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2nd April 2012
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Bigger and better in 2011

Neil Eisberg, 02/04/2012

Europe’s largest chemical industry continued to power ahead in 2011, with German majors recording yet another year of record financial results

Booming opportunity

Paul Hodges, 02/04/2012

If I’d been out till quarter to three/Would you lock the door/Will you still need me, will you still feed me/When I’m sixty-four?

Budget boost for pharma

Cath O'Driscoll, 02/04/2012

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline chose the UK’s budget day on 22 March to announce plans to invest more than £500m across its UK manufacturing sites

Electricity from sewage

Jon Evans, 02/04/2012

Sewage could one day join coal and gas as a major energy source, thanks to a team of US environmental engineers

Generating a real buzz

Kathryn Roberts, 02/04/2012

Game consoles and mobile phones have come along away in terms of size, high quality graphics and sound but

Green fingerprints help point way to criminals

Kathryn Roberts, 02/04/2012

Scientists have found a greener way of developing fingerprints left at crime scenes that avoids the need for solvents and reduces the risk of human error

Nanomaterials boost resistance

Emma Dorey, 02/04/2012

Nanomaterials are increasingly used in consumer products, but their effect on the environment remains unclear

News from ACS

Cath O'Driscoll, 02/04/2012

Cath O'Driscoll reports from ACS 2012 in San Diego

Origami test kits

Emma Dorey, 02/04/2012

While point-of-care diagnostics such as pregnancy testing kits are useful, more complicated three-dimensional tests require specialist assembly, making them too expensive for developing countries

Plant patents, to be or not to be

Hilary King, 02/04/2012

Conventional methods of plant breeding involving crossing and selection are generally not patentable

Self-healing hydrogels

Anthony King, 02/04/2012

Repairable material is fine, but far better if a material can fix itself. Now, researchers have created self-healing hydrogels that repair themselves in seconds

Spider silk beats metals

Anthony King, 02/04/2012

Spider silk is a superior heat conductor to silicon and aluminium – and unusually, this property gets better when it is stretched

Strategic Moves

Neil Eisberg, 02/04/2012

Big Pharma is looking more and more to outsource its activities. In response, contract manufacturing organisations (CMOs) are also evolving

Swell Idea


A polymer found in babies’ nappies could be useful for boosting water retention by soils, so helping to increase plant yields, according to a study presented at the recent AAAS meeting

Tar sands label decision deferred

Maria Burke, 02/04/2012

A decision on labelling fuels derived from tar sands as highly polluting has been deferred and will now be taken by EU Ministers in June 2012