10 chemical picks

  • Researcher lists more than 4,000 components of blood chemistry – After three years of exhaustive analysis led by a University of Alberta researcher, the list of known compounds in human blood has exploded from just a handful to more than 4,000.
  • Bone drug zoledronic acid may help prevent spread of early lung cancer – A drug that is currently used to help treat bone metastases in patients with lung cancer could also be useful at an earlier stage of treatment, to prevent the cancer from spreading in the first place, Italian researchers have found.
  • Elusive form of iron captured – Researchers in the US and Germany have synthesised and characterised an iron nitride compound that reacts with water to produce high yields of ammonia under mild conditions. The work could help elucidate the mechanisms behind iron-based catalysts, both for industrial and biological ammonia production, which could allow for cheaper non-toxic catalysts.
  • Diagnosing diseases with CDs – A digital compact disc integrated with a microfluidic device to analyse cells has been developed by scientists in the US. The disc can be inserted into a standard computer disc drive for analysis and could be used to diagnose diseases.
  • Bendy batteries a step closer – Scientists from Korea have found that with the use of graphene nanosheets, the fabrication of bendable power sources is possible.
  • Mystery of natural sunscreen solved – Spanish scientists have established how natural products protect plants from sun damage. The compounds could be used as active ingredients in sunscreens. Using computational techniques on palythine – a compound found in coral – as a model compound, Diego Sampedro at the University of La Rioja, Logroño, investigated what happens to the molecule after it absorbs UV light.
  • Vertex Unveils Exciting Data for Cystic Fibrosis Drug – In one of those rare cases of good science translating directly into good medicine, Vertex Pharmaceuticals yesterday unveiled positive results from a Phase III trial of VX-770, a small molecule that treats the underlying defect of cystic fibrosis.
  • IMEC creates flexible microprocessor with organic semiconductors — computational clothing right around the corner – Organic semiconductors have been teasing us with the possibility of computationally-inclined clothing for years, but until now we could only dream about our pants being the computer. That dream is closer to reality than ever, as researchers from IMEC have created a cheap (potentially 1/10th the cost of silicon chips), bendable microprocessor by layering a plastic substrate, gold circuits, organic dielectric, and a pentacene organic semiconductor to create an 8-bit logic circuit with 4000 transistors.
  • Mapping brain networks – US scientists have created a model of the ring-shaped networks of neurons in the brain, which could help researchers to understand small changes within diseased brain cells.
  • Seaweed recruited in fight against malaria – Compounds found in seaweed have shown anti-malarial properties, killing even drug-resistant malaria parasites

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

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