Slinn Pickings – chemical happenings

What’s happening in the world of chemistry, Robert Slinn filters the latest news for Reactive Reports.

  • Voiding defects: New technique makes LED lighting more efficient – Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are an increasingly popular technology for use in energy-efficient lighting. Researchers from North Carolina State University have now developed a new technique that reduces defects in the gallium nitride (GaN) films used to create LEDs, making them more efficient.
  • Scrambling to Close the Isotope Gap – Two reactors, one in the Netherlands and the other in Canada, produce 60% of the world's radioactive molybdenum-99, which decays into technetium-99, a radioisotope used in more than 30 million procedures a year worldwide for imaging everything from blood flow through the heart to bone cancer—and both reactors are decades beyond their intended life expectancy.
  • Common weed petty spurge as a skin cancer treatment – Sap from the common garden weed petty spurge appears to treat non-melanoma skin cancers, experts are reporting in the British Journal of Dermatology.
  • Shining new light on air pollutants using entangled porous frameworks – Certain types of pollution monitoring may soon become considerably easier. A group of researchers centered at Kyoto University has shown in a recent Nature Communications paper that a newly-formulated entangled framework of porous crystals (porous coordination polymers, or PCPs) can not only capture a variety of common air pollutants, but that the mixtures then glow in specific, easily-detected colours.
  • Breakthrough in low temperature growth of carbon nanotubes – Researchers at the University of Surrey have discovered a way to grow high-quality carbon nanotubes over large areas at substrate temperatures below 350ºC which would make this technology compatible with CMOS (a technology for constructing integrated circuits) and suitable for large area substrates.
  • Columbia University researchers use nanoscale transistors to study single-molecule interactions – An interdisciplinary team from Columbia University has figured out a way to study single-molecule interactions on very short time scales using nanoscale transistors. They show how, for the first time, transistors can be used to detect the binding of the two halves of the DNA double helix with the DNA tethered to the transistor sensor.
  • Anti-estrogen medication reduces risk of dying from lung cancer – A new study has found that tamoxifen, an anti-estrogen breast cancer medication, may reduce an individual's risk of death from lung cancer.
  • No longer pining for organic molecules to make particles in the air – The fresh scent of pine has helped atmospheric scientists find missing sources of organic molecules in the air — which, it could well turn out, aren't missing after all.
  • Weizmann Institute Scientists used Accelerated Evolution to Develop Enzymes that Provide Protection Against Nerve Gas – A multidisciplinary team of scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science have succeeded in developing an enzyme that breaks down organophosphorus nerve agents efficiently before damage to nerves and muscles is caused. Recent experiments performed in a U.S. military laboratory (USAMRICD) have shown that injecting a relatively small amount of this enzyme into animals provides protection against certain types of nerve agents, for which current treatments show limited efficacy.

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