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8 March 2010: Have something to say about an article you’ve read on Chemistry World this week? Leave your comments below…

This week’s stories:

Striking algal oil
Algae may be touted as the next big thing in environmentally friendly fuel, but techniques to work out which algal strains will be best have been lacking – until now

Enzymes power molecular logic
A self-powered biomolecular security system has been developed by US scientists

Micro-engineering muscles
In vitro human tissue model could aid search for muscular disease treatment

Cause of thalidomide deformities uncovered
Scientists believe they have revealed one of the key molecular targets that binds to the drug thalidomide to cause birth defects

Shape-shifting polymers
Polymer can reversibly take on a range of different shapes in response to changes in temperature

China slows R&D funding growth
After a hefty 30 per cent increase in science funding last year, China’s proposed budget scales back research funding growth for 2010

Nanotube ‘fuse’ generates power
Coating nanotubes with fuel allows them to convert an exothermic reaction into electricity, thereby opening up new avenues in energy research

Soapy solution for scratched surfaces
Chinese scientists have developed a superhydrophobic coating that can be repaired by treating the surface with a potassium stearate solution

Mixed reviews for Canada’s science budget
Canadian budget proposal would give research councils an extra C$32 million annually, but some say it’s not enough

Fund science or risk economic downfall
Researchers and former science ministers warn UK government of ‘decades of slow economic decline’ unless science receives heavy investment

Ultrasensitive DNA detection
A lipase-based sensor detects tiny quantities of DNA and could be used to test for bacteria that spoils beer

Green by design carpet tiles
Switchable adhesives made from renewable resources make carpet tiles more environmentally friendly, say UK scientists

Coming clean on emissions outsourcing
Study details proportion of developed countries carbon dioxide emissions that are ‘outsourced’ to emerging economies

Molecular midwives helped birth of DNA
‘Molecular midwives’ may have helped the first DNA strands form in the primordial sou

Novel foams reduce fire risk
Treating soft furnishings with toxic flame-retardants could be avoided in the future thanks to a new non-flammable polymer developed by US scientists

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