Nov 12, 2009
Latest news reports from yours truly on Spectroscopynow.com
Juggling matters on the brain – UK scientists have used magnetic resonance imaging to reveal that learning a complex task like juggling can causes changes in the white matter in the brain. The findings could have implications for developing new approaches to neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.
Cancer transition – Anticancer drugs for treating ovarian and colon cancer could use rare metals as weapons in the battle against these diseases. The presence of unusual metal centres in organometallic compounds presents a novel affront to tumour cells that may even beat cancer cells that have evolved resistance to conventional drugs.
17th century mathematics and 21st century materials – Nanoparticles can self-assemble into quasicrystalline structures, according to researchers in the USA. The newly discovery structures could provide useful insights into how such non-periodic, and yet ordered, that lie half way between amorphous solids and regular crystals can arise.
Spectroscopy quickly reveals drug contamination – Near infrared (NIR) reflectance and laser Raman spectra can be used to quickly screen drug samples non-destructively and to spot contamination. The techniques could not displace nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and electrophoresis required by drug regulators, but could be used as a quick first test for screening potentially contaminated drug products.
Organic ferroelectrics – Raman spectroscopy touches on the properties of an organic ionic material, only the second of its type to be synthesised, that apparently undergoes a phase transition at low temperature making it ferroelectric.
Methylmercury marker – Detecting methylmercury usually involves complex sample preparation and a sophisticated analytical procedure. Now, a European team has developed a novel approach to detecting this hazardous substance much more quickly and easily using a new type of fluorescent marker.