Skip to content. Skip to navigation
Personal tools
You are here: Home Alchemist The Alchemist Newsletter: Dec 12, 2012
Document Actions

The Alchemist Newsletter: Dec 12, 2012

by chemweb last modified 12-14-12 12:05 AM
The Alchemist - December 12, 2012
The Alchemist Newsletter Logo
Not a subscriber? Join now.

December 12, 2012


publishers' select  New
issue overview
materials: Unlocking the nano
fuels: Beyond oil
analytical: Relaxometry helps monitor cancer
environment: Testing for hormonal response
computational: Calculating structures
award: Royal award
Free Selected Full Text Articles

ChemWeb members now have access to selected full-text articles from Chemistry publishers including Wiley, Elsevier, Springer, Bentham Science and Taylor & Francis. Members can download a selection of articles covering a broad range of topics direct from the pages of some of the most respected journals in Chemistry. Explore some of the latest research or highly cited articles. Not yet a ChemWeb member? Membership is free, and registration takes just a minute.

arrowView free select full-text articles

arrowback to top

The Alchemist muses on materials and their potential this week as well as thinking beyond oil. There are also analytical developments that could help with monitoring difficult to access tumors and a new tiered approach to determining whether new chemicals will be potentially harmful endocrine disruptors. Japanese chemists have built a conformation simulator and finally there is a right royal reward for a US chemist.

arrowback to top

Unlocking the nano

A new way to unlock the potential of nanomaterials was reported in December in the journal Science. Yun Liu and colleagues at the National Institute for Standards and Technology's Center for Neutron Research and colleagues have developed a new method of atomic-layer deposition (ALD). ALD involves applying a high overpotential to deposit a layer of platinum metal on a surface and then to toggle this to an underpotential to generate a layer of hydrogen. The hydrogen remains in place only briefly and is then lost as they add each new layer of platinum. The surprising thing is that such thin-layer control is not usually observed, the hydrogen layer at underpotential is key to success. The discovery could lead to a new method for growing metal oxides or semiconductor layers at the atomic scale.

arrowNew Atomic-Layer Electrodeposition Method Yields Surprising Results

arrowback to top

Beyond oil

The next generation of semi-synthetic fuels derived from non-food biomass, coal and natural gas could remove America's reliance on dwindling oil reserves as well as allowing the nation to lower its overall carbon emissions. Princeton University's Christodoulos Floudas and his team have evaluated various scenarios involving removing oil from the US energy equation. "The goal is to produce sufficient fuel and also to cut carbon dioxide emissions, or the equivalent, by 50%," he explains. "The question was not only can it be done, but also can it be done in an economically attractive way. The answer is affirmative in both cases."

arrowSynthetic fuels could eliminate entire U.S. need for crude oil, create 'new economy'

arrowback to top

Relaxometry helps monitor cancer

Nuclear magnetic relaxometry can be used to monitor the chemical particulate outpouring from brain tumors using a standard blood sample rather than having to obtain hazardous and invasive biopsies. The approach offers medical researchers and oncologists with an effective and simple way to diagnose and monitor the aggressive and most common form of brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme. The technique homes in on what was previously thought to be nothing more interesting than cell dust present in blood samples from cancer patients. Ralph Weissleder and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital have homed in on the chemicals within these microvesicles as trackable biomarkers for this particular cancer as well as potentially other diseases.

arrowParticulate matter: NMR checks on brain cancer

arrowback to top

Testing for hormonal response

Pete Myers of Environmental Health Sciences, Virginia, has developed TiPED a tiered protocol for testing chemicals to see whether they are likely to be endocrine disruptors. TiPED includes broad in silico evaluation and specific assays at the cellular and whole-organism level. 'It's a voluntary program to be used by chemists, with the help of environmental health scientists, as they work with new chemicals in the lab before they move into the market,' Myers explains.

arrowStopping endocrine disruptors in their tracks

arrowback to top

Stopping endocrine disruptors in their tracks

Hitoshi Goto of Toyohashi University of Technology and colleagues have developed a high-performance molecular simulation tool to study molecular conformations with a view to improving drug design and the development of agrochemicals. The system, CONFLEX, together with its graphical user interface BARISTA, enables researchers to visualize the possible spatial arrangements of atoms in a molecule and then home in on the energetically stable conformations. The same algorithms can be used to study polymorphisms in a crystalline material. "Developing these algorithms is very complex and time consuming," says Goto. "In fact, I've been working on them for over a decade."

arrowVisualizing the structures of molecules

arrowback to top

Royal award

Arieh Warshel of the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences receives the 2012 Soft Matter & Biophysical Chemistry Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry for the work he and his team does in pioneering computer simulations of the functions of biological molecules. Warshel's scientific interest was first piqued in the 1960s as a young kibbutznik studying chemistry at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa when he asked himself just how do enzymes speed up chemical reactions? Warshel went on to develop the Empirical Valence Bond method (EVB) to capture the quantum mechanics of the asymptotic features of enzymatic reactions. Today, he is regarded as the founder of computational enzymology.

arrowWarshel Fêted by Royal Society of Chemistry

arrowback to top

Previous Issues
Nov 30, 2012
Nov 15, 2012
Oct 26, 2012
Oct 12, 2012
Sep 28, 2012
Sep 14, 2012
Aug 30, 2012
Aug 17, 2012
Jul 31, 2012
Jul 11, 2012
Jun 29, 2012
Jun 14, 2012
May 23, 2012
May 11, 2012
Apr 26, 2012
Apr 11, 2012
Mar 28, 2012
Mar 17, 2012
Feb 29, 2012
Feb 17, 2012
Jan 26, 2012
Jan 13, 2012
Dec 29, 2011
Dec 16, 2011
Nov 23, 2011
Nov 11, 2011
Oct 28, 2011
Oct 14, 2011
Sep 28, 2011
Sep 16, 2011
Aug 30, 2011
Aug 19, 2011
Jul 27, 2011
Jul 14, 2011
Jun 29, 2011
Jun 17, 2011
May 26, 2011
May 12, 2011
Apr 29, 2011
Apr 15, 2011
Mar 25, 2011
Mar 11, 2011
Feb 25, 2011
Feb 10, 2011
Jan 26, 2011
Jan 12, 2011
Dec 29, 2010
Dec 14, 2010
Nov 23, 2010
Nov 12, 2010
Oct 27, 2010
Oct 13, 2010
Sep 30, 2010
Sep 15, 2010
Aug 25, 2010
Aug 11, 2010
Jul 28, 2010
Jul 14, 2010
Jun 23, 2010
Jun 8, 2010
May 26, 2010
May 17, 2010
Apr 28, 2010
Apr 16, 2010
Mar 23, 2010
Mar 9, 2010
Feb 24, 2010
Feb 9, 2010
Jan 26, 2010
Jan 12, 2010
Dec 23, 2009
Dec 13, 2009
Nov 24, 2009
Nov 11, 2009
Oct 28, 2009
Oct 14, 2009
Sep 21, 2009
Sep 9, 2009
Aug 26, 2009
Aug 11, 2009
Jul 29, 2009
Jul 14, 2009
Jun 24, 2009
Jun 10, 2009
May 27, 2009
May 12, 2009
Apr 28, 2009
Apr 15, 2009
Mar 25, 2009
Mar 10, 2009
Feb 24, 2009
Feb 11, 2009
Jan 27, 2009
Jan 13, 2009
Dec 24, 2008
Dec 10, 2008
Nov 25, 2008
Nov 13, 2008
Oct 28, 2008
Oct 14, 2008
Sep 25, 2008
Sep 10, 2008
Aug 26, 2008
Aug 12, 2008
Jul 23, 2008
Jul 09, 2008
Jun 24, 2008
Jun 11, 2008
May 28, 2008
May 14, 2008
Apr 24, 2008
Apr 9, 2008
Mar 25, 2008
Mar 12, 2008
Feb 27, 2008
Feb 13, 2008
Jan 22, 2008
Jan 08, 2008


The Alchemist is published under the copyright of Inc. ©2012. For additional information including contact information and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Rick Whiteman <> or visit our web sites at and

For assistance with your account or general support, please visit

Web Search

Powered by Plone CMS, the Open Source Content Management System

This site conforms to the following standards: