The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2023 to Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus, and Alexei I. Ekimov "for the discovery and synthesis of quantum dots." Quantum dots are tiny nanoparticles that diffuse their light from televisions and LED lights, and can also guide surgeons when removing tumor tissue, among many other applications.
A research team in Belgium found perfluoroalkylated and polyfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS) in drinking straws. The research, published in the journal Food Additives & Contaminants, analysed the presence of these persistent and potentially harmful compounds in 39 types of straws purchased from different shops, supermarkets or fast food chains. These substances were most prevalent in paper and bamboo straws, followed by plastic and glass straws. They were not detected in stainless steel straws.
Reaction to the detection of the CH3+ cation in the interstellar medium with the James Webb Telescope
A research team describes in Nature the presence outside the solar system of CH3+, a cation that could react with other molecules to form complex organic molecules. Its role in interstellar organic chemistry was described decades ago, but until now it had not been observed outside the solar system. The team, which includes co-authors from the CSIC's Institute of Fundamental Physics and the National Astronomical Observatory in Madrid, based their work on observations from James Webb Telescope.
A Japanese research team has announced in Nature Communications that it found uracil, a component necessary to form RNA, in a small sample collected from the asteroid Ryugu. According to the authors, these results indicate that these molecules of prebiotic interest were commonly formed on asteroids like Ryugu, and reached the early Earth with the impact of these bodies. The sample was collected by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Hayabusa2 robotic spacecraft, which returned to Earth in December 2020.
US scientists have found perfluoroalkylated and polyfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs) in sewage sludge from toilet paper waste. The research, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, analysed the presence of these persistent and potentially harmful compounds in toilet paper rolls sold in North, South and Central America, Africa and Western Europe. These substances were compared with those detected in samples of sewage sludge from sewage treatment plants in the United States.
Reactions to Nobel Prize in Chemistry for Bertozzi, Meldal and Sharpless for click chemistry and its use in living organisms
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2022 has been awarded to Barry Sharpless and Morten Meldal for laying the foundations of click chemistry, which quickly and efficiently joins molecular building blocks; and to Carolyn Bertozzi, who pioneered bioorthogonal reactions, which use this technique inside living organisms without altering the chemistry of the cell.
Researchers have analysed the presence of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in 72 textile products purchased online in the US and Canada in 2020 and 2021. The results, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters, show high concentrations in school uniforms and higher concentrations in 100 % cotton as opposed to synthetics.
Reactions to the study showing how corrosion has turned the Alhambra's gold leaf into purple nanospheres
Although gold is chemically inert, i.e. it resists discolouration and corrosion, its alloys are less resistant. This type of metal in the form of gold leaf is present in the Alhambra in Granada. Two researchers from the University of Granada analyse in the journal Science Advances what causes this corrosion and why purple-coloured nanospheres have appeared.
Reaction to the detection in the atmosphere of a new class of highly reactive chemical compounds: the trioxides
An international team led by researchers at the University of Copenhagen has detected a new class of extremely reactive chemical compounds in tha atmpsphere, the 'trioxides'. The challenge now is to understand the role of trioxides in climate and air quality. The result is presented in Science.
A review of studies in rodents and humans examines the relationship between exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and liver damage.