treacherous depths of the ocean are being developed by analytical chemists in the US.

Taking the guesswork out of ionic liquids

What is it about the structures of ionic liquids (ILs) that make them so promising as alternatives to conventional solvent systems?

What it takes to be an environmental model

Understanding the release kinetics of compounds from complex polymeric matrices is important to medical, agricultural and environmental sciences.