The Alchemist travels back billions of years to the dawn of life this week to learn how aspartic acid may be the crystal Eve, the mother of all chirality while heading back to the future also discovers how biology and nanotechnology might be fused to produce new metamaterials for a range of medical and analytical technologies. Banned scent compounds turn up in childrens toys, we hear while US chemists have built a molecule that bites its own tail to trap smaller molecules within. In environmental news, the recent volcanic activity that grounded thousands of travelers to and from Northern Europe may not have the environmental impact some observers have suggested. Finally, chemistry is the word as Microsoft launches a CML, chemical markup language, add-in for its well-known word processing application.
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