May 2005

Vol 2, no.5

May 2005

News and analysis

Environment: Geochemical cycles slipping into reverse

UN report records the consequences of ecosystem change

Funding: Laser technology to unfold a protein mystery

Harry Gray, professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, has been awarded $970 000 (518 000) to study the structures, dynamics, and misfolding of malignant pr...

Funding: Chemistry on track for high profile in European research

Chemists across Europe are pushing for a higher profile for chemical science in the European Commission's seventh framework programme for research.

Policy: Australia needs more chemists

Australia faces a looming shortage of chemists that could endanger the emerging bio-technology and nanotechnology industries, fields that are expected to shape the nation's future ...

Industry: Business plan competition

Commercial advice for start-up competitors

Industry: Deadly protests in China

Not everyone in China welcomes the unprecedented growth in the country's chemical industry

Nanotechnology: A is for apple, N is for nanotechnology

Chemists make the case for nano nomenclature

Agriculture: Airborne pesticides need surveillance

Airborne pesticides must be taken much more seriously when assessing risks of pesticide use, caution environmental chemists.

Pharmaceuticals: Viagra hope for hypertensive mothers-to-be

The anti-impotence drug viagra offers a potential treatment for pregnant women at risk of developing preeclampsia

Policy: Top spot not guaranteed for US chemists

Scientific research in Asia could be pushing the US into second place, according to a US public policy expert.

Education: Collaboration networks for Birmingham

UK researchers to transcend departmental divisions

Industry:Queen's Awards highlight UK chemical industry

The chemical sector is a clear winner among this year's Queen's Awards for Enterprise, announced at the end of April.

Funding: Assessing university research in 2008

Chemistry departments can now get involved in the next RAE

History: Historic chemists remembered

A blue plaque honouring two of Manchester's celebrated chemists, Edward Frankland and Henry Enfield Roscoe, has been unveiled in the city.

Unapproved GM release inflames debate

The controversy over genetically modified crops has flared up again after Syngenta confirmed it had been mistakenly distributing an unapproved version of its GM maize in the US.

In Brief

Eric Poehlman; Health and Safety Laboratory; Xenical; Centres for Disease Control and Prevention; ScotCHEM; Chemistry World

Chemical Science

Analysis to age an Amontillado

The age of vintage sherries can be authenticated using statistics

It takes amino acids to catch a protein

Fusing proteins together as they interact means their actions can be analysed

Nanotube noses

Carbon nanotube sensors to selectively analyse gas samples

Extra information helps inspectors

Researchers add compounds to database of chemical weapons

Big proteins analysed

Gas-phase spectroscopy on large molecules confirms their structure

Hormone history mirrors prion morphology

Insulin proteins pass on their structural information and add to amyloid research

Antibiotic separates the good from the bad

Antibacterial polymers designed to distinguish between bacteria and human cells

Blue fluorescent DNA

Modified nucleotides highlight binding by antibodies

Getting to the root of the arsenic problem

A common weed could help decontaminate water in the developing world

Simple but smart polymers

Combining controlled polymerisation and 'click' chemistry

Pressure tuning of magnetism

Induced isomerisation causes iron to switch its spin state

Untangling the structure of fibrils

Solid state NMR can determine the details of complex amyloids

Dinosaurs and spherules

Geochemists study molten droplets from meteorite impact

Softly-softly approach to art conservation

New gels could allow artwork to be cleaned without causing damage

Industrial collaboration adds to thymol

Academics team up with chemical companies to investigate catalysis

Underworld fruit for the heart

Pomegranate juice reverses the development of atherosclerosis at the level of gene activation, report researchers in Italy and the US.

Regulating cell division

The discovery of a process crucial to cell growth regulation could improve understanding of cancer and ageing

Biomedical polymers

Chinese researchers have developed the first soluble polyurethane (PU) with controllable properties that could make it suitable for biomedical applications.

Electrons turn red polymers green

A polymeric material that changes colour when an electric current is applied has been developed by scientists in Germany.

Cheap portable gene fragment analysis developed

A cheap, portable method to determine gene mutations, suitable for use in hospital labs, has been developed by US scientists.

Ionic liquids studied using NMR

The first steps towards performing routine NMR spectroscopy in ionic liquids have been taken by a group of scientists working in Germany.

Teaching molecular magicians new tricks

Arginine-rich peptides use anions to cross membranes in biological systems, say Swiss researchers.

Cancer killing catalysts

Nanophotocatalysts are killing cancer and viruses by producing destructive oxygen species.

Complex mimetics, simply done

A method to synthesise diverse libraries of carbohydrate clusters quickly and simply has been developed.

Human genome sequence helps target cancer

The human genome is being used to produce a new generation of drugs that target the genetic changes responsible for individual cancers.

Metals cause fast breakdown of pesticides

Processes for decomposing pesticides and chemical warfare agents are being unravelled by Canadian scientists.

Solvent guess work taken out of gel design

A simple chemical alteration can make a molecule that normally forms gels in organic solvents switch to making gels in water.

Bright future for OLEDs

An iridium complex has been developed as a red-light emitting material for use in organic light emitting diodes (OLED).


Pommes neuf with a hint of hay

Cooked to perfection

Heston Blumenthal, chef-proprietor of the Fat Duck restaurant, uses chemistry to create unusual dishes. Katharine Sanderson talks to him

Chemistry from space

A different perspective on the world

A grand vision of global cooperation promises to boost the opportunities for chemical analysis from space. Andrew Scott looks at the findings from existing satellites

Beyond cleaning

Researchers are taking surfactants and emulsions, the ingredients of liquid soaps and face creams, and using them to tackle some of the world's most challenging infectious diseases...

Combinatorial chemistry with biological help

Michael Gross investigates the ways in which nature can be used to help in the quest for new molecules


Taking on a challenge

Whatman claims to be in good health after restructuring and has been on the acquisition trail. Karen Harries-Rees reports


Editorial: Aiming high

Research funding is essential for Europe to become a key knowledge-based economy

Swings and roundabouts

Life in a start-up company can be anything but easy, as Lionel Milgrom discovered

Your Views

Who influenced you most in your career?

The last retort: Brushing up

Lord Kelvin's bucket technique was easily arranged - cloudy skies are the East Midland's forte after all, and I had a bin liner handy - but to no avail.


May - 45 years ago; 105 years ago; 110 years ago; 175 years ago; 205 years ago


Chemistry World Letters, May 2005


Chemistry World Reviews, May 2005