Halloween Skeletons and Reactive Chemistry

A jack-o'-lanternIn the latest scary issue of the chemistry news webzine, Reactive Reports: Dating skeletons, sticky feet for Gecko Guy, volcanic chemistry from the depths of Hades, and chasing mad cows.

CSI: Waco – A statistical method that processes spectroscopic measurements very quickly could allow crime scene investigators to determine time of death of skeletal remains more accurately and quicker than before, according to researchers at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Stuck On You – Scientists have long been interested in the ability of gecko lizards to scurry up walls and cling to ceilings by their toes. Now, researchers have found a way to mimic those hairy gecko feet using polymers or carbon nanotubes.

Tubular Reactions – Using surface-modified carbon nanotubes to activate an important industrial chemical, butane, without the need for an expensive metal catalyst—Dang Sheng Su and his team present a process that offers a cheaper alternative to the current industrial process for butane activation.

Chasing Down Mad Cows – Researchers in Europe have tracked down the molecular anchor that hooks errant and infectious prions leading to mad cow disease, scrapie in sheep, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans.