Spotlight on the Alchemist

spotlight-alchemistMy April Spotlight on physical sciences news is now available as is this week’s Chemweb Alchemist.

Under the Spotlight:

Pores for thought – A solid, but sponge-like material has been synthesised by chemists in Singapore. The silica-type material has the most complicated pore structure ever reported…

Chips are down and, eventually, out – Graphene is a modified form of the all-carbon pencil “lead” material graphite and is being touted as the material of choice for a future generation of computer chips to augment, or even usurp, silicon. Now, three research teams…

Volcanic greenhouse – Volcanoes, such as Mount Vesuvius, that sit on carbonate sediments could represent a previously underestimated source of atmospheric carbon dioxide…

The Alchemist this week learns of a new inhibitor for a brain hormone receptor associated with cocaine addiction and a new approach to mass spectrometry could improve the chances of finding physiologically active compounds hidden in organisms.

A breathing organometallic capsule mimics a viral shell and can adsorb molecules bigger than its normal pore size while white wine is revealed to be almost as guilty as red in staining teeth.

In synthetic chemistry, a new approach to quickly producing bespoke carbohydrates leads to a new startup company out of Iowa State.

Finally, this week’s social news is the appointment of UCB chemist Graham Fleming to the position of campus vice chancellor of research.

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