Skip to content. Skip to navigation
Sections
Personal tools
You are here: Home Alchemist The Alchemist Newsletter: June 29, 2012
Document Actions

The Alchemist Newsletter: June 29, 2012

by chemweb last modified 07-06-12 02:35 AM
The Alchemist - June 29, 2012
The Alchemist Newsletter Logo
spacer
Not a subscriber? Join now.

June 29, 2012

headliner

arrow
publishers' select  New
arrow
issue overview
arrow
adhesives: Self-cleaning gecko feet
arrow
materials: Ultrasonic flakes of graphene
arrow
analytical: Drugs on tap
arrow
archeochemistary: 7000-year old dairy farmers
arrow
physical: The non-covalent halogen bond
arrow
award: Reactive prizes
 
headliner
 
NEW CHEMWEB MEMBER BENEFIT
 
Free Selected Full Text Articles

ChemWeb members now have access to selected full text articles from Chemistry publishers such as Wiley, Elsevier and Springer. 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

 
 
headliner
 
The Alchemist gets down with the geckos this week, or not, as the case may be. Meanwhile learns how to make multi-layered graphene flakes with ultrasound and finds caffeine, cocaine and more in ultratrace quantities in the water supply. In ancient news, we hear that Libyans have been dairy farming for at least 7000 years. The newest bond on the block is the halogen bond. Finally, PhD recognition in the form of this year's Reaxys PhD Prize.

arrowback to top

 
headliner
 
Self-cleaning gecko feet

Researchers have taken another step forward in understanding how gecko's feet are so simultaneously sticky and non-sticky. These lizards famously cling to almost any surface with little effort it seems whether horizontal, vertical or upside down, and yet the adhesive properties of their hairy feet are not fully understood. After all, if the foot pads are so sticky, how does the creature unstick its feet to move? Shihao Hu at the University of Akron and colleagues have demonstrated how the toe-peeling action of the gecko's stride allows dirt particles that adhere to the setae, the sticky hairs, to be dislodged with each step, refreshing the hairy surface ready to stick to the next point on the rock face, tree, or ceiling. Researchers are keen to understand such details in their quest to find novel adhesive materials that work in a wide range of conditions for countless engineering applications.

arrowUA scientists collaborate to gain understanding of self-cleaning gecko foot hair

arrowback to top

 
headliner
 
Ultrasonic flakes of graphene

The most well known approach to making the carbon allotrope graphene, which is akin to single graphite sheets, was to peel pencil "lead" (graphite) from a glass surface using sticky tape. Making multilayer graphene flakes however was a little harder. Now, researchers from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, and the Interdisciplinary Research Institute in Lille, France, have developed a low cost method for manufacturing multilayered graphene sheets. The team begins with graphene oxide and mixed it with tetrathiafulvalene in an ultrasonic cleaner to remove oxygen atoms from the graphene flakes through the formation of non-covalent pi-pi stacking interactions. Other than the sonicator, the approach needs no specialist equipment, nor sticky tape.

arrowGraphene? From any lab!

arrowback to top

 
headliner
 
Drugs on tap

A team based in Spain has tested drinking water samples from Europe, Japan and South America for various legal and illicit drugs. Their analysis revealed the presence of caffeine and nicotine as well as cotinine, cocaine and its metabolite benzoylecgonine, methadone and its metabolite EDDP. However, while caffeine was present at relatively high levels, the researchers describe the presence of cocaine and illicit drugs as at only ultratrace levels on the boundary of detectability. The presence of pharmacologically active agents in the water supply has been an ongoing environmental concern, with worries about the presence of estrogenic compounds and toxic chemicals. The work by the team provides a new baseline for a wide range of compounds for future studies and epidemiological work.

arrowDrugs on tap: Ultratrace detection

arrowback to top

 
headliner
 
7000-year old dairy farmers

Humans were dairy farming in Saharan Africa at least 7000 years ago, according to a new analysis of pottery from an archeological site in Libya. Around 10,000 years ago the people of the Sahara region enjoyed a wetter and more verdant environment than we see today and lived the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. However, evidence of cattle bones in cave deposits and river camps suggests that these people began herding cattle between 5000 and 7000 years ago. Now, a team at the University of Bristol, UK, working with colleagues at La Sapienza, University of Rome, Italy, have used lipid biomarkers and stable carbon isotope analysis to investigate organic residues, preserved fatty acids, in pottery from the Takarkori rock shelter. The work confirms the use of cattle for milk 7000 years ago. The work also provides new clues to the emergence of the evolution of a lactase persistence gene which arose at this time in prehistoric people.

arrowChemical analysis of pottery reveals first dairying in Saharan Africa in the fifth millennium BC

arrowback to top

 
headliner
 
The non-covalent halogen bond

A new type of bond not dissimilar to the hydrogen bond but involving a halogen atom has been uncovered by chemists in Switzerland. The so-called "halogen bond" could have implications for the behavior of biomolecules in fatty environments. Stefan Matile points out that the halogen bond operated in hydrophobic conditions whereas the hydrogen bond works only in aqueous systems. Earlier research has hinted at a halogen bond in the context of the iodine atom and thyroid function. The team has now created a non-covalent halogen bond between a carbon and an iodine atom and demonstrated that it can interact with anions and transport them across a model cell membrane in the form of a phospholipid bilayer.

arrowA new tool for molecular architects

arrowback to top

 
headliner
 
Reactive prizes

This year's winners of the Reaxys PhD prize have been announced. Candidates submitted a representative peer-reviewed paper, their PhD supervisor's letter of recommendation and their CV. Submissions were reviewed by the Reaxys board of more than 80 leading chemists from around the world and judged on originality, innovation, importance to the field, applicability, rigor of approach and publication quality. The three regional coordinators from Europe, USA and Asia made the final selections to Gregory Hamilton for asymmetric transition metal catalysis, Debashis Mandal for synthesis of dragmacidin D, and Craig Stivala for traceless auxiliaries.

arrow2012 Reaxys PhD Prize Winners

arrowback to top

 

To Our Site Visitors,

We at ChemWeb appreciate your interest in our site and the Alchemist Newsletter, and hope you find it useful and of value to your professional activities. We welcome additional feedback from as many members of our audience, as possible. To help us stay relevant to your changing needs, we'd be grateful if you'd share with us the chemical/chemistry specialties and/or techniques which are of particular interest to you, as well as any features you'd like to see added to our site. Please e-mail your thoughts to us at chemsuggestions@chemweb.com.

If this copy of the Alchemist Newsletter was not addressed to you, we invite you to sign up for your own free subscription here.

Thank you!

arrowback to top

 
 
Previous Issues
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 ChemIndustry.com Inc. ©2012. For additional information including contact information and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Rick Whiteman <Rick@ChemWeb.com> or visit our web sites at www.chemweb.com and www.chemindustry.com.

For assistance with your ChemWeb.com account or general support, please visit http://www.chemweb.com/contact-info.

Sponsors
Web Search
 

Powered by Plone CMS, the Open Source Content Management System

This site conforms to the following standards: