Does Spiderman get wet? The hunt has been on for some time now for what are called superhydrophobic surfaces.  These would be ideal for see-though surfaces such as windscreens and coating for solar cells, where any dirty water that splashes on will simply roll off it like the proverbial duck’s back.

 Can one make plastic from glucose?


is Dutch for Chemistry, and literally means "Separation Science".  Now, if one has a carpet made of 85% polypropylene and 15% wool, how does one go about separating them?

Have no fear!  Nature already has a solution.  I found these cocoons (about half a centimetre long) on the surface of said carpet, and decided to look at them under a video microscope.  This is what we saw:


As you can see, these caterpillars emerged from the cocoons and resumed their analysis, selectively removing the wool fibres from the polypropylene matrix. 

Northwestern University researchers have developed a new material that could help with the remediation of nuclear waste that behaves much like a Venus Flytrap, permanently trapping only its desired 'prey,' the radioactive ion cesium. The results were published online this week in Nature Chemistry.

The synthetic material, made from layers of a gallium, sulfur and antimony compound, is very selective. The researchers found it to be extremely successful in removing cesium -- found in nuclear waste but very difficult to clean up -- from a sodium-heavy solution. (The solution had concentrations similar to those in real liquid nuclear waste.)
Illustration of this article
In the beginning, like attracts like to make a dimer. Nobel Prizes are a rich source of dimers. I counted twenty-three Nobel Lectures with dimers. The wealth in dimers can compound a case not only in biochemistry but also in organic chemistry. A new certainty sparkles here with a metal form, the beryllium dimer. 
A new study conducted by scientists in France concludes that the alluring eye makeup worn by ancient Egyptians also may have been used to help prevent or treat eye disease by doubling as an infection-fighter. The study appears in the January 15 issue of Analytical Chemistry.

The researchers note that thousands of years ago the ancient Egyptians used lead-based substances as cosmetics, including an ingredient in black eye makeup. Some Egyptians believed that this makeup also had a "magical" role in which the ancient gods Horus and Ra would protect wearers against several illnesses. Until now, however, modern scientists largely dismissed that possibility, knowing that lead-based substances can be quite toxic. 
Separation science has seen glamour and growth with ever-increasing demand for analysis ranging from environmental, toxicological to forensics. The list is endless and the genre is getting narrower for the graduates. Considering these points, eminent professors and research scientists have rolled out a wonderful interface for evolving pedagogy.      
separationsNOW marks and celebrates chromatography education through webinar series, " Year of Education in Separation Science."
It is fascinating and interesting interface to ask generic to advanced questions. I was intrigued by the idea and would love my graduate class to learn afresh. I would love to challenge the age-old universal method of teaching.
That's right, my love for the periodic table can now be extended to my phone! My sweet Palm Pre features the periodic table in its app catalog, with such data as:

  • Oxidation Status

  • Boiling Point

  • Melting Point

  • Electron Configuration

  • Electron Negativity

  • Atomic Radius

  • Atomic Volume

  • Specific Heat Capacity

  • Ionization Potential

  • Atomic Number

  • Symbol

  • Name

When Dmitri Mendeleev first published his table of elements in 1869 (picture), only 60 of these were known. One group in particular was absent, namely the inert gases.  Now you may have heard this song:

"All these gases are inert
  Helium, neon, argon.
I’ll sing this song until it hurts
  Krypton, xenon, radon." **