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. 
Scientists are reporting the development of a new, ultra-light form of 'frozen smoke',  the world's lightest solid material, and the new kind has amazing strength and an incredibly large surface area. The new "multiwalled carbon nanotube (MCNT) aerogel" could be used in sensors to detect pollutants and toxic substances, chemical reactors, and electronics components. 

Will your new year start with a BANG?

Well, it might, if you bring it in with this molecule.  This is trinitramide, a compound newly synthesized at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden.  It has the formula N(NO2)3, and as such is the newest nitrogen oxide to be discovered.

Because of environmental problems with huge piles of plastic garbage, biodegradable plastics are still widely studied. Personally,  I thought this was a relatively easy problem to solve because of today’s advancements in chemistry and technology.

[note: I struggled with what category to put this in, perhaps there should be a new one called Complexity?]

One of the paradigms in complex adaptive systems thinking that has great explanatory power is the idea that there are distinct systems organized hierarchically in various levels of complexity. So, for instance, you can look at atoms as being a system at one level of organization, on top of which sits the next level of atomically bonded compounds (aka molecules), on top of which sits the next level of molecular reactions (e.g. chains of enzyme reactions), and so on. It’s well-understood that within a given level, the individual elements (i.e.