Safer fluorination process developed using flow electrochemistry

UK-based researchers have combined fluorine chemistry, electrochemistry and flow chemistry to develop a fully automated flow system for fluorination reactions. By quenching hazardous fluorine-containing reagents in situ, the system should decrease exposure risks for experimental chemists. Fluorination steps are increasingly prevalent in organic chemistry, particularly when synthesising drug molecules. However, the toxicity of hydrofluoric acid […]

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The Renaissance Mathematicus tries his luck as YouTube Influencer

Some time back I had a late-night chat with medieval historian Tim O’Neill about all things Galileo Galilei; late night for me that is, early morning for him. Unbeknown to me the sneaky Aussie bugger recorded my ruminations on the Tuscan mathematicus; they’re like that those antipodeans, duplicitous. Now he’s gone and posted the whole […]

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It’s Galileo time again!

An article in the Sunday Express, not a newspaper I would normally read in fact I would only ever use it as toilet paper in an emergency, starts thus: Former Supreme Court Judge Lord Sumption has condemned attacks on scientists who challenge “official wisdom” on Covid, comparing their critics to the “persecutors of Galileo”. A […]

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Pfizer backs protein degrader drugs with Arvinas deal

Pfizer is investing $1 billion (£716 million) in Yale University spin-out Arvinas to commercialise the protein degrader drug ARV-471. The deal comprises a $350 million equity investment, giving Pfizer about 7% ownership of Arvinas, plus $650 million cash up front and milestone payments. The two companies already had a licensing deal, agreed in 2018. ARV-471 […]

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Metal sandwich stabilises first benzene triplet-state aromatic

Show Fullscreen A benzene diradical dianion stabilised by two gadolinium ions on either side is the first simple molecule that is Baird aromatic in the ground state. Baird aromaticity typically exists only in high-energy, excited state systems. A straightforward way to identify simple aromatic molecules is by their π electron count. If they have 4n+2 […]

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Fatal chemical leak at a Texas chemicals facility

An investigation is underway into what caused a fatal leak of approximately 100,000 pounds (45,359kg) of a mixture of chemicals – including acetic acid, methyl iodide and hydrogen iodide – from a LyondellBasell plant in La Porte, Texas, US, on 27 July. The chemical release killed two contractors working on-site and sent another 30 people […]

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Levitating glass bead closes in on quantum mechanics’ fundamental limit

The motion of an optically trapped glass bead has been slowed down to the state of lowest possible energy using two methods developed independently by teams in Austria and Switzerland. ‘These two works achieved the highest precision in controlling and measuring levitated nanoparticle optomechanical systems close to the Heisenberg limit, which is the ultimate bound […]

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Reliability of researcher metric the h-index is in decline

Changing authorship patterns mean that the h-index is no longer an effective way to gauge a scientist’s impact, according to a new study by data scientists at technology giant Intel. First created in 2005 by the US-based physicist Jorge Hirsch, the h-index is a measure of a researcher’s most highly cited papers. A scientist with […]

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Deadly explosion and fire at chemicals park in Germany

At least two workers were killed, and a further 31 injured, in an explosion and fire at a chemicals park in Leverkusen, Germany. Five people are still missing, and one of the injured is in a life-threatening condition. The explosion, whose cause is currently unknown, happened in the morning of 27 July. The incident set […]

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Observing the life and death of a single excited-state molecule

Researchers have observed electrons jumping between different energy levels in an individual molecule, and how the jumps can be suppressed when the excess energy is transferred instead to a nearby oxygen molecule – a process called quenching. By positioning the two molecules on a surface with atomic precision, the team could study how quenching is […]

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