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27th July 2009
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News

Dow closure thratens UK chemicals industry

Patrick Walter, July 2009

US chemical major Dow has announced that it will close its UK ethylene oxide (EO) plant in Teesside at the end of January 2010.

Feature

A growing biodegradable plastics industry

Lou Reade, July 2009

Imagine a polymer with a low heat distortion temperature and poor impact resistance. It is also difficult to form into products and nearly twice the cost of other resins. This, in a nutshell, is a biodegradable plastic.

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Reviews

Biomimetic Nanoceramics in Clinical Use

Maria Vallet-Regi and Daniel A Arcos Navarrete, July 2009

This book covers recent developments in the field of biomimetic nanoceramics, which could lead to better bone implants and other medical devices. Such materials promise improved bone regeneration properties, with reduced risks of rejection, mimicking biological materials through relevant biological responses at the nanoscale. The interaction at the tissue-implant is thus critical.

People

Movers and shakers

July 2009
Malvinder Mohan Singh has stepped down as chairman, ceo and managing director of Indian pharmaceutical company Ranbaxy. Atul Sobti, currently chief operating officer, has been appointed ceo and managing director. Tsutomu Un, currently a non-executive director of the board, has been appointed chairman. Ranbaxy is a subsidiary of Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi-Sankyo.

Leader

Will it be just the fittest that survive?

Neil Eisberg, July 2009
Often attributed incorrectly to Charles Darwin, the term ‘survival of the fittest’ was coined by British philosopher and sociological theorist Herbert Spencer after reading Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.

Comment

The biofuels agenda will not wait for miracles!

Mariam Sticklen, July 2009
Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin – the most important medicine in the history of humankind – from the mould that grew on Staphylococcus aureus bacterium was completely by chance. It was then isolated by Howard Felory and Ernst Chain (1945 Nobel prize) and saved 100,000s of wounded soldiers in the Second World War and slowed an epidemic of several infectious diseases.