Chemistry

Industry does quite a lot of basic research today but government funds the majority.  Prior to and during World War II those ratios were inverted and the private sector funded most basic research in hopes that the next big thing would be invented by them.
A combination of forest byproducts and crustacean shells may be the key to removing radioactive materials from drinking water, researchers from North Carolina State University have found.

The new material is a combination of hemicellulose, a byproduct of forest materials, and chitosan, which are crustacean shells that have been crushed into a powder.  It not only absorbs water, but can actually extract contaminates, such as radioactive iodide, from the water itself. The material forms a solid foam and has potential applications beyond radioactive materials.   The researchers found that it has the ability to remove heavy metals, such as arsenic,  from water or salt from sea water to make clean drinking water.

Scientists are launching a three-pronged attack on one of the most obstinate puzzles in materials sciences: what is the pseudogap?

They used three complementary experimental approaches to investigate a single material, the high-temperature superconductor Pb-Bi2201 (lead bismuth strontium lanthanum copper-oxide). Their results are the strongest evidence yet that the pseudogap phase, a mysterious electronic state peculiar to high-temperature superconductors, is not a gradual transition to superconductivity in these materials, as some have long believed.

Instead, it is a distinct phase of matter.

The pseudogap mystery
In the days of yore, organic chemistry was considered a branch of science that dealt with endless interactions involving carbon atoms as atomic and molecular interactive forces were not understood.
Archimedes steps in again.  The MacTutor tells us that
 
“Archimedes considered his most significant accomplishments were those concerning a cylinder circumscribing a sphere, and he asked for a representation of this together with his result on the ratio of the two, to be inscribed on his tomb.”
 
And one year after it was told us how to produce carbon spheres in relative abundance (at least, enough to buy a decent quantity from your laboratory chemical supplier), along comes Sumio Iijima telling us how to make cylinders.
 
When I was a lad, we were taught that carbon had two allotropes, graphite and diamond.  Although they’re both covalently connected, in neither of these is there anything that one would regard as a ‘molecule’. 
A new study accepted for publication in Chemical Geology says deep saline groundwaters in South Africa's Witwatersrand Basin may have remained isolated for perhaps millions of years.

The Witwatersrand Basin covers approximately 400 kilometers, some of which is subcrop of the Witwatersrand Supergroup sedimentary and sub-ordinate volcanic sequences and is well-known for tourist expeditions to search for gold.

The researchers found the noble gas neon dissolved in water in three-kilometer deep crevices and the unusual neon profile, along with the high salinities and some other unique chemical signatures, is very different from anything seen in molten fluid and gases rising from beneath the Earth's crust.

I love separation science, since it amuses me no end. As the coffee stain still lurks at my desk, reading through this article, the stain will be a mainstay at my laboratory. Okay, the hygiene issues will linger. Scientists at Harvard, California and Stanford universities have come up with use of coffee ring effect. A chromatography method that uses the same physics as the coffee stain: It separates nanometer- and micrometer-scale particles by size as a droplet dries. 

Being a follower of IYC 2011, I was completely aware of the goals and purpose of the events taking place and getting the coveted IYC tag and grants too. However, this one email made me rethink. Valentine's Day is around the corner and I was also aware of the fact that scientists are lovers too, but organizing an IYC 2011 event out of it was a plan that never even crossed my mind-even my wildest imagination would make me refrain from such issues, if any. 
2011 is Chemistry's year, sharing its limelight with another international celebration - forests. The International Year of Chemistry (popularly abbreviated as IYC 2011) is an excellent window of opportunity for chemists, chemical educators, chemical scientists all over the globe. As the celebration involves sharing of ideas and later brainstorm them into understanding to a wider audience is already ongoing at various societies like the ACS, RSC and other related organisations.