Latest chemistry news

  • Sugarcane bioethanol: Environmental implications – An article in the current issue of Global Change Biology Bioenergy assessed the net greenhouse gas savings of bioethanol from sugarcane as compared to the use of fossil fuels.
  • New growth inhibitors more effective in plants, less toxic to people – A Purdue University scientist and researchers in Japan have produced a new class of improved plant growth regulators that are expected to be less toxic to humans.
  • Blood protein in lung cancer could improve diagnosis and treatment – Scientists are reporting discovery of a protein in the blood of lung cancer patients that could be used in a test for the disease — difficult to diagnose in its earliest and most treatable stages — and to develop drugs that stop lung cancer from spreading. Their study appears in ACS's Journal of Proteome Research.
  • Hair dyeing poised for first major transformation in 150 years – Technological progress may be fast-paced in many fields, but one mundane area has been almost left in the doldrums for the last 150 years: The basic technology for permanently coloring hair. That's the conclusion of an analysis of almost 500 articles and patents on the chemistry of permanent hair dyeing, which foresees much more innovation in the years ahead, including longer lasting, more-natural-looking dyes and gene therapy to reverse the gray. The article appears in ACS's journal Chemical Reviews.
  • Does fluoride really fight cavities by ‘the skin of the teeth’? – In a study that the authors describe as lending credence to the idiom, "by the skin of your teeth," scientists are reporting that the protective shield fluoride forms on teeth is up to 100 times thinner than previously believed. It raises questions about how this renowned cavity-fighter really works and could lead to better ways of protecting teeth from decay, the scientists suggest. Their study appears in ACS's journal Langmuir.
  • Combined molecular study techniques reveal more about DNA proteins – Illinois researchers have combined two molecular imaging technologies to create an instrument with incredible sensitivity that provides new, detailed insight into dynamic molecular processes. Two physics professors combined their expertise in single-molecule biophysics — fluorescence microscopy and optical traps — to create a unique instrument that measures both a DNA-regulating protein's motion and conformational changes as it acts.
  • Penn Physicists Develop Scalable Method for Making Graphene – New research from the University of Pennsylvania demonstrates a more consistent and cost-effective method for making graphene, the atomic-scale material that has promising applications in a variety of fields, and was the subject of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics.
  • Protein identified that serves as a switch in a key pathway of programmed cell death – Work led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators provides fresh insight into mechanisms controlling programmed cell death pathways and offers new targets in the fight against cancer and virus-infected cells. Work led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists identified how cells flip a switch between cell survival and cell death that involves a protein called FLIP.
  • Earth’s missing xenon could be hiding in quartz – What's happened to the Earth's missing xenon? For decades scientists have known that the abundance of xenon is curiously lower than predicted from comparisons with the other noble gases. Yet they have been unable to determine why. Now chemists in Canada have evidence that it is residing in the ground beneath our feet.
  • Unravelling chromosomes – Danish scientists have used a micro device to isolate centimetre-long portions of human DNA to help study the genetic make-up of diseased cells. Rodolphe Marie at the Technical University of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby, and colleagues made the device to isolate chromosomes from cell extract samples and manipulate them in such a way that the strands remain intact.

Robert Slinn scours the web for the latest chemistry news for Reactive Reports.