Five more science stories

  • Sperm condensation – Protamines are small basic proteins that condense the genetic material, the DNA, in mature sperm helping to form the head of the sperm. They are rich in the amino acid arginine whose residues are distributed in a number of stretches separated by neutral amino acids. The amino acid accounts for between 60 and 80 percent of the protamine. Now, a team in Spain has used Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to investigate, for the first time, the secondary structure of protamines in sperm nuclei.
  • The Forgotten Greenhouse Gas – In a carbocentric political environment, dinitrogen monoxide, is almost the forgotten greenhouse gas. Enormous volumes are released into the atmosphere naturally from soils and the oceans. This accounts for about two-thirds of the atmospheric concentration — agriculture, combustion, and the chemical industry between them account for the other third. Specifically, the large-scale production of adipic acid and several other fine chemicals accounts for a significant volume of the total N2O flux.
  • Robert Bunsen still burning after 200 years – Celebrating Robert Bunsen inventor of the fastest coffee maker in history…
  • Desktop periodic table – Could a little chemical origami in the form of a 3D desktop periodic table help students understand chemistry better?
  • Research Clinic – BBC's Paul Myers presents a collection of useful web search tools that cut through to the stuff you're really after…

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