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Chemistry News Archive October 2011

Chemistry News October 2011

News of the year 2011 in the fields of chemistry and chemistry-related topics like biochemistry, nantechnology, medicinal chemistry etc.

Main focus: press releases, scientific research results and summaries of chemistry articles, that are published in chemistry journals.

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Spectra of water surfaces

Unified Molecular View of the Air/Water Interface

When water and air meet: New study sheds light on the mysterious structure of the world's most common liquid interface.

This figure shows the imaginary part of second order nonlinear susceptibility spectra of water surfaces [Credit: RIKEN].

New solid state energy scale

A New Solid State Energy Scale

Advance offers new opportunities in chemistry education, research.

Image: A new "solid state energy scale" developed by researchers at Oregon State University provides a new way to understand electronegativity, a fundamental but very important concept in chemistry [Graphic courtesy of Oregon State University]


Synthetic Inorganic Cells: iCHELLs

Synthetic cells: Ion exchange leads to complex cell systems with inorganic membranes.

[Credit: Angewandte Chemie, Wiley-VCH]

Organic Optical Transistor

Organic Optical Transistors

Light driving light: how an optical transistor operates.

Image: The key functionalities of an optical transistor, gating and amplification, are demonstrated exploiting the photophysical properties of a molecular triad. Two building blocks of the triad are highly efficient fluorophores, whereas the third building block is a photochromic molecule that can be reversibly interconverted between two bistable forms by light [Credit: Angewandte Chemie International Edition].

Reaction rates

Chemists Modify Polanyi Rules for Reaction Rates

Theoretical chemists at Emory University have solved an important mystery about the rates of chemical reactions and the so-called Polanyi rules.

Image: The reactive properties of methane are of particular interest, since it is an important fuel: Understanding the dynamics of chemical reactions is key to driving reactions efficiently, whether in a laboratory experiment or in an industrial applicationl [Photo by Carol Clark].

Atmospheric-pressure microplasma

Electron-Transfer Reactions Controlled With a Plasma Electrode

Engineers at Case Western Reserve University have made an electrochemical cell that uses a plasma for an electrode, instead of solid pieces of metal.

[Credit: Journal of the American Chemical Society]

Hydrogels with embedded Rhodamine B

Light Vortex

Circularly polarized luminescence from a stirred and gelled solution of dye.

[Credit: Angewandte Chemie International Edition]




DNA hydrophobic interactions

Molecular Forces in Hydrophobic Interactions

New equation developed by UCSB chemical engineers solves the mystery of forces between water-repelling and water-attracting molecules that are critical to industrial and medical applications.

Image: One example of how hydrophobic interactions are critical to biomedical applications can be found in how DNA base pairs on the two strands are drawn together to form a double helix. The basic structure of a DNA molecule is a hydrophilic backbone and a hydrophobic inner region of nitrogenous bases (adenine, guanine, thymine, and cytosine). These molecular hydrophobic forces repel the water between them which drives the bases towards each other [Credit: UCSB].





Dioxobilane: A Colorless Chlorophyll Catabolite

Colorful leaves: New chlorophyll decomposition product found in Norway maple.

Image: A colorless chlorophyll catabolite was found in senescent leaves of Norway maple, a widespread deciduous tree. This compound is a dioxobilane, a “linear” tetrapyrrole, in which one meso carbon of the macrocycle of the hypothetical chlorophyll precursor has been lost. The configuration of this catabolite suggests a path of chlorophyll breakdown in Norway maple that diverges from that found in senescent leaves of other higher plants [Credit: Angewandte Chemie International Edition].


Bikunin: Scientists Sequence the First Carbohydrate Biopolymer

Robert Linhardt of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute sequences bikunin - a proteoglycan.

Image: The portion on the left corresponds to the sugar part of the molecule, the sequence of which was determined in the current study. The portion on the right corresponds to the protein part of bikunin [Credit: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute].


Chemistry and Medicine:

Medicinal Chemistry

Verticillin A Appears to Improve Effectiveness of Cancer Drugs

A natural compound isolated from a wild, poisonous mushroom growing in a Southwest China forest appears to help a cancer killing drug fulfill its promise, researchers report.


Kewords: Chemistry, news, reports, October 2011
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