Science News with a Spectral Twist

Channelling toxins

Channelling toxins Novel treatments for high blood pressure and other disorders could emerge from high-resolution solid-state NMR studies that reveal how toxins affect the structure of potasssium channels in the cell.

Marc Baldus of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and colleagues in France and Germany have exploited a special protein synthesis procedure to follow how potassium channels and toxins combine to change the structure of the channel.

Zeolites step-by-step

Zeolites step-by-step The evolution of zeolites has been followed by University of Minnesota chemical engineer Michael Tsapatsis and colleagues using microscopy and X-ray diffraction. Their study could lead to a new approach to designing and synthesizing novel variations on the zeolite theme for use as molecular sieves, catalysts, and sensors.

Analytical raft floats organic NLOs

Analytical raft floats organic NLOs A combination of analytical techniques has proved its worth in assessing a series of non-linear optical materials for use in future organic optoelectronics devices. Juan López Navarrete of the University of Malaga, Spain, and colleagues at the University of Zaragoza-CSIC and the University of Minnesota, Morris, USA, used UV-vis, IR, and Raman spectroscopy, nonlinear optical (NLO) measurements, X-ray diffraction, and cyclic voltammetry to assess the properties of a series of tricyanovinyl (TCV)-substituted oligothiophenes.

A particularly golden study

A particularly golden study US researchers have devised what they describe as a very efficient method for making well-defined gold nanoparticles with equal numbers of hydrophobic and hydrophilic arms. The V-shaped arms are alternately distributed across the surface of 2 nanometre gold core particles. The solubility of these nanoparticles in a wide range of solvents means that they should be amenable to further processing with various chemical modifiers. Such nanoparticles have potential in optoelectronics, catalysis, and biomedical applications.