Six Slinn Picks – chemical news

  • New class of compounds offers great potential for research and drug development – Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have identified a class of compounds that could be a boon to basic research and drug discovery.
  • GC–MS Results from Mars: Reevaluated 35 Years Later – A recent reinterpretation of the gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) results from the Viking landers that went to Mars in the 1970s has suggested that the possibility of life on Mars may be much greater than we previously thought.
  • Engineer builds tissue models to study diseases – A chemical engineer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is building working models of human bone, breast, liver and artery tissues to see how cells behave when they are affected by a disease such as cancer. The ultimate goal of the research is to develop new drug therapies to fight diseases with a streamlined testing regimen that may not require animal testing.
  • New radioisotope bodes well for cancer treatment – An international team of researchers has produced sizeable amounts of a new radioisotope, paving the way for its use in cancer therapy. The isotope, terbium-161, emits a number of low-energy electrons upon decay, which should make it useful for treating small tumours.
  • Sugars recruited in fight against persistent infections – Adding sugar to antibiotics can boost their effectiveness and prevent recurrent and chronic infections, according to researchers in the US. A similar strategy could be used to treat tuberculosis (TB) in the developing world where persistent infections are a real problem, they say.
  • Small molecule hope for muscular dystrophy – Prompted by the case of a small boy who ought to have muscular dystrophy but doesn't, Japanese researchers have discovered a small molecule that they hope will treat the disease.

Chemist and writer Robert Slinn picks six of the best for his regular web column on Reactive Reports – Slinn Pickings.