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Making carbon dioxide useful

My SpectroscopyNOW column is now live. This week self-perception, trapping and using carbon dioxide, cosmic coronene, mopping up radioactive caesium, photosynthesis and magic spectral lines:

Red lenses – US scientists have used MRI to show that apparently the less you use your brain’s frontal lobes, the more you perceive your behaviour through rose-tinted spectacles. They publish details in the February issue of the journal NeuroImage.

Carbon dioxide trap and drop – The reduction of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide to a useful chemical industry feedstock material, carbon monoxide, can be catalysed by a ruthenium-substituted polyoxometalate according to a new study. The work holds the promise of our developing a carbon-neutral energy platform.

Cosmic coronene’s phantom spectral bands – Anomalies in the spectra of an aromatic molecule called coronene could have implications for our understanding of astrochemistry and for making nanotech devices from graphene.

A metal sponge for cleaning up nuclear waste – An inorganic material with an open framework can selectively trap caesium ions, including its 137 isotope, one of the most significant radioactive isotopes left behind after the Chernobyl nuclear reactor fire. Caesium-137 is one of the main residual sources of lethal radiation in the nuclear industry.

Narrow view of photosynthesis – Fluorescence line-narrowing and resonance Raman properties of various chlorophyll molecules have been measured in organic solvents. The work sheds new light on one of life’s most important biochemical processes – photosynthesis – and might one day allow scientists to take another step closer to emulating the reactions to trap solar energy

The long and the long of it – A novel NMR technique has measured the largest distance between two atomic nuclei using NMR, demonstrating that tritium magic angle spinning NMR could be a promising tool for structural applications in the biological and material sciences.

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