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Flu Structure, Mp3s, and Magnetic Minestrone

You can read my latest science news updates in spectroscopynow.com:

One flu over – X-ray studies have revealed details of the structure of a protein used by the avian influenza, H5N1, that allows it to hide its RNA from the infected host’s immune system. The structure could provide a new target for the development of antiviral drugs against this potentially lethal virus

Minestrone and magnetic resonance – Researchers in the US and France may have overturned decades of theory in magnetic resonance studies by spotting a discrepancy in the way nuclear spins behave. Their new mathematical model of the process improves our understanding of atomic behaviour and could lead to better NMR spectra, sharper magnetic resonance images, and perhaps one day a fully portable MRI machine.

Organic soil matters – Could the earth beneath our feet hold the key to climate change? According to scientists at the University of Toronto Scarborough their NMR results show that global warming is changing the molecular structure of organic matter in soil.

Battery capacity is full of holes – Researchers in Korea have developed a novel material for the anode in rechargeable batteries, which they say could make them much more efficient and extend significantly the length of time between charges.

And on ChemWeb for science news with a chemical element:

First on the list in this week’s Alchemist, more on the new anode material, which is potentially good news for the iPod generation. In analytical research, HPLC has been used to spot dummy tequila and in medical chemistry US radiologists suggest that a dose of modified vitamin D could protect citizens from a dirty bomb attack. Next up, a new approach to addressing qubits allows for faster measurements that could take us a step closer to a quantum computer, while Yorkshire chemists are working out the best mix of starting materials to get the maximum height yield on their tasty products. Finally, this week’s award is a record breaker in the State where big is everything.

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