Spectral science selection

Aussie rock rolls
The oldest fossils of bacteria ever found were discovered in a rock formation in Western Australia, the discovery led to great excitement that has not abated for more than two decades. Until now. Raman spectroscopy shows that what palaeontologists thought were pristine microbial fossils may not be anything more complex than chunks of ancient Australian rock.

Spectroscopy reveals that the antioxidants in coffee with the most potent health benefits are formed by the roasting of beans rather than being present in the raw green beans.
Crystallising bacterial resistance
Two parts of the three-part system that pumps toxins from bacteria and allows them to resist the chemical onslaught of antibiotics has been identified and described using crystallography. The structure could help in the development of new drugs that might circumvent antibiotic resistance.

Hope for CJD drugs
US researchers have identified a group of compounds with the help of NMR spectroscopy, the 2-aminothiazoles, as possible non-toxic lead compounds in the search for a pharmaceutical to treat prion diseases, such as CJD. The lead compound from a search of 10,000 different molecules can cross the blood-brain barrier. Still several years away from clinical practice, of course, but a step closer to a treatment.

A load of aerosols
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy has been used to analyse submicron particles from 14 regions in North America, Asia, South America, and Europe. The measurements were used to identify characteristic organic functional group compositions of fuel combustion, terrestrial vegetation, and ocean bubble bursting sources. The information helps account for more than a third of organic mass in the atmosphere.
Stem cells labelled with hollow biocompatible cobalt-platinum (CoPt) nanoparticles remain stable for months and have a strong tendency to align with a magnetic field. The discovery allows low concentrations of the particles to be detected using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and so might provide medical researchers with the means to locate and track stem cells in the body.

Author: 雷竞技官网

Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.