May 20, 2009
In my SpecNOW science news column this week:
C60, C80, C0, Go! – X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and other techniques have allowed German chemists to demonstrate their synthesis of the first non-carbon analogue of the C80 fullerene molecule. And yes, the title is an allusion to the Malcolm McClaren fashion vehicle of the post-punk era, Bow Wow Wow.
Photosynthetic disorder – An international team has used solid state NMR spectroscopy to determine the structure of the chlorophyll molecules in green bacteria that are responsible for harvesting light energy. The discovery might ultimately lead to artificial photosynthetic systems.
Clinical reflections – Clinical research studies into drug efficacy and side effects have often been laborious and time consuming, new software that analyses “anonymised” patient electronic medical records could reduce investigation times from months to minutes.
This week, The Alchemist observes evolution in the test tube in this week’s issue and ponders the notion of a plastic pancreas. The vomeronasal organ of mice reveals new chemical secrets about rotten food and sickly individuals while high-power lasers go down the tubes. Microscopic molecular balls also caught the Alchemists eye while kudos goes to soft matter pioneer George Whitesides for his winning the inaugural Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences.