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Five more science stories

  • Tevetron finds new particle – Scientists at the particle accelerator have reported a study of the invariant mass distribution of jet pairs produced in association with a W boson using data collected with the CDF detector which correspond to an integrated luminosity of 4.3 fb^-1. The observed distribution has an excess in the 120-160 GeV/c^2 mass range which is not described by current theoretical predictions within the statistical and systematic uncertainties. They found a new particle, in other words. Possibly.
  • Open-source chemistry – Nothing beats ChemDraw…apparently…but if you're on Linux, you're stuck. Simply doing a search in the Ubuntu Software Installer for chemical drawing software turns up quite a few results, often with confusingly similar names (Xdrawchem, GChemPaint, JChemPaint, Chemtool, ChemSketch, Marvinsketch, BKChem, to name a few). Are there alternatives out there for Linux users?
  • Molecule to dye for – Worms live longer if protein homeostasis is maintained by adding a dye molecule to their diet, according to new study. The dye molecule Thioflavin T precludes the kind of protein misfolding that, in humans, leads to aging effects and Alzheimer's disease.<br />
    The research by an international team from Sweden and the USA investigated how aging might be slowed and lifespan extended in the biomedical researcher's favourite worm Caenorhabditis elegans by exposing it to the dye molecule. They used fluorescence and absorption studies to assess exposure and results.
  • Antioxidant cosmeceuticals – While cosmetic manufacturers tend to avoid producing actual medical effects in skin for fear of their products being subsumed into the pharmaceutical regulatory process, there is a need to understand how so-called "cosmeceuticals" might affect the aging process in skin. Resonance Raman spectroscopy has recently emerged as a useful technique for the non-invasive investigation of the interaction of carotenoid antioxidants with free radicals in the skin.
  • Designer drug identified – A new "designer" drug related to "ecstasy" (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) and methamphetamine has recently been found on sale as bath salts in the USA, although it was first identified on the black market in Germany in 2009. A new study discusses how infrared and NMR spectroscopy were used in conjunction with mass spectrometry to identify the compound as 3,4-methylenedioxypyrrolidinobutyrophenone.

The latest selection of five science stories, picked up by David Bradley Science Writer @sciencebase.

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