No, not that kind of dating… Rather, ‘dating’ a dinosaur bone dug out of the ground involves a series of processes that allow us to estimate just how long the thing had stuck around on this Earth. This helps us to understand how that species fits into the evolutionary tree of change; when did they first appear and when did the last of their kind walk this Earth? Let’s take a look at the chemistry that allows us to travel 65 millions years back in time.
The past few months have been revolutionary in the history – and perhaps more so the future – of medicine. In August 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its first gene therapy approval to Kymriah for treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Just weeks later Yescarta, approved for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. By Christmas, Luxturna became the first ever in vivo gene therapy to be FDA approved. In March 2018, Luxturna was used successfully to treat a young patient, preventing him from going blind.
A long standing area of research is that of stannanes, or organotin compounds, that were first discovered almost 200 years ago and continue to be relevant in industry and academia today. Although the mono- and tetra- substituted derivatives of tin are relatively non-toxic, di- and especially tri- organotin compounds can have serious adverse effects on the human body as well as the environment.
Chromatography is a technique used by scientists throughout all disciplines; many different separation techniques exist, each catered to a specific type of analyte. That’s because the principle behind it is simple, separate a mixture of compounds based on their physical or chemical properties. These techniques can be very broadly classified by their ‘mobile phase’, either liquid or gas.
Reading the news seems a lot like doom and gloom these days, what with the threat of nuclear war always on the headlines. The devastation that nuclear reactions can achieve is undeniable; however their effects reach far beyond the immediate blast damage and thermal radiation that can be observed. Another danger lurks – unseen and undetected – but nonetheless capable of widespread destruction.
Spectroscopy is not only an important part of a scientist’s arsenal, but also a big part of everyday life. Take a moment to appreciate that the myriads of colours in dyes and paints are made possible by chemical compounds that possess certain spectral characteristics, or how the chemical composition of distant galaxies can be characterised based on their observed spectra. In this tutorial we will be discussing how infrared spectroscopy works, and its applications.
Merry Christmas! As we relax and unwind this holiday season, look out the window and observe the falling of snowflakes (if you’re fortunate enough to be able to!). Each icy crystal begins its existence high up in the atmosphere and slowly alters its appearance as it falls but always retaining its hexagonal structure, nature ever the master craftsman…