Over on ChemWeb and wearing my Alchemist hat I hear of a discovery that could lead to a new therapeutic target for a whole range of diseases in which the inflammatory response is involved, almost a medical Panacea. An out of this world approach to liquid telescopes could overcome the big obstacle in making such a device useful for astronomy. The protein spike on the surface of the Ebola virus is laid bare by X-ray crystallography and could lead to new treatments for slowing outbreaks. Birds of prey could be the new environmental “canary” when it comes to toxic heavy metal, according to Spanish researchers. Japanese researchers have taken individual rotaxanes for a spin and obtained some dynamic snapshots. Finally, the Michael J Fox Foundation has announced its annual round of funding for Parkinson’s therapeutic lead research.