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Composting Chitosan Cat-litter Composite

Spectroscopy Now

That has to be the oddest blog headline I’ve come up with this week, but it’s not in fact that esoteric once you get down to it. Basically, researchers in China have created a new material based on dolomite (porous kitty litter material) and the crab shell derivative chitosan.

The new composite material not only absorbs water it can release an NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) fertiliser over a prolonged period for use in agriculture and horticulture. Advantages are, improved irrigation efficiency and less run off into waterways together with improved crop yields. More on this, in my SpectroscopyNOW column this week and you get a chance to see a photo of my kitty too. What more could you want? Other than links to the rest of this week’s news in SpecNOW, of course.

In NMR news, a brainy approach to using microNMR coils could allow scientists to probe the activity of cerebral compounds, such as choline, without having to worry about NMR’s relatively low sensitivity. In the X-ray ezine, I report on how British scientists have demonstrated that it is possible to predict the crystal structures of small organic molecules using software, winning them accolades at this year’s Blind Test in Crystal Structure Prediction, organised by the University of Cambridge and hosted by the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre.

Finally, new informatics evidence suggests that the land-bridge which is currently the Bering Strait was the sole route into the Americas for humans tens of thousands of years.

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