10 chemical picks

  • Erlotinib effective and with fewer side-effects after first-line treatment – The targeted cancer drug erlotinib has comparable efficacy to chemotherapy, and is better tolerated, in hard-to-treat cases where a patient's cancer has progressed quickly after treatment with first-line therapy, the results of a new phase III trial show.
  • Overfertilizing corn undermines ethanol – Rice University scientists and their colleagues have found that when growing corn crops for ethanol, more means less. A new paper in today's online edition of the American Chemical Society's journal Environmental Science and Technology shows how farmers can save money on fertilizer while they improve their production of feedstock for ethanol and alleviate damage to the environment.
  • Quick, easy test identifies aggressive type of lung cancer in never-smokers – An inexpensive and rapid testing method can effectively identify a sub-group of never-smoking lung cancer patients whose tumors express a molecule associated with increased risk of disease progression or recurrence, US researchers have found.
  • Oncogene AEG-1 strongly predicts response to erlotinib treatment in EGFR-mutant lung cancer – Spanish researchers have identified a gene whose expression level strongly predicts how well certain lung cancer patients will respond to treatment with the drug erlotinib.
  • New kind of optical fiber developed – A team of scientists led by John Badding, a professor of chemistry at Penn State University, has developed the very first optical fiber made with a core of zinc selenide — a light-yellow compound that can be used as a semiconductor.
  • HIV Makes Protein that May Help the Virus’s Resurgence – New research enhances the current knowledge of how human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1), which causes AIDS, controls the cell cycle of cells that it infects. The new findings may shed light on how the virus reactivates after entering a dormant state, called latency.
  • Researchers from Hebrew U., US discover how ‘dangerous’ mercury enters into atmosphere and ultimately into fish we eat – Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the US have discovered the mechanism whereby dangerous mercury eventually finds its way into the fish we eat from the open seas and oceans.
  • A sculpture you can’t see: the chemistry behind the art – A University of Sydney professor is at the forefront of cutting edge work creating complex and beautiful molecular structures that, until recently, could only be made at a life-sized scale.
  • Researcher investigates new material grown from sugar – Ordinary table sugar could be a key ingredient to developing much lighter, faster, cheaper, denser and more robust computer electronics for use on U.S. military aircraft.
  • Missing chromium is clue to planet formation – Early in the formation of the Earth, some forms of the element chromium separated and disappeared deep into the planet's core, a new study by UC Davis geologists shows.

Robert Slinn selects ten from the latest chemistry news for Reactive Reports.

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