Six Slinn Picks – chemical news

  • Two Queen’s University Belfast chemists ‘top in UK’ – Scientists from Queen's University, Belfast, have taken the first and second slots in a list of top chemists. Professor Ken Seddon, a director of the QUB's Ionic Liquids Laboratory (QUILL), came first in the UK on the the Times Higher Education Supplement listing of the 100 Top Chemists of the Past Decade.
  • In the future, this self-powered chip could diagnose HIV and TB in minutes – Researchers have created a device that could rapidly check blood for diseases within minutes. The device would work like a pregnancy test, but could identify diseases such as HIV and TB almost instantly. In the future, it could be used in developing countries to diagnose diseases such as cancer, cardiac disease and others.
  • Fungi that Makes Fuel Discovered – "Mycodiesel" is a novel name applied to the volatile organic products made by fungi that have fuel potential. The latest discovery is that of an endophytic Hypoxylon/Nodulosporium species, or one that lives within a plant, that makes the compound cineole along with a number of other cyclohexanes (colorless, flammable liquids found in petroleum crude oil and volcanic gases) and compounds with enormous fuel potential.
  • One Shocked Chemist – Molecular surprises are sometimes right in front of us, if only we’d do the maths.Nobel laureate Roald Hoffmann tells the story of a theoretical result that astonished him, but shouldn’t have.
  • Study finds more efficient means of creating, arranging carbon nanofibers – Carbon nanofibers hold promise for technologies ranging from medical imaging devices to precise scientific measurement tools, but the time and expense associated with uniformly creating nanofibers of the correct size has been an obstacle – until now. A new study from North Carolina State University demonstrates an improved method for creating carbon nanofibers of specific sizes, as well as explaining the science behind the method.
  • China bans whitening additives in flour – After strong public pressure, China will ban the use of wheat flour whiteners in May. Although analysts say the ban will not affect other food additives in the short term, the policy may hamper research and development (R&D) in the field.

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