Category: Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN)

September 22, 2017

Self-Folding Electronics Take Shape

By Katherine Bourzac for C&EN

After being peeled from the platform of a three-dimensional printer, a flat electronic component begins to fold its four legs into position. In just a few minutes, it is fully formed and can stand. Researchers can now print self-folding electronic devices like this one thanks to a new polymer ink that builds up mechanical strain […]

Nobel Prize Predictions

September 21, 2017

Get Expert Predictions for the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

By Jesse Stanchak

We won’t know who the winner (or winners) of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be until Oct. 4. But if you can’t wait that long — or you just love to speculate — we’ve got a panel of experts who are willing to put forth some educated chemistry Nobel Prize predictions. Chemical & Engineering […]

  • 2017 Nobel Prize

September 21, 2017

Trees with a Probiotic Boost Clean Up a Carcinogen

By Deirdre Lockwood, for C&EN

Planting poplar trees that harbor a secret weapon—pollutant-busting microbes—could help clean up sites contaminated with the carcinogen trichloroethylene, a new study shows. In the first field trial of this approach at a Superfund hazardous waste site, poplar trees boosted by bacteria within their tissues brought groundwater concentrations of TCE to below the maximum contaminant level […]

September 20, 2017

Touching Thermal Receipts May Extend BPA Exposure

By Deirdre Lockwood, for C&EN

When people handle receipts printed on thermal paper containing the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA), the chemical could linger in the body for a week or more, according to a new study. BPA ingested from food, however, is excreted within a day. Jonathan W. Martin of Stockholm University and Jiaying Liu of the University of […]

September 19, 2017

Making the Diabetes Drug Exenatide More Stable

By Katherine Gammon, for C&EN

Exenatide, a widely used diabetes drug, requires that patients give themselves a subcutaneous injection at least once per week. But because of a new development, less frequent injections might soon be possible. By tweaking one amino acid of exenatide and attaching it to hydrogel microspheres, researchers have developed a longer-acting version and tested it in […]

September 18, 2017

One-Pot Synthesis Yields Grapevine Moth Sex Pheromone

By Louisa Dalton, for C&EN

The European grapevine moth (Lobesia botrana) spoils vineyard fruit across the globe. One of the most effective weapons against the widespread pest is the moth’s own sex pheromone. When sprayed into the air around the grapevines, it leads males on a fruitless chase to find females, disrupting mating. However, the pheromone is about 60% more […]

August 28, 2017

Viruslike Nanoparticles Kill Drug-Resistant Bacteria

By Prachi Patel for C&EN

Viruslike polymer nanoparticles can target and kill different types of bacteria—including antibiotic-resistant strains—while sparing human cells, according to a new study. What’s more, fine-tuning the size and shape of these fuzzy polymer nanoparticles alters their potency. The strategy could represent a step towards a new class of antimicrobials that could fight infections while avoiding antibiotic […]

August 15, 2017

What Goes into Selecting C&EN’s Talented 12?

By Jesse Stanchak

Many fields have awards recognizing rising stars. Recording artists have the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Baseball players have the Rookie of the Year Award. And chemists have the Talented 12. Each year Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) unveils a new class of 12 promising young chemists at the Fall ACS National Meeting & […]

August 14, 2017

Frozen Fish Embryos Warm Up Better with Nanorods

By Jyoti Madhusoodanan, for C&EN

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are widely used as a model organism for developmental biology. But after being frozen and thawed, zebrafish embryos rarely survive, meaning that researchers can only do experiments on live ones and can’t store embryos for later experiments or to share with other labs. Now, researchers report that injecting zebrafish embryos with gold […]

August 11, 2017

Join ACS Publications in Washington D.C. for These Exciting Events!

By Stephanie Monasky

The 254th ACS National Meeting in Washington, DC is less than two weeks away! Mark your calendars and join ACS Publications and C&EN for events and activities throughout the meeting. Help us take a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title, meet top ACS Editors, and help create a mural of 2016’s most-prolific author. Take a Quiz and […]

  • 254th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exhibition

August 11, 2017

Keeping a Close Eye on Lithium Ions

By Katherine Bourzac for C&EN

After a year or so, lithium-ion batteries—used in cell phones, laptops, and electric cars—need more frequent recharging. And on rare occasions, the batteries can fail catastrophically. A new way to directly image lithium ions could help researchers better understand why these problems happen, helping them to improve battery design. Li-ion batteries can catch fire when […]

August 4, 2017

Cane Toad Microbiome Transforms its Toxins

By Melissae Fellet, for C&EN

Australia’s invasive cane toads are a scourge to native species, poisoning predators with toxic secretions. But now researchers have discovered that bacteria in the glands of adult cane toads transform these toxins into hydroxylated versions found in cane toad eggs and tadpoles. Manipulating this microbe-mediated toxin transformation could offer a new route for controlling the […]

August 3, 2017

Understanding How Mother-of-Pearl Promotes Bone Growth

By Melissa Pandika

The Mayans used seashells as dental implants, and researchers have shown that small chunks of mother-of-pearl, the iridescent lining of oysters’ and other mollusks’ shells, induce bone formation in both cell culture and animal studies. Why this works, however, has been a mystery. Researchers are now a step closer to the answer. A new work […]

July 26, 2017

Training of Bomb-Sniffing Dogs Could Improve with New Mass Spectrometry Tool

By Melissa Pandika

Law enforcement has long relied on canines to sniff out dangerous explosives, but large discrepancies exist between individual dogs’ performances that are at least partially attributable to training differences. Now, analytical chemistry may help give the dogs’ powerful sense of smell a keener edge. Researchers have developed a device that could improve dogs’ training by […]

July 25, 2017

Plants Inspire Exceptionally Strong and Elastic Graphene Aerogels

By Prachi Patel for C&EN

Ultralight and exceptionally strong, graphene aerogels are attractive materials for use as catalysts, electrodes, and flexible electronics. But so far it has been hard to make them both strong and elastic. Researchers have now overcome that hurdle by making a squishable graphene aerogel that mimics an aquatic plant’s highly ordered porous structure. The new, conductive […]

July 20, 2017

Making Macrocyclic Compounds for DNA-Encoded Libraries

By XiaoZhi Lim, for C&EN

A simple tweak to a tool for making macrocyclic compounds could help increase the diversity of DNA-encoded libraries used by drug developers to rapidly screen and identify promising drug candidates. Building such libraries involves attaching short, unique DNA sequences to small molecules and then reacting those DNA-tagged building blocks together to create myriad products, which […]

July 7, 2017

Nutmeg Compound is Even Cooler than Menthol

By Deirdre Lockwood, for C&EN

When you rinse with a menthol-flavored mouthwash, your mouth tingles because the compound triggers a cold-sensitive ion channel in sensory neurons in your mouth. Now scientists have found a new compound that is even more chilling. Isolated from nutmeg, this new chemical is the most potent activator of that cooling channel yet found in nature. […]

July 6, 2017

Organic Onions Richer in Flavonoids

By Alla Katsnelson, for C&EN

Many grocery store shoppers believe that organic vegetables are healthier than their conventional counterparts, but studies comparing nutritional content have produced mixed results. Now, researchers have completed the first-ever multiyear field test of a crop grown with organic methods versus conventional ones. They report that organic onions contain a significantly higher amount of two types […]

June 29, 2017

Polymer Network Captures Drinking Water Contaminant

By Deirdre Lockwood, for C&EN

Long-chain perfluorinated chemicals contaminate millions of Americans’ drinking water. These compounds are a legacy of industrial pollution and the use of firefighting foam at military bases and airports; they persist in the environment because of their strong carbon-fluorine bonds. Now scientists have designed a cross-linked polymer that might more effectively remove one of the more […]

June 28, 2017

Sunlight Surprise Raises Cadmium Pollution Risk

By Deirdre Lockwood, for C&EN

Even though cadmium is considered a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it is still used to give some plastics and ceramics red, orange, or yellow hues. That’s because organic pigments are unstable at the high temperatures used to make these products, and pigments like cadmium red are thought to be relatively […]

June 16, 2017

Fly-Egg Profiling Method Reveals a Corpse’s ‘Time of Death’ Faster

By Louisa Dalton, for C&EN

Carrion insects are the stopwatches of death investigations. Within minutes of a body becoming a corpse, blow flies arrive. Forensic researchers have well-calibrated knowledge of different blow fly species’ growth rates and arrival order, so correctly identifying the species found on a corpse can help establish time of demise to within hours. However, the eggs […]

June 15, 2017

Thirsty MOF Sucks More Water from Air

By XiaoZhi Lim, for C&EN

Materials that reversibly trap water from air could provide a vital source of drinking water in areas where it is scarce, or offer energy-efficient air conditioning. But to be commercially viable, these materials need a large water capacity and low energy requirements during water adsorption and desorption. Now, Mircea Dincă and his research group at […]

June 2, 2017

Genetic Engineering Through Click Chemistry

By Alla Katsnelson, for C&EN

Gene therapy and a range of biological research rely on the efficient delivery of nucleic acids into cells through the process known as transfection. Most widely-used transfection approaches for mammalian cells rely on electrostatic forces, usually taking advantage of cationic reagents to bind to negatively-charged nucleic acids and form strong ionic complexes. Cells then grab […]

June 1, 2017

Artificial Melanin Gets into the Skin

By Wudan Yan, for C&EN

Melanin is the pigment responsible for human skin and hair color—and it helps protect skin cells from sun damage by absorbing ultraviolet rays and scavenging free radicals. Attempting to reproduce these properties, researchers have demonstrated that nanoparticles made with artificial melanin can protect cultured skin cells from UV radiation. The research serves as an important […]

May 23, 2017

Very Low Lead Exposure May Endanger Eagles

By Deirdre Lockwood, for C&EN

Even extremely low levels of lead may hamper the flight and movement of golden eagles, a new study in Sweden shows. The findings add fuel to a debate over the use of lead ammunition in hunting, the main source of lead to the birds. Eagles and other scavengers can be poisoned by eating carcasses that […]

May 18, 2017

Get to Know C&EN Global Enterprise

By Andrew Clinton

  C&EN Global Enterprise is now available to ACS Publications’ institutional subscribers. It delivers C&EN content on the same award-winning web platform as ACS journals. Watch an overview of C&EN Global Enterprise: C&EN Global Enterprise is a lasting digital version of C&EN’s award-winning magazine that advances the reader’s experience and adds new capabilities requested by […]

May 16, 2017

Stretchy Holograms Made from a Metamaterial

By Katherine Bourzac for C&EN

 Holograms record and display realistic three-dimensional images that appear to float over a surface. One day they might be used to immerse viewers in virtual worlds or simply provide ultra-realistic video calls—that is, if the holographic images could be made to move. Now researchers have created holograms that display different two-dimensional images when stretched. Although […]

May 15, 2017

3 Tips to Help You Get an Academic Faculty Job

By Susan Morrissey

Adapted from the eBook, “10 Tips to Help You Get a Faculty Job,” published by Chemical & Engineering News. Every year, numerous graduate students and postdocs apply for academic faculty jobs in hopes of securing an on-campus panel interview. After being selected as a candidate, you must convince a panel of established professors that you have […]

May 11, 2017

Making Antibodies Minus the Cells

By Erika Gebel Berg for C&EN

In the development of protein therapeutics, optimizing the interaction between the drug and its target is only half the battle. Drug developers often tweak the protein’s underlying DNA sequence and conduct time-consuming screens to identify the variants that give the highest yields when expressed in cells. Now, researchers have developed a cell-free protein synthesis platform […]

May 11, 2017

Dolphin Breath Holds Chemical Clues to Disease

By Deirdre Lockwood, for C&EN

Certain molecules in the breath of dolphins exposed to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill correlate with signs of respiratory illness, a new study shows. The findings give researchers a set of biomarkers that could help assess the health of wild dolphins and other marine mammals using relatively noninvasive breath analysis. During veterinary exams on […]

April 26, 2017

Spray-on Process Creates Bright, Efficient LEDs

By Prachi Patel for C&EN

Researchers have developed a process to make light-emitting diodes by spraying a substrate with quantum dots, according to a paper published in ACS Photonics. The quantum-dot LEDs (QLEDs) are 100 times as bright and efficient as similar devices, the researchers say. The process could someday be used to mass-produce inexpensive, vibrant, and flexible displays. Quantum dots […]

March 30, 2017

C&EN Roundup: Fish-Inspired Oil Filters, Improvement to Dental Fillings, and the Secrets of Artwork Revealed by Chemistry

By Jesse Stanchak

Chemical & Engineering News covers the world of chemistry, from research and education to business and policy. Here’s a sampling of their coverage of research from ACS journals: *** Peptide-laced Nanofibers Could Help Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Researchers developed a material capable of blocking bacteria’s ability to infect tissue without destroying the bacteria in the process. […]

March 10, 2017

Saying Goodbye to Nobel Prize-Winner George A. Olah (1927-2017)

By Jesse Stanchak

The chemistry community said goodbye to one of its leading lights this week, as George A. Olah died at the age of 89. Throughout his long career he earned many of chemistry’s highest honors, including the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1994 for his work on preparing long-lived carbocations using superacids. In 2005, he was […]

February 21, 2017

Q&A: ACS Omega’s Krishna Ganesh on the Future of Indian Research Funding

By Jesse Stanchak

The Indian government’s recently unveiled 2017-2018 budget includes increased levels of public funding for research in a variety of disciplines. Yet, as C&EN reports, some Indian scientists are saying the new budget does not go far enough to support Indian research. One of those researchers is Krishna Ganesh, a chemistry professor, director of the Indian […]

  • India

February 1, 2017

C&EN Roundup: Controlling Pain With Light, Printing With Nanoparticle Ink, and Studying Human-Plant Hybrid Cells

By Jesse Stanchak

Chemical & Engineering News covers the world of chemistry, from research and education to business and policy. Here’s a sampling of their coverage of research from ACS journals: *** Nanoparticle Ink Opens Up New Printing Possibilities Researchers have found a way to add iridescent colors to nanopatterned polymer sheets using ink containing silver nanoparticles. An […]

January 12, 2017

C&EN Global Enterprise Offers Exciting New Features for Library Subscribers

By Angela Carlson

C&EN is one of the most trusted sources for objective science news, written by the experts: In order to reflect C&EN’s transition to a digital-first publication, ACS is launching C&EN Global Enterprise, designed specifically for institutional subscribers. It features all of the content found in the magazine—from cover to cover—in a highly discoverable web and […]

October 28, 2016

C&EN Roundup: Stronger Silk, Nanobot Drug Delivery, and Mercury Leaks

By Jesse Stanchak

Chemical & Engineering News covers the world of chemistry, from research and education to business and policy. Here’s a sampling of their coverage of research from ACS journals: *** Sea Life Untainted by Wrecked WWII Submarine’s Mercury Leak Researchers say metallic mercury leaking from a World War II German submarine wreck has polluted ocean floor […]

  • C&EN

October 3, 2016

Autophagy Researcher Yoshinori Ohsumi Wins the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

By Jesse Stanchak

In recognition of his research into autophagy, the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine goes to Yoshinori Ohsumi. The Tokyo Institute of Technology biologist won the prize for his research into the mechanisms cells use to break down and reuse their own components. The autophagy process is an essential part of maintaining cell health, as […]

  • autophagy
  • Nobel Prize

August 24, 2016

C&EN Roundup: Thyroid Disruptions, Drug Discovery, and Flexible Crystals

By Jesse Stanchak

Chemical & Engineering News covers the world of chemistry, from research and education to business and policy. Here’s a sampling of their coverage of research from ACS journals: *** Flint Water Crisis May Also Be Responsible For Legionnaires’ Outbreaks Two recent outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in Flint, Mich., may be the result of the city’s […]

  • C&EN News