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12th June 2019
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News

Cannabis compound delivers

Anthony King, 12/06/2019

A component of cannabis could help ferry medications across the blood-brain barrier, researchers in Spain report.

Climate friendly bankers

Maria Burke, 12/06/2019

The Bank of Italy has approved new investment criteria that single out companies that take action on climate change and exclude those that do not adopt UN principles on the environment, human rights, labour and anti-corruption.

Counterfeiting allegations

A. Nair , 12/06/2019

A US report alleges that India is among the top five provenance economies for counterfeit goods, a claim flatly denied by the Indian government, which claims it is an attack on affordable generic drugs.

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EU PET bottle target unlikely to be met

Isabell Gilks, 12/06/2019

The EU’s proposal of a 90% collection target for PET beverage bottles by 2029 is unlikely to be met without significant investment. To put this number into context, the 2017 European PET beverage bottle collection rate averaged 58%. In volume terms, the EU would need to collect twice as many bottles, by weight, in 2029, compared with 2017.

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Fertiliser from dairy waste

Anthony King, 12/06/2019

Scientists in Israel say they can convert dairy wastewater into phosphorus fertiliser.

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Fluorochemicals under fire

Maria Burke, 12/06/2019

The EU has come under fire from NGOs over its actions at the latest conference on the Stockholm Convention, which deals with persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

Glucosamine and heart health

Maria Burke, 12/06/2019

Using glucosamine supplements regularly may be linked to a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Researchers led by Lu Qi at Tulane University in New Orleans, US, drew on data from the UK Biobank, a large population-based study of more than half a million British people. 

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Mega stake for sale

Anna Jagger, 12/06/2019

Brazilian state-owned energy group Petrobras is selling its 34% stake in Argentinean natural gas processor Compañia Mega, which it owns with Argentina’s Repsol YPF and Dow Chemical. Mega owns a gas separation plant in Argentina’s Loma La Lata gas field and a fractionation plant at Argentina’s key Bahia Blanca petrochemicals complex.

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Microscope for skin disease

Maria Burke, 12/06/2019

University of British Columbia (UBC) researchers have designed a laser system that they say could revolutionise diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as skin cancer and eye diseases. It allows doctors to scan tissue, detect any abnormalities, and then perform ultra-precise surgery without cutting into the skin.

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Nematode RNAi nemesis

Anthony King, 12/06/2019

Parasitic nematode worms infect almost all cultivated crops, inflicting roughly a 20% loss in annual yields. Now, scientists have discovered metabolites in soil bacteria that protect crops against nematodes.

Obstacles to Braskem sale

Anna Jagger, 12/06/2019

Brazil’s Petrobras is in the process of selling its stake in resins producer Braskem to LyondellBasell. However, discussions between Braskem’s owners – Petrobras and Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht – and the Dutch-headquartered group are said to have cooled following some setbacks at Braskem.

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Partnership on plastic

Maria Burke , 12/06/2019

The world’s environment ministers have amended the Basel Convention on hazardous waste to include plastic in a legally binding framework they hope will better regulate global trade in plastic waste.

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Quenching inflammation

Maria Burke , 12/06/2019

Treatments for chronic inflammatory diseases may be one step closer, thanks to two independent teams of researchers. Their findings give new insight into how to stop inflammation at the molecular level.

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School closures after illegal dumping

Xiaozhi Lim , 12/06/2019

On 6 March, 2019, a tanker lorry dumped 20-40t of chemical waste illegally into Sungai Kim Kim river that winds through the heavily industrialised town of Pasir Gudang in Johor, Malaysia’s southernmost state.

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Self-repairing heart

Anthony King , 12/06/2019

In a world first, researchers have successfully induced pig hearts to self-repair themselves after damage. Pig hearts that had undergone myocardial infarction or heart attack underwent gene therapy to make the cardiac muscle cells proliferate – a capability generally lost a few days after birth.

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Singapore invests in agriculture

XiaoZhi Lim, 12/06/2019

Land-scarce Singapore has only ca 720km2 of total land area. Over 90% of its food requirements are currently imported. On 1 April, 2019, however, the city-state launched a new agency dedicated to food safety and security, with an ambitious goal to produce 30% of Singaporeans’ nutritional needs domestically by 2030.

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Telomere shortening and stress

Anthony King , 12/06/2019

Telomeres are DNA-protein structures at the tails of chromosomes, which are thought to act as a molecular clock on ageing. Each time a cell divides, the telomeres shorten a bit, and when they become critically short the cell’s ability to divide is impaired.

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Uranium sponge

Anthony King, 12/06/2019

Researchers in the US have developed a new material to suck up uranium from seawater.

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Weather warning for chemicals

Maria Burke, 12/06/2019

More research and better regulation are needed to guard against risks from chemical facilities at danger from extreme weather events, according to a new US study. These risks are already acute and are growing due to the effects of climate change.

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Yellow rust threat

A. Nair, 12/06/2019

A virulent strain of fungus that causes yellow rust in wheat is sweeping across the Indian fields of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. The main bread wheat cultivar, HD267, which currently occupies 10 to 12m ha appears to be susceptible to this new strain.

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