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Showing posts with the label chemistry

New Elements Discovered - Completing the Periodic Table

The elements 113, 115, 117 and 118 have finally been discovered.   Laboratories in Russia, the United States and Japan have made many claims over the  years  that they have discovered them. But it was only at the end of 2015 when the elements were finally given their  permanent  place in the periodic table. A group of scientific experts at  The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina,  announced the group’s conclusions  on 30 December 2015. The four elements were made in the lab, by colliding  lighter atomic nuclei together. The unstable agglomerations of protons and neutrons lasted mere fractions of a second before they fell apart into smaller, more stable fragments. Each of the teams have been given recognition for their great findings which means that now, they can  put forward proposals  to name the new elements and assign them their two-letter symbols. A new element can be named after a range of th

What's in your Pumpkin Spice Latte? ( + A Recipe!)

Autumn is easing its way in and the leaves are turning orange and brown hues and the pumpkin spice latte is making a major comeback. So surely everyone is starting to feel it's autumn now.  The PSL is now the official symbol of autumn - forget the weather or the leaves changing colour. Pumpkin Spice Latte Image Anybody who has tried the PSL and tasted it knows that it doesn’t even taste of pumpkin, nor does it have any of its nutritional benefits.   A cooked, mashed cup of it has most, if not all of your daily vitamin A and a significant percentage of both your daily potassium and fibre. Recently, the autumnal drink has been in the news for its recipe, which doesn't include real pumpkin or real, natural flavours. All flavours are replaced with chemicals which make up the flavouring. The caffeinated drink now has pumpkin included in it as of this year, part of the recipe.   In between a yoga retreat and a vision quest, I made a big decision to use real pumpkin. My

FDA Approves 1st Drug Produced By 3D Printing

For years, scientists have been searching for a way to simplify the way drugs are made, making everything computerised, with minimal human interaction as possible.  Previously I have reported on a new technology called molecular printing, click HERE  to read it first. Now for the first time, the FDA has approved the first prescription drug made via the new and similar technique: 3D printing.

The Chemistry of Anti-ageing Products & How They Work

On the back of any container of anti-ageing serum or cream, you read a long incomprehensible list of chemicals that you might not know what their exact roles are within the product. Below is list a top 10 ingredients that have been used in anti-ageing products that are in the market today, for you to read and know what exactly contributes to removing years of our faces.

New research for more efficient carbon capture

Journal : Tuning Organic Carbon Dioxide Absorbents for Carbonation and Decarbonation : Dr's: Kim, Park &   Rajamanickam Funded by Ministry of Education. Science and Technology of the Korean Government Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) is a gas / waste product that is given off by motor engines and with it other harmful gases that affect us and affect pollution and air quality. In this new piece of research the trio of scientists have aimed to find a way to capture carbon and recycle it, from carbon dioxide and at the same time release the safe molecule oxygen (O 2 ). In their research the scientists have aimed to manipulate the unique chemistry of super bases for carbon capture technology. It is beneficial to be able to control the process of carbonation and decarbonation in an easily controllable manner. ·          Superbase = alkylcarbonyl salt ·          Reverse at elevated temperatures in organic solutions ·          Gives insight into the design and optimizat

Black Phosphorus is the New Silicon

New Chemistry research:  Black phosphorus could help engineers surmount one of the big challenges for future electronics: designing energy-efficient transistors. This is a schematic of the "puckered honeycomb" crystal structure of black phosphorus. Credit: Vahid Tayari/McGill University Published in the journal: Nature Communications , the researchers are utilising black phosphorus as a material to pack more transistors on a chip, making them more energy-efficient.  The work is a result of a multidisciplinary collaboration among Szkopek's nanoelectronics research group, the nanoscience lab of McGill Physics Prof. Guillaume Gervais, and the nanostructures research group of Prof. Richard Martel in Université de Montréal's Department of Chemistry. Reporting on their finds, the scientists at McGill University, have found that when electrons move in a phosphorus transistor, they do so only in two dimensions. This will help in designing new energy-efficient t

The Reason Behind the Blog Name - 30 Day Science Blog Challenge (Day 2)

Every blog name/title has a story behind it; some maybe more interesting than others.  After I decided that I wanted to start a science website, I had to choose a name. At the time, I had hopes that my blog would be more chemistry driven but I also chose a title that is mixed - just like Medicinal Chemistry (what I did my Bsc in).   A couple of ideas I had for my blog name were: protons & pyrimidines neutrons & nucleotides electrons & enzymes as sweet as glucose sweeter than glucose chemistry crystals crystals of chemistry and finally: crystals & catalysts The name  Crystals and Catalysts  was derived from two things:  Crystals , from the most common product chemists make in the laboratory and also the most intriguing, and  Catalysts  are the substances that encourage reactions to happen. 

Radioactive bananas.... kind of

Fact: The radioactive potassium-40 emits about 15 articles of antimatter a day. So what, exactly, is antimatter? Antimatter is matter consisting of elementary particles which are the antiparticles of those making up normal matter. The person who discovered antimatter was the English Physicist Paul Dirac (1902-1984). Dirac derived an equation that explains how really small and really fast things behave, such as electrons travelling near the speed of light. Later, Dirac realised that not only did his equation & theory discover the behaviour of very tiny things, he also discovered something new to the growing world of science; anti-particles. Paul Dirac continued to assert that every particle has a mirror-image particle with nearly identical properties, except for an opposite electrical charge.  Similar to the way protons, neutrons and electrons combine to form atoms and matter, antiprotons, antineutrons and anti-electrons (called positrons) combine to form anti-atoms and an

Saving Valuable Time: the Molecule-Making Machine

A new molecule making machine could imitate 3-D printing, making it fast, flexible and accessible to everyone. This machine can assemble small, complex molecules at the click of a mouse. This automated process has the potential to greatly speed up and enable new drug development and other technologies that rely on small molecules. A team of chemists led by Martin D. Burke, at University of Illinois a team led by Martin D. Burke built the machine to imitate 3-D printer at a molecular level. They described the technology in a paper featured on the cover of the March 13 issue of Science. "Small molecules" are a specific class of complex, compact chemical structures found throughout nature. They are very important in medicine -- most medications available now are small molecules -- as well as in biology as probes to uncover the inner workings of cells and tissues. But small molecules are also very difficult to produce in a laboratory, and it takes a highly experienced che

Pineapple Juice : An Excellent Catalyst for Biginelli Reaction

Pineapple is almost everyone's favorite fruit and favorite juice. but not only is it good to consume, its also great for chemical reactions and green chemistry; cleaner ways to make pharmaceutical products.  An efficient and greener synthesis of a series of dihydropyrimidinone (DHPMs) derivatives were accomplished via three-component one-pot cyclocondensation between substituted aryl aldehydes, diketone/ke- toester and urea. This solvent free approach is totally nonpolluting having several advantages such as shorter reaction time, mild reaction conditions, simple workup and reduced environmental impact.

My First Guest Post on GradJobs UK - Looking After Your Health After Graduation

(( I am very proud to announce my very first guest post on GradJobs UK!! Be sure to check it out and tell me what you think!  You can find it here: GradJobs UK Blog: Looking after your health after graduation )) [UPDATE: The Gradjobs blog has since been removed and some posts moved to GradsCorner on Gradjobs UK website. So I have posted my guest post here for everyone to read.] Looking after your health after graduation. Stress. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about stress is a person tearing their hair out and screaming in despair.  After the graduation ceremony graduates start to face the “real world”, independence and the dreaded question: “what are you going to do next?” Since this is the biggest transition in your life it’s definitely going to be the most stressful one. It’s really easy to get caught up in the moment and give in to stress, particularly in today’s tumultuous economy with hardly any job opportunities. Anxiety can overwhelm you

Dark Chocolate Improves Vasodilation (Yay for lower blood pressure!)

Dark chocolate has many health benefits and one health benefit is that it can lower blood pressure, although there has been research on this before, a new study goes into studying its effect on endothelial cells (responsible for vasoconstriction of blood vessels). At least  30% of the English population have blood pressure and most of them might not even know they have it and have not yet been diagnosed.   The endothelial cells are vital for cardiovascular function and the dysfunction of endothelial cells is one of the most precocious events in atherosclerotic process. Which is the main reason why this study was carried out on endothelial cells and taking the measurement of the  flow-mediated dilation (FMD). The FMD measurement can be seen as a predictor   of the incidence of cardiovascular events in adults with no prior cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The Method  A randomized and controlled trail was carried out, using 30 healthy young individuals, placed into 2 group

Great News for Wikipedia Lovers

We were always warned at university about the reliability of Wikipedia and that we shouldn't use it for guidance when working on projects and/or coursework and we're recommended to use Google Scholar and Science Direct for scientific research.  Because Wikipedia is an open online encyclopedia in which everyone and anyone can edit and add to the pages, its reliability isn't 100%. However the good news is, is that the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) have given access to the chemistry writers at Wikipedia access to their all their journals (gold accounts) so to ensure that every single piece of information on Wikipedia is correct and to update with all the latest updates in chemistry research.  Donating 100 "RSC Gold" accounts to Wikipedia editors gives them access  to the complete portfolio of RSC journals and databases.  Andy Mabbett the RSC's Wikimedian in Residence commented to the Royal Society of Chemistry's blog " Royal Society of Chemist

8 Facts about Coconut Water

The increasingly popular drink, coconut water, is getting good reviews for its elixir-like health benefits and its hydrating properties so what is there to know about coconut water… 1) Coconut water is rich …in antioxidants and ions such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium and vitamins B6, C, and E, as well as vitamin K, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and folate.

Exam Drug Fails to Live up to its Expectations

Exam season is always a stressful time for students and every time it comes around everyone prepares in their own to make sure they can perform their best, even if it means taking performance enhancing drugs. There’s a prescription drug called Modafinil that can enhance your concentration. Personally I've never heard of anything like this till yesterday, the only drug I heard of at exam season is caffeine pills. Loads of students would take caffeine pills at exam season to try and stay up and revise or pull an all-nighter the day before the exam to cram in as much information as possible.  But sometimes that didn’t end up well because some students would end up taking too much caffeine pills and faint during the exam and subsequently need to be hospitalised for overdose.

5 Health Myths Everyone Follows Today: Corrected!

The "3-second rule" Say you 've  dropped a sweet on the floor so your friend shouts  “Quick! Pick it up! 3 second rule!” Because apparently if you drop food on the floor, you have three mighty seconds to rescue it and it will still be pure and untouched by bacteria as it was before you dropped it. Food dropped onto any contaminated surface, in this case the floor, has the potential to cause food poisoning and many other problems nobody wants and it was found that at least 20,000 UK residents seek hospital treatment for contaminated food case, a year, which could have been easily avoided. It has also been scientifically proven that the 3-second rule or 5-second rule doesn’t exist and it is safer to just throw away whatever food you dropped on the floor. Better to be safe than sorry.