This week’s chemistry news – Slinn Pickings

  • An NMR machine in a fume hood – Scientists in Germany have demonstrated a portable nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer that's small enough to be placed in a fume cupboard to monitor the progress of a reaction in situ.
  • Scientists a step closer to understanding ‘natural antifreeze’ molecules – Scientists have made an important step forward in their understanding of cryoprotectants – compounds that act as natural 'antifreeze' to protect drugs, food and tissues stored at sub-zero temperatures.
  • Chemist solves riddle of killer diseases – Using the tools of synthetic chemistry, a Copenhagen chemist has copied the endotoxin of bacteria-causing diseases such as anthrax. This paves the way for new and efficient antibiotics.
  • Blue light switches genes on – Scientists reveal a technique that uses light to flip on individual genes in a cell.
  • A Beautiful Web of Poison Extends A New Strand – A talk about the rough-skinned newt, the most ridiculously poisonous animal in America.

Robert Slinn, chemist and writer, profers a fix of five fine chemical finds for his regular chemistry news column on Reactive Reports