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The heavier chemical elements have their origins in ancient stars, now astronomers have demonstrated that fluorine is certainly among their number and came from long-dead cousins of our nearest and dearest star, the Sun. Nils Ryde of Lund University, Sweden, and colleagues in Ireland and the USA, studied stars formed at different times in the history of the universe to see if the amount of fluorine they contain agrees with theory using infrared spectroscopy. Fluorine is formed towards the end of the star’s life, when it has expanded to become what is known as a red giant. Tracking the elemental composition of stars allows astronomers to validate their theories of stellar evolution.

Kyriacos "KC" Nicolaou of Rice University has earned three prestigious international honors, including the Nemitsas Prize, the highest honor a Cypriot scientist can receive and one of the most prestigious scientific awards in the European Union. Nicolaou has spent many years puzzling over and solving complex natural products and finding ways to synthesize them; his papers on organic syntheses have been cited more than 50000 times. Nicolaou joined Rice’s faculty in 2013 and is currently working on natural product anticancer drugs. In addition to the Nemitsas Award, Nicolaou was awarded the 2014 Einstein Professorship by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In May, Nicolaou served as the Rolf-Sammet Foundation Visiting Professor at Goethe University, Germany.

Compound 37, or V116517, the drug with no name, is an early-stage experimental analgesic that works by blocking the protein that normally makes red-hot chili peppers burn one's mouth. The protein in question, TRPV1, is present in human nerves and while it senses the spice in chili peppers caused by the chemical capsaicin, it also senses heat pain, the burning of strong acids and molecules linked to tissue inflammation in some forms of arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome. Details of compound 37, or to give it its systematic name, 4-[3-chloro-5-[(1S)-1,2-dihydroxyethyl]-2-pyridyl]-N-[5-(trifluoromethyl)-2-pyridyl]-3,6-dihydro-2H-pyridine-1-carboxamide, and the structure-activity relationships are published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers have shown that they can carry out nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy using a magnetic field not much stronger than the Earth's magnetic field. They used the technique to analyze a mixture of hydrocarbons and water using a high-sensitivity magnetometer. The technique could lead to in situ analysis of fluid mixtures without the need to take samples back to a laboratory. The work was conducted by Alexander Pines team alongside Dmitry Budker at the University of California, Berkeley, and researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Laser cooling and magneto-optical trapping have been used to hold and chill strontium monofluoride to within 2.5 thousandths of a degree absolute zero. Details are published in the journal Nature and team member Dave DeMille of Yale University says, “We can now start studying chemical reactions that are happening at very near to absolute zero." He adds that, “We have a chance to learn about fundamental chemical mechanisms.” Until recently magneto-optical trapping was only available to holding single atoms for study. The team developed their own custom-built apparatus that uses a dozen lasers each tuned with 10 significant figures of precision

Lead recycled from millions of vehicle batteries can be converted into organolead perovskite materials for use in solar panels a team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology has demonstrated. The team's perovskite photovoltaic materials are formed as a thin film just half a micrometer thick, this implies that a single discarded car battery would yield enough lead to build solar panels to power thirty households. Given that there are hundreds of millions of vehicles on the roads most of which use a lead-acid battery that has a limited lifespan that is a substantial number of solar panels that might be made from a recycled metal. Moreover, at their end of life, the lead can be retrieved and used once more to fabricate new panels. Optimization of both process and panel are underway.