Articles about chemistry


Lo and behold, Earth's special chemical cocktail for life seems to be pretty common

Earth appears to be unique and inhabited by living creatures, but the building blocks required for life to bloom are actually quite common, according to new research. "Most of the building blocks we have looked at in other planetary systems have a composition broadly similar to that of the Earth", said Siyi Xu, an an assistant …
Katyanna Quach, 17 Aug 2018

Boffins mix AI and chemicals to create super-fast lab assistant

Machine learning can help robots perform chemistry experiments faster than fleshy boffins, according to research published in Nature. Researchers have been exploring how algorithms can predict the outcome of chemical reactions for a while, but this project goes one step further and actually uses a real robot to carry out some …
Katyanna Quach, 19 Jul 2018
A woman walking in the rain by water

Meet the real spin doctors: Scientists tell H2O to chill out so they can separate isomers

Boffins have, for the first time, managed to separate water into its two isomeric forms to test how they react to stuff, according to a paper published in Nature Communications on Tuesday. You may or may not know that each water molecule exists in one of two slightly different structures: para-water and ortho-water. Both have …
Katyanna Quach, 30 May 2018
IBM Selectric Golfball

New periodic table names

Four elements from the lower right-hand corner of the periodic table will have new names. A document outlining the proposals was drafted by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, chemistry's governing body. Rules dictate that a new element may be named after a) a mythological concept or character (including an …
Looks like DNA

Trio take Nobel Prize in Chemistry for ‘pioneering’ DNA repair study

Nobel Prize 2015 The chemistry Nobel Prize has been awarded to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich, and Aziz Sancar, with a citation "for mechanistic studies of DNA repair". Genetic damage is the most significant existential threat facing life, as the integrity of genetic information is fundamental to its continued existence. "To counteract this …
Mamod steam traction engine

Ghosts of Christmas Past: The long-ago geek gifts that made us what we are

Product Roundup It's fairly well accepted that events and things from our past help to make us the twisted, misanthropic people we are today. Or perhaps that's just Team Register. It being the season of festive excess, we wondered if there were perhaps some geeky gifts that, as a kid, helped you explore science, tech, and similar areas, and …
Nigel Whitfield, 25 Dec 2014

DOCTOR HELL and his henchmen score Nobel for the NANO-SCOPE

Hefty German scientist Dr Stefan Hell - and American colleagues Eric Betzig and William Moerner - have been awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their development of super-high-res microscopes: so hi-res, in fact, that they are really nano-scopes. "Due to their achievements the optical microscope can now peer into the …
Lewis Page, 8 Oct 2014
A boffin

'Computer GEEKS' snatch NOBEL Prize for chemistry - without using chemicals

Three chemists have been awarded the Nobel Prize in their field, not for arcane experiments with bubbling beakers but for writing software to make computers do all the hard work. "In the 1970s, Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel laid the foundation for the powerful programs that are used to understand and predict …
Iain Thomson, 9 Oct 2013
The Register breaking news

German boffins turn ALCOHOL into hydrogen at low temp

Hydrogen is one of the cleanest-burning fuels known, but storing and transporting it can be a problem – as anyone who's seen footage of the Hindenburg disaster knows. But researchers at Germany's University of Rostock say they've come up with a solution that could make hydrogen fuel safe and practical, by storing it as liquid …
Neil McAllister, 28 Feb 2013
The Register breaking news

US boffins get Nobel for work on cell receptors

US boffins have bagged the Nobel prize for chemistry for helping to figure out how cells sense their environment. Robert Lefkowitz of Duke University and Brian Kobilka at Stanford School of Medicine won for their work on G-protein coupled receptors, which snake in and out of cell's membrane and are one of the main methods of …
The Register breaking news

Made for each other: liquid nitrogen and 1,500 ping-pong balls

Video It's the rare scientific mind that has the pure intellectual chutzpah to tackle a problem that has troubled boffinry since the discovery of cryogenics – namely, "What happens if you combine liquid nitrogen with 1,500 ping-pong balls?" C'mon, don't tell The Reg that question hasn't crossed your mind. It hasn't? Well, then you …
Rik Myslewski, 22 Sep 2012
The Register breaking news

GCSE, A-level science exams ARE dumbed down - watchdog

Questions expecting short answers and the use of multiple choice have made biology and chemistry exams easier in the UK, according to assessment assessor Ofqual. The examinations watchdog analysed GCSE and A-level exams for the two science subjects - comparing papers taken by thousands of youngsters between 2003 and 2008 - and …
Anna Leach, 2 May 2012
The Register breaking news

Plastic that SELF-REPAIRS using light unleashed by prof

Self-repairing plastic that can heal cuts and scratches on its own surface has been presented at a meeting of the American Chemistry Society. Inspired by human skin, the new material could make for self-healing cars and smartphones, that change colour when damaged and can close over "wounds" of its own accord. Professor Marek …
Anna Leach, 27 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

Alcohol DOUBLES LIFESPAN, helps resist stress

Pour yourself another one, quickly, as scientists have proven that alcohol can double life-span. Moderate levels of alcohol delivered an increase in longevity among test subjects in a recent study that Steven Clarke, UCLA professor of chemistry and biochemistry and senior author on a study published yesterday in the journal …
Anna Leach, 20 Jan 2012
The Register breaking news

Fire-quenching electric forcefield backpack invented

Boffins in America say they're on the track of a backpack electro-beam forcefield device capable of snuffing out raging fires without any need for water, hoses or other traditional firefighting apparatus. Apart from portable applications, they raise the possibility that the new technology might replace building sprinkler systems …
Lewis Page, 28 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Chemists create current-bearing plastic

Chemists have found a new way of producing plastic that conducts electricity, potentially paving the way to cheaper, more robust and er, more plasticky computers. Polymer electronics isn't new, and the printed electronics business is reckoned to be worth around $2bn, although not all the printing goes onto polymers. But with …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

Boffins demo one-molecule DNA 'walker' nano-bot

American boffins say that they have created tiny robot spiders or "walkers", each one of which is a single complicated molecule fashioned out of DNA. They have managed to get the molecular nanorobospiders to follow a trail of DNA "breadcrumbs". DNA walker nanobot in action. Credit: Paul Michelotti The sticking-up bits are …
Lewis Page, 14 May 2010
The Register breaking news

Boffins turn Bunsen burners on Frank Skinner

"Science isn’t fun. It’s just maths in fancy dress," wrote TV presenter Frank Skinner in the Times on Friday, and it's earned a gentle rebuke from the Royal Society of Chemistry's chief executive Richard Pike. The RCS caustically calls Skinner a "comedian" only between inverted commas*. But Pike says he may be onto something. …

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