A chemical decathlon

Fish oil fights weight loss due to chemotherapy – A new analysis has found that supplementing the diet with fish oil may prevent muscle and weight loss that commonly occurs in cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy. Published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study indicates that fish oil […]

Slinn Pickings – latest chemistry news

Renowned chemist Robert Slinn distils the latest from the world of chemistry What is life? New answers to an age-old question in astrobiology – Biologists have been unable to agree on a definition of the complex phenomenon known as "life." In a special collection of essays in Astrobiology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, […]

Slinn Pickings – latest chemistry news

Chemist Robert Slinn contributes his favorite news snippets from the world of chemistry Watching Protein Folding with LC-MS – Predicting how proteins fold requires either powerful supercomputers or cloud sourcing projects such as Folding@home, which uses people’s ability to recognize patterns. As folding usually occurs within milliseconds, it is also difficult to observe directly. Michael […]

Spinneret Secret Unraveled

Spider silk is “pound for pound” stronger than steel and has a greater elasticity than rubber. Such properties would make it a rather useful material for a large variety of medical and engineering applications if only it could be made in large enough quantities and with a useful thickness and consistency. Thomas Scheibel at the […]

Rubber Suits You Sir

Military personnel, chemical workers, and others could benefit from a new synthetic rubber material tailored with liquid crystals. The material might be used to make body suits to protect chemical-industry employees from skin exposure to toxic vapors and aerosols, as well as providing protection for military personnel and civilians in the event of a chemical-weapons […]

Plastic shape shifter

Temperature-controlled “triple-shaped plastics” that can change shape from one form to another, then another, have been developed by researchers in Germany and the US. Such materials might find use as switches and actuators in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and in medicine as intelligent stents for treating blocked blood vessels. Scientists at the GKSS Research Centre of […]