Jun 1, 2009
This week, The Alchemist learns of encapsulated capsules that could emulate cells, a new glassy material for preventing debilitating leaks in solid oxide fuel cells, and a computer model that might help us develop a vaccine for H1N1 type A influenza. Also, under his gaze are ionic liquids developed to dissolve wood and the cancer drug that worryingly wipes away travelers’ fingerprints. Finally, a reminder that the RSC has drawn structure database Chemspider into its web.
Over on SpectroscopyNOW, I’ve got three more news topics on cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and mushroom poisoning:
Cancer-killing CNTs – Carbon nanotubes have allowed spectroscopists to track the movement of cancer cells through the blood and lymph systems. They also act as markers for subsequent laser therapy to kill the cells, pointing the way to an entirely novel diagnostic and treatment regime for cancer, and potentially metastasised cancer.
Early ID of AD – New software for the automated analysis of MRI brain scans could help specialists identify cases of mild cognitive impairment years before full-blown Alzheimer’s disease is apparent, according to US researchers.
Toxic fungal triangle – Chemical analysis has revealed the lethal toxic culprit in a spate of recent food poisoning incidents among Japanese people eating mushrooms including the species Russula subnigricans. The compound, essentially a ring of three carbon atoms with an acid group, cycloprop-2-ene carboxylic acid, is well known to synthetic organic chemists and offers new insights into a potentially lethal condition known as rhabdomyolysis. The researchers tell me that aside from helping us understand this curious condition the compound probably has no biological use, it failed anticancer and antibiotic tests, they told me.
Oh, the red hot allusion..? Well, at the time of writing, I’m working wirelessly in my back garden under a sun shade in sweltering English heat…it’s almost the weekend and we have high expectations of early-summer storms drowning our Saturday barbecue party…ever the pessimist, eh?