Apr 3, 2009
Bond, Q, and controlled cleavage – US chemists have made an iron catalyst that can be used to rapidly break strong carbon-hydrogen bonds within molecules, up to one thousands times faster than other methods. The research could solve one of the great chemical challenges.
Depressing brain scans – The first study of its kind has used MRI to demonstrate how changes in cortical thickness may surprisingly relate brain structure to clinical depression. The large-scale US study suggests that a thinning of the right hemisphere of the brain could be a risk factor for depression.
Naturally synthetic capsules – Synthetic capsules made from natural building blocks have been studied with NMR spectroscopy. The block copolymer capsules made from protein and sugar components mimic the behaviour of cells and might be useful as microreactors or as drug-delivery agents.
Going cellular – An artificial cell made from molybdenum-based building blocks whose pores can open and close has been devised by an international team. The pores can allow molecules that are “too big” into the capsule.
Sensitive SERS beats ELISA – Scientists in South Korea have developed a new magnetic approach to immunoassay detection of important biological marker compounds and antigens using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) of hollow gold nanospheres. The technique is not only much faster than standard assays but up to 1000 times more sensitive.
Promiscuous drug transporter – The multi-drug transporter P-glycoprotein (P-gp) detoxifies cells by promiscuously exporting chemically unrelated toxins and drugs. Now, X-ray crystallography has helped US scientists home in on the protein that also helps give cancer cells resistance to chemotherapy agents.
Six of the best from the latest SpectroscopyNOW.com