June 2011



As part of its Summer Exhibition 2011 in London (5-10 July), the Royal Society has developed a mobile phone App about graphene – one atom thick sheets of carbon.

The App contains three games relating to graphene: ‘CVD’ Graphene, ‘Scotch Tape’ Graphene and Graphene ‘Tilt’.

If you manage to be able to play the game (my iPhone freezes when trying to run the App), you win points by fitting together carbon atoms, in a similar way to the iconic game Tetris. Players can build up sheets of graphene using ‘CVD’ and ‘Scotch Tape’ and collect them to win points. These two games relate to the two standard ways of producing graphene – chemical vapour deposition, which builds up layers from small groups of atoms, or peeling off layers from graphite, the way graphene was originally isolated (more…)

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Can we frack it?

Move over Ronald McDonald and chums. There’s a new corporate mascot in town. Talisman Terry the Fracosaurus is here to teach the kids about shale gas.

Canadian Energy company Talisman has produced a colouring book in which a cartoon dinosaur provides information about natural gas. ‘Hello, my name is Talisman Terry, your friendly fracosaurus,’ he begins. ‘I’m here to teach you about a clean energy source called natural gas.’

Despite the obvious allusion to hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking, there is no direct mention of the controversial practice, only the following somewhat ambiguous passage: ‘Because natural gas is lighter than air, it will rise up to the earth’s surface when it is set free from underground rocks.’

(more…)

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Pharma industry R&D spending is slipping – More chemistry industry deals are on the way – And Phase III trial data for diabetes drug candidate dapagliflozin (more…)

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Ever dreamed of a molecule as a snake biting its own tail? Brian Clegg relates August Kekulé’s famous account of a dream about benzene in this week’s Chemistry in its element podcast

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Were you at Glastonbury this weekend? It sounds like the highlight was Beyoncé’s headline act on the Sunday, but the festival is a melting pot of music, art, politics and even science. While some science was fun, like the contamination/decontamination demonstration by Guerilla Science using an ‘epidemic’ of UV paint, some other science was more serious. (more…)

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Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

Scientists in Australia have developed an ointment treatment for snakebites that should give victims much needed time to obtain medical care and anti-venom treatment.

Snakebites cause over 100,000 deaths a year worldwide. One of the problems is that more often than not, when you get bitten by a snake, you are a long way away from medical care and anti-venom treatments.

A severe reaction to an adder (Vipera berus – the UKs only poisonous snake) bite could result in death within an hour, so even in the UK there is still the need for effective first aid treatments for snake bites.

(more…)

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27 June 2011: Have something to say about an article you’ve read on Chemistry World this week? Leave your comments below…

(more…)

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AstraZeneca sells its medical devices business for $1.8 billion – The end of MS pill cladribine – And the European chemical industry to grow faster than previously predicted (more…)

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On 22 June pupils from schools all over the UK participated in the world’s biggest chemistry experiment ever – The Global Experiment! It involves four simple experiments that measure water quality and teach students about water purification. The collected data can be submitted to the IYC website and will provide valuable information on the quality of the world’s water. (more…)

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Following scare stories a few years ago that the health benefits of tea are cancelled out by the addition of milk, researchers at Unilever now report that this looks rather unlikely. (more…)

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