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9th May 2014
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Anti-ageing supplement

Anthony King, 09/05/2014

A widely used supplement may promote a longer life. The supplement, glucosamine, works its magic by mimicking a calorie restricted diet, say the authors of a new study.

ATM fraud foiled by beetles

Anthony King, 09/05/2014

Bank robbers are to be foiled by hot foam inspired by the chemical defences of the bombardier beetle.

Batteries that breathe

Cath O'Driscoll, 09/05/2014

Novel lithium air batteries could potentially store far more energy than traditional lithium ion ones, and so massively boost the range of electric cars

Biofuels in brief


The European SmartCell project, which is focused on improving the efficiency of pharmaceutical production through plant biotechnology and is coordinated by the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)

China gets tough on pollution

Maria Burke, 09/05/2014

China has declared war on its ‘inefficient and unsustainable model of growth and way of life’. The country needs tough regulations to fight pollution, Premier Li Keqiang said

Defect-free graphene

Anthony King, 09/05/2014

UK chemical company Thomas Swann has begun selling defect-free graphene in gram quantities. It plans to scale-up production of the material at its plant in Durham to at least a kilo per day before the end of 2014.

Genomatica BDO process recognised

Cynthia Challener, 09/05/2014

US biotech company Genomatica, which has commercialised technology to produce bio-butanediol (bio-BDO) directly from crop-derived sugars, has been recognised as a winner of the 2014 Bloomberg New Energy Pioneers Award.

Geopolitics and demand

Paul Hodges, 09/05/2014

It has been a long time since geopolitics played a major role in the global economy. Many senior executives are too young to remember the Cold War that ended in 1989

Mega pharma swap

Neil Eisberg, 09/05/2014

The days of mega pharma deals have returned with confirmation that US major Pfizer has been bidding to acquire AstraZeneca.

Mercury cells axed faster

Hilfra Tandy, 09/05/2014

The European Commission has sliced three years off the chlor-alkali industry’s voluntary commitment to phase-out mercury cell technology to produce chlorine by 2020.

Metabolism before life

Cath O'Driscoll, 09/05/2014

A reconstruction of the Earth’s earliest ocean has revealed the spontaneous occurrence of some of the critical chemical reactions involved in cellular metabolism.

Microgravity research

Jon Evans, 09/05/2014

Over 4000 people have entered a competition to name British astronaut Tim Peake’s forthcoming mission to the International Space Station (ISS), when he will become the first Briton ...

Mini washing machines

Maria Burke, 09/05/2014

Tiny washing machines are helping to automate the process of testing new laundry detergents – increasing the pace of innovation, for example, to develop detergents that clean

New hydrogen carrier

Anthony King, 09/05/2014

Formaldehyde could be used as a liquid hydrogen carrier, according to chemists in Germany. The stored hydrogen could be released at moderate temperatures using a catalyst.

Solar in brief


Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science & Technology have discovered gallium arsenide nanowires can be tuned with a small strain to function more efficiently in a light-emitting diode

Star Wars science

Cath O'Driscoll, 09/05/2014

Thirty years ago, Tim Gardner admits he was a big fan of Star Wars. One scene that made a particular impression is when Luke Skywalker’s amputated arm gets replaced with an electrochemical one

Steeling a lead

Lou Reade, 09/05/2014

Steel remains the material of choice for engineering applications: whether it’s the chassis of a car or a machine tool component, the combination of low cost, high mechanical strength

Storms from Asia pollution

Anthony King, 09/05/2014

Pollutants from Asia are invigorating winter storms over the northern Pacific Ocean, affecting air circulation over North America and speeding up heat transfer to the North Pole.

Ticking the eco-box

Eric Johnson, 09/05/2014

If you doubt that product or process liability can bankrupt your company, just ask Dow Corning, GAF, Johns-Manville or WR Grace. It can also turn you into a pariah...

Top coat regeneration

Kathryn Roberts, 09/05/2014

The demand for hip and knee replacement surgery in the UK has seen a 92% increase over the past 10 years, making such operations among the most common medical intervention in the UK.

Wearable power generator

Anthony King, 09/05/2014

A glass fabric-based power generator that can harness body heat has been developed for wearable devices. The thermoelectric generator is flexible and weighs just a few grams.

World's smallest dishwasher

Kathyrn Roberts, 09/05/2014

Dishwashers are a part of modern living but they are by no means perfect.