Second Nobel prize medal for partition chromatography to be auctioned

The 1952 Nobel prize in chemistry medal awarded to British biochemist Richard Synge for or his groundbreaking invention of partition chromatography more than a decade earlier will be auctioned off at the end of May. Partition chromatography can separate chemicals distributed between two liquid phases and it transformed the emerging field of molecular biology in […]

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Two explosions in India leave at least 11 dead and dozens injured

A powerful explosion followed by a massive fire, apparently due to a boiler blast, ripped apart the Amudan Chemicals factory in Dombivli, on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, killing at least 10 people and injuring 68 on the afternoon of 23 May. ‘All the workers in the immediate vicinity of the accident epicentre were [killed […]

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Magnetic Variations – IX It varies over time!

In this mini-series of blog posts we have followed the history of the English investigators of and writers on the phenomenon of declination or variation of the magnetic compass. Magnetic variation is the fact that although a magnetic needle aligns north/south the north that it points to, the magnetic north pole, is not the same […]

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Labs across the globe networked by AI discover state-of-the-art emitters for lasers

Best-in-class emitter materials for organic solid state lasers have been discovered by laboratories spread across the world that were coordinated by an artificial intelligence. The researchers believe the technique could provide a blueprint for running experiments in parallel and thereby accelerating the discovery of other materials. In recent years, the development of robotics and artificial […]

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Simple preparation method improves access to long-known superacid

Researchers in Germany have developed a simple method for synthesising aluminium tris(fluorosulfate), a cheap and stable solid-state Lewis superacid. Superacids are used to enhance the reactivity of other molecules by donating protons to them, making them much more reactive than normal so they undergo reactions they wouldn’t otherwise be able to. However, most superacids have […]

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Promethium bond length completes picture of the size of lanthanides’ atoms

Promethium’s coordination structure and bond length with oxygen have been characterised for the first time, filling one of the last gaps in our knowledge of the periodic table. Promethium, element 61, is part of the lanthanides, which are widely used in modern technology. However, unlike its neighbouring elements, promethium is radioactive, highly unstable and does […]

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Javier Milei is proving to be the ‘nightmare’ Argentinian researchers feared

Argentina’s research community is under immense strain as public university budgets are starved by new president Javier Milei, a hard-right populist who took office in December. Initial concerns about Milei, expressed by many in Argentina’s scientific community before and after his election, appear to have been justified, but there are some signs that he may […]

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Simplified hydroformylation replaces rhodium with base metal

A bench-friendly alternative to traditional hydroformylation replaces the pressurised toxic gas mixture and expensive rhodium catalyst with a commercially available electrophile and cheap copper reagent. Through careful choice of ligand, US-based researchers closely controlled the stereoselectivity of the reaction to generate a range of valuable aldehydes for synthesis and drug discovery. ‘Hydroformylation is an atom-economic […]

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What the dichloromethane ban might mean for university labs in the US

A rule recently finalised by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will ban most uses of dichloromethane (DCM), also known as methylene chloride, could cause problems for research labs. Under the new regulation, consumer use of DCM will be phased out within a year and most industrial and commercial uses will be prohibited within two […]

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