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Full Metal Alchemist

Full Metal AlchemistFirst story to fall under the gaze of The Alchemist this week is synthetic HDL, a potential alternative therapy for cholesterol problems wrought through gold nanotechnology. Next, we hear of atomic ink that avoids the push and shove of microscopic manipulation by introducing the metallic nano swap meet.

Bed bugs, are apparently evolving resistance to second-generation pesticides, an international team has revealed the channel-swapping mechanism, which could help chemists design alternatives. Mass spectrometry of salivary secretions, surprisingly enough, may one day offer a chemical test for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) while functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is revealing how the female brain responds to the odour of male sweat. Oh, okay confession it wasn’t full metal.

Meanwhile, in additional news in my SpectroscopyNOW column:

Wine, rum and lead – Sailors and wine buffs beware. A novel method for the direct determination of lead in rum and wine could reveal their favourite tipple to be contaminated with potentially harmful quantities of the toxic heavy metal. The technique uses a flow injection hydride generation system coupled to an atomic absorption spectrometer with flame-quartz atomizer (FI-HG-AAS).

Bilious NMR – High-field NMR spectroscopy has been used for the first time to analyse human liver bile, as opposed to gall bladder bile, with a view to improving liver transplant success. I discussed this SpecNOW post in more detail on Sciencebase.

Drugs get heavy – Deuterated, “heavy”, pyridine adopts a different crystalline form from that of pyridine with a natural distribution of isotopes. The effect might be exploited in creating novel, more effective, versions of pharmaceutical products, according to researchers in Germany, as well as opening up studies into crystal morphology.

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