My latest science news round-up for SpectroscopyNOW.com is now live:
The problem of the core – Understanding how the bulk iron at the earth’s core is packed together and with what other lighter elements is critical to revealing the origins and evolution of the earth and precisely how it generates its magnetic field.
Fluorinated agents at the ready Intrusive biopsies for people with cancer could be sidestepped thanks to the development of fluorine-containing contrast agents by David Parker and colleagues at Durham University.
Baby light – Near-infrared light could allow researchers to see activity within the infant brain even while the tot wriggles and giggles.
High-field NMR morphs caffeine structure – High-field NMR has overcome the problem of spectral ambiguity in nitrogen-rich compounds, thanks to efforts by Canadian scientists. The team has studied two anhydrous polymorphs of the stimulant, caffeine, and has found that, despite extensive disorder, both caffeine polymorphs reveal the characteristic structural signatures of crystalline compounds.
Diamonds out of Hades – Raman spectroscopy could turn the history of the early Earth upside down and hint that conditions were suitable for life as little as 250 million years after its formation, pushing back the so-called Hadean era several hundred million years.
Sweet nanoreactor – A one-pot chemical reaction system based on nanoscopic capsules embedded in a polymer membrane has been devised by researchers in The Netherlands. The nanoreactor system allows cascade reactions to be carried out that would otherwise require multiple distinct reaction steps with time-consuming and wasteful separation and purification stages.