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A glimpse into the unknown

11-Dec-2008

Philip Davies and colleagues from the University of Cardiff, Wales and other collaborators from the UK have used X-ray absorption spectroscopy to directly probe the active site within molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs). MIPs are used in applications that require antibody-type recognition, ...

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Chemistry for a Raney day

02-Dec-2008

Spanish and Mexican scientists have stumbled across a new way to monoalkylate amines that they claim is more environmentally friendly than alternative routes. José García Ruano, at the Autonomous University of Madrid, and colleagues were using Raney nickel to cleave nitrogen–sulfur bonds in ...

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Brushing up on sensors

14-Nov-2008

Jason Locklin and his colleagues from the University of Georgia have developed covalently bound polymer brushes that can bind metal ions when irradiated with UV light. The polymer brushes, containing spiropyran moieties, were synthesised using atom transfer radical polymerisation ...

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Mechanical calculations for methyl transfer in solution

13-Nov-2008

Ian Williams and colleagues at the University of Bath, UK, have demonstrated that kinetic isotope effects (KIEs) for a prototypical S­N­2 methyl transfer in solution, and in an enzyme active site, show significant variations in magnitude owing to thermally-induced structural fluctuations. ...

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UK fingerprint “developer” can read a letter from its envelope

12-Nov-2008

UK scientists have discovered a fingerprint “developer” which can highlight invisible prints on almost any surface – and read the text of a letter just from the envelope it was sent in. Paul Kelly and colleagues at Loughborough University found that a disulfur dinitride (S2N2) polymer turned ...

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Transition to sustainable catalysis

Japanese scientists have discovered a cheap and enantioselective catalyst for asymmetric hydrogenation reactions

11-Nov-2008

Yasumasa Hamada and colleagues at Chiba University used a combination of nickel acetate and a commercially available phosphine ligand to catalyse the asymmetric hydrogenation of an alpha-amino-beta-keto ester hydrochloride. Although others have reported similar reactions, Hamada says this is the ...

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Multi-functional organometallic switch

French chemists have created a multi-functional organometallic switch which can be triggered using either light or electric potential

10-Nov-2008

Stéphane Rigaut, Corinne Lagrost, Karine Costuas and colleagues from CNRS-University of Rennes have prepared a photo/electrochromic multifunctional switching system, based on Irie's dithienylethene photochromic unit ([Cl(dppe)2Ru]+ where dppe = 1,2-bis(diphenylphosphino)ethane). The switch is ...

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UK chemists warn of funding crisis

Sharp drop in grant numbers hits young scientists and blue skies research

22-Oct-2008

Senior researchers have warned that a sharp drop in the number of research grants awarded this year risks damaging UK chemistry. Young chemists applying for first-time grants have suffered most under widespread changes to the funding strategy of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research ...

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From Enzymes to MOFs

17-Oct-2008

UK scientists have used dioxygenase enzymes to create enantiopure organic molecules, which in turn have been used to create chiral metal-organic frameworks. Dioxygenase enzymes were sourced from modified bacterial whole cells (mutants), isolated from the environment. These were then used as ...

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Silica micro-tube networks

01-Oct-2008

Liming Tang and colleagues from Tsinghua University in China, have prepared functional silica micro-tube networks (MTN) using an organogel as a template and a silane-based precursor, via a simple procedure. g-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APS) was reacted with N’N-methylenediacrylamide on the ...

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