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11th December 2019
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News

Agchems image warning

Cath O’Driscoll, 11/12/2019

A UK Green Brexit is likely to lead to an upswelling of support for anti agrochemicals groups such as the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) which will likely result in the agchems industry being labelled as ‘bad, like the tobacco industry’.

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Anti-GM, anti-environment

Cath O'Driscoll, 11/12/2019

European intransigence on the issue of genetic technologies is woefully out of step with most other countries in the world and is anti-environment and anti-wildlife.

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Carbon-neutral polyethylene

Anthony King, 11/12/2019

Scientists in Canada have souped-up the conversion of CO2, water and energy into ethylene, a starter chemical for polyethylene. Today, the main feedstock for ethylene is fossil fuels. However, if powered by renewable energy, the new process could use waste CO2 and illuminate a path towards carbon-neutral plastics.

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Chemical shortages

Shem Oirere , 11/12/2019

Shortage of water treatment chemicals for a major water treatment plant in Harare, Zimbabwe, has led to frequent shutdowns of the facility – exposing more than a million city residents to waterborne diseases.

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E-cigs damage arteries

Maria Burke, 11/12/2019

E-cigarettes are not a healthy alternative to smoking, a new study suggests. The team of cardiologists say countries should consider banning e-cigarettes, particularly for young people, because of the damage they can cause to the brain, heart, blood vessels and lungs.

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Food imports threat

Cath O’Driscoll, 11/12/2019

In the past 20 years, tightening EU regulations have halved the number of approved active agrochemical ingredients available to UK farmers. Twenty to 30 years ago, the UK produced 80% of its own food requirements, while today that figure has dropped to 60%, according to Guy Smith, deputy president of the National Farmers Union (NFU), above, speaking at the BCPC conference in Brighton in November 2019.

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Immune boost for longevity

Anthony King, 11/12/2019

Researchers in Japan have discovered something unique about the immune systems of supercentenarians who live to 110 years of age.

Keto diet boosts immunity

Maria Burke, 11/12/2019

A ketogenic diet low in carbohydrates and high in fats has attracted attention as a weight loss tool, but now US researchers suggest that it can protect mice from influenza A virus. Feeding mice a keto diet for just one week reduced flu symptoms and the ability of the virus to replicate in the lungs.

Light bending materials

Maria Burke, 11/12/2019

Like sunflowers turn to follow the sun, researchers have developed a material that can bend and move to face light beams. With further development, it could help improve the efficiency of light-harvesting materials like solar panels.

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Science Briefs

11/12/2019

A team of researchers from the University of Delaware and University of Pennsylvania, with primary support from the US Department of Energy Biomolecular Materials Program, has created a new fundamental unit of polymers that could usher in a new era of materials discovery.

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Smart needle for cancer

Anthony King, 11/12/2019

A smart needle probe could detect cancer in seconds using light. The probe uses Raman spectroscopy, which measures the light scattered by tissues from a low-powered laser and will be tested in suspected cases of cancer known as lymphoma.

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Species vote for more land

Cath O’Driscoll, 11/12/2019

A UK general election is one matter, but if other species on the planet got a vote, how would they use it?

Supercharging photosynthesis

Anthony King, 11/12/2019

The blueprint of a protein machine crucial for photosynthesis has been revealed in spinach leaves – an advance that could help researchers re-engineer the process to generate higher yields in crop plants.

TB halved

Shem Oirere, 11/12/2019

The Southern Africa Kingdom of Eswatini, formerly Swaziland, is reported to have halved the number of recorded cases of TB, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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UK cereal shortfall

Cath O’Driscoll, 11/12/2019

The recent EU bans on neonicotinoids and other key agrochemicals have made life considerably tougher for UK cereal farmers, according to John Wallace, chair of the Morley Agricultural Foundation, speaking at the BCPC meeting in November 2019.

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UK sector deal makes progress

Neil Eisberg, 11/12/2019

The UK chemical industry is looking to work with the UK government to realise what has been estimated to be a £200bn market opportunity in terms of key market areas.

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War on US drug prices

Sarah Houlton , 11/12/2019

US President Trump’s much-touted ‘American Patients First’ blueprint, aiming to lower drug prices and reduce patients’ out-of-pocket costs, has had little effect since it was published in May 2018.

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