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It was great to be at the launch of the Pan Africa Chemistry Network yesterday and I look forward to its development as time goes on. My students from Bukinda in SW Uganda will be pleased to see their photos on the website.

From Jean M Johnson

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I wanted to know — How important is it for me to record data from my experiments and labs? — What type of notebook should I use? — Does anyone have any recommendations on where to buy a notebook?
Thank you!

Samantha

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I received my copy of Chemistry World today and was surprised to find it had arrived from Auckland in New Zealand via Zurich….before finally reaching my address in France.
Ironically, the New Zealand post mark was “Direct Mail”.
This is seriously ruining my carbon footprint.
Perhaps the RSC can send it to me as a pdf file in future?

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Of deploying plants for environmental clean up, Sharon Doty’s work has awoken memories of designing a Cr(VI) neutralization by bio-organisms.

Although initial results were impressive, at large scale engineering projects were abandoned because of a high toxicity of biomass itself in situ!

from Michael Kerjman

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Chemistry World reported in September that an independent panel of scientists appointed by the government has rejected claims that organophosphate nerve toxins from engine oil fumes are causing ill-health among pilots. 

For those interested in knowing more about this topic, here is an interesting video link.

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=272139391103460907

Whilst I am myself an airline pilot, I have to confess I have never knowingly encountered such an event. However, I have also never flown the aircraft types rumoured to be the worst offenders. Boeing have actually designed filters for the bleed air – surely recognition of the problem? However most airlines continue to fly without the modification.

Incidentally, the airlines have for years refused to formerly accept that DVT is in any way associated with air travel. I know several pilots who have lost their CAA medicals (and therefore flying licences), due to severe cases of DVT. It was a very very long time before they got any recognition that it may in fact have been the nature of their jobs which made them ill. Perhaps the industry is simply covering up another issue that only affects a minority?

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I was fascinated to learn that Tasmanian heroin contains very little real heroin.

Even if criminals steal some of the massive crop, it would be somewhat useless to anyone but a skilled chemist. Despite that, chemists at the University of Newcastle have found a way to identify heroin of Tasmanian origin.

On the Australian island, opium poppies were bred to produce a minimum of morphine and large amounts of a chemical that is used to make a variety of prescription painkillers including oxycodone.

[from Aaron Rowe]

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Hi, anyone out there know how I could make okra pepsin from fresh okra.
I live on a very remote island and the local community have lots of okra. I know okra pepsin is good for small intestine cleansing, and I’d like to make our own for the community

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A number of web services exposing the IUPAC-NIST Chemical Identifier (InChI) related capabilities have been provided for developers to use via

http://www.chemspider.com/inchi.asmx

The services include the ability to search for the appropriate ChemSpider ID based on the InChI string and InChIKey.

Further comments are available at:

http://www.chemspider.com/blog/?p=135

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