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Alchemy, Hydrogen Economics, Lead-free Crime

Toy gun crime

In my ChemWeb Alchemist column this week, German chemists have constructed nanoscopic balls from DNA, researchers in the UK have discovered natural antibiotics in Greek cheese that could prevent food poisoning, and Stateside, researchers have developed a low-pressure hydrogen storage material that might pave the way to a hydrogen economy (if we want it). I also report on ancient color in statues and relief as well as another chemical scare story. This award in this issue represents more than four decades of surface science and was presented to UCB’s Gabor Somorjai at the ACS meeting.

There’s cancer news over on SpectroscopyNOW this week with my report on findings suggesting a link between raised heavy metal levels and cancer, whether or not it is a cause or an effect of a change in metabolism in cancer is not yet known, but it represents a new avenue in research.

I also report briefly on a review of the state of the art in determining the absolute configuration, the definitive shape and structure of organic molecules using special add-ons for NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography. Speaking of X-rays, in the XRD ezine, I report on the recent work from the Pyle group at Yale University who have unravelled some of the secrets of DNA’s message bearing cousin, RNA.

Finally, I got a chance to use a couple of my gun photos, which are heavily Photoshopped images of a toy gun, in a piece on forensic science and the problem of gathering hard evidence now that ammo has gone lead-free.

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