Slinn Pickings – chemistry news

  • DNA can discern between two quantum states, research shows – Research, which appeared recently in Science, shows that a biological molecule — DNA — can discern between quantum states known as spin.
  • Caltech researchers build largest biochemical circuit out of small synthetic DNA molecules – Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have built the most complex biochemical circuit ever created from scratch, made with DNA-based devices in a test tube that are analogous to the electronic transistors on a computer chip.
  • Material changes properties at the flick of a switch – Chinese and German scientists have designed a hybrid material that can be reversibly switched between being strong and rigid to soft and flexible by applying an electric charge. The researchers say it's the first time anyone has been able to make such a material and could lead to more efficient manufacturing processes, as well as novel, self-healing materials.
  • A molecular calculator – DNA holds the code for all living things – and now it can solve square-root problems too. Researchers have built the largest and most sophisticated system yet that performs calculations using DNA.
  • Team solves decades-old molecular mystery linked to blood clotting – Researchers report that they are the first to describe in atomic detail a chemical interaction that is vital to blood clotting.
  • Hard x-rays to watch chemical reactions – Chemists can now peer deeper into a material to follow chemical reactions thanks to a new x-ray technique.

Robert Slinn, chemist and writer, picks out six of the best for his regular chemistry news column on Reactive Reports

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