Slinn Pickings – chemistry news

  • Scientists develop a fatty ‘kryptonite’ to defeat multidrug-resistant ‘Super bugs’ – A team of Canadian scientists have discovered that specific mixtures of antimicrobial agents presented in lipid (fatty) mixtures can significantly boost the effectiveness of those agents to kill the resistant bacteria.
  • Schoolchildren to test local water quality in biggest-ever chemistry experiment – A worldwide one-day experiment next week will provide a picture of the planet's pH levels. On 22 June pupils from UK schools will participate in this, the world's biggest-ever chemistry experiment. The experiment will be the largest single collection of data on water quality ever undertaken at one time and will be achieved by hundreds of thousands of youngsters around the globe becoming scientists for a day.
  • A new spin on protein NMR – A new way to study proteins using NMR has been developed by Italian and German researchers who have described a new technique for rapidly obtaining solid samples of protein for nuclear magnetic resonance interrogation without needing to crystallise the protein. The method, which combines solid-state NMR with ultracentrifugation, could become a versatile way to study transient proteins or to monitor how the structure of proteins changes in the presence of other molecules.
  • Researchers identify why dopamine replacement therapy has a paradoxical effect on cognition – Researchers have identified why dopamine replacement therapy has a paradoxical effect on cognition.
  • Sensitive sugar sensor – US scientists have designed a calorimetric sensor as a point-of-care diagnostic instrument that can detect low levels of glucose compared to similar sensors.
  • Quantum tunnelling creates the ‘wrong’ molecule – Researchers have managed to make a molecule no-one knew how to synthesise – methylhydroxycarbene – and trapped it in an ultra-cold cryogenic argon matrix. But what happened next was unexpected: the target molecule started disappearing.

Robert Slinn, chemist and writer, picks out six of the best for his regular chemistry news column on Reactive Reports