A team of chemical engineers have discovered what may be the "ancestral Eve" crystal that billions of years ago gave life on Earth its curious and exclusive preference for so-called left-handed amino acids. The results are published in Crystal Growth and Design.

Researchers used mixtures of both left- and right-handed aspartic acid (an amino acid) in laboratory experiments to see how temperature and other conditions affected formation of crystals of the material.

By Ladd (DePaul University student)

Ethanol is used to make alcohol, distillation of the mixture leads to the isolation of pure ethanol, a good alternative to petrol. there is a debate among ecologists and scientists whether to use corn or cellulose to manufacture ethanol.

There are a group of scientists that believe cellulose is a better feedstock for ethanol than corn. it has been argued that the expansion of corn ethanol is damaging wildlife and the environment. As more cornfields are grown, protected land is being lost, and the birds are unable to use the corn as a habitat.
What started my scientific wondering about popcorn? I was reading press-releases about presentations at the American Chemical Society's 239th meeting happening this week in San Francisco while craving a healthy snack.

Suddenly, I remembered my favorite report from last year's ACS meeting, about popcorn's antioxidant polyphenols.
Scientists have development of a new carbon dating method to determine the age of mummies,  artwork, and other relics without damaging them. 

Presenting at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), they say the method, called Non-Destructive Carbon Dating, could allow scientific analysis of hundreds of artifacts that until now were off limits because museums and private collectors did not want the objects damaged.
The key to silk's pound-for-pound toughness, which exceeds that of steel, is its beta-sheet crystals, the nano-sized cross-linking domains that hold the material together, say researchers writing in Nature Materials.

Using computer models, researchers simulated how the components of beta sheet crystals move and interact with each other. They found that an unusual arrangement of hydrogen bonds--the "glue" that stabilizes the beta-sheet crystals--play an important role in defining the strength of silk.

This weekend, over 10,000 chemists will descent upon San Francisco for the American Chemical Society national meeting.  For those of us

 A team of researchers has discovered how to efficiently turn carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide using visible light. The discovery opens the doors for scientists to explore what organism is out there – or could be created – to chemically break down the greenhouse gas into a useful form. The results are reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
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?