Exclusive polymers made using mechanochemistry

Researchers have created a set of polymers that cannot be made via solution-phase reactions, using a ball-milling method.1 Ring-opening metathesis polymerisation is a synthetic technique for producing functional polymers. It’s typically conducted in a liquid, which limits reactions to those where the monomers and initiator share a common solvent. As a result, many polymers remain unexplored […]

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Renaissance science – XLIV

This blog post is a modified version of two blog posts from my The emergence of modern astronomy–a complex mosaic series and yes it involves self plagiarism. I wrote it, rather than simply linking, because the content also belongs in this blog post series, which I wish to be complete and autonomous Short popular presentations […]

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Benzene’s bond lengths corrected

Scientists in South Korea are reporting the most accurate experimental geometries for benzene and deuterated benzene to date.1 The team led by Thomas Schultz at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology say that previously reported experimental structures were out by several milliangstroms. Sérgio Domingos from the University of Coimbra in Portugal, who wasn’t […]

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EU plots course to secure raw materials vital to a low-carbon economy

The European commission has proposed legislation to secure the supply of crucial minerals such as lithium and rare earth elements (REEs) to the EU. The European Critical Raw Materials Act was announced by Ursula von der Leyen, commission president, during her state of the union address earlier this month. She noted that almost 90% of […]

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Surface reactions can be controlled by bulk stoichiometry

Bulk properties have an unexpected impact on surface reactivity, new research has shown. With applications as wide-ranging as catalysis, energy storage and structural engineering, this new mode of reaction control could have significant implications across the applied sciences. Despite their ubiquity in everyday life, surfaces present an interesting chemical problem. ‘We can define the bulk […]

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Genetically modified purple tomatoes receive US approval

The US Department of Agriculture has approved a genetically modified purple tomato. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s regulatory status review states that the plant ‘may be safely grown and used in breeding in the [US]’. The ‘nutritionally enhanced’ purple tomatoes were created by the UK’s first GM crop company, Norfolk Plant Sciences (NPS). […]

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Vision, Seeing Better, Seeing Further

In the normal blog post rotation, a book review should be due today. However, instead today’s post is a literature review, listing and describing books on the histories of the theories of vision, spectacles, and telescopes, with the latter coming first as they are the actual main theme of the review. I announced my intention […]

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Talent versus luck study wins Ig Nobel

Research explaining why research funds should be distributed on a random basis was honoured with the Ig Nobel prize in economics at an online ceremony on Thursday 15 September. The Italian team behind the work developed a mathematical model showing why success is often more down to luck than talent. Alessandro Pluchino, Alessio Emanuele Biondo […]

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