Editor’s selections: Chemistry extravaganza!

Editor's Selections 17 Comments
By Dr. SkySkull

skyskull “Dr. SkySkull” selects several notable posts each week from a miscellany of ResearchBlogging.org categories. He blogs at Skulls in the Stars.

This week’s set of editor’s selections is a “chemistry extravaganza”!  The posts that jumped out at me were heavily focused on the science and techniques of chemistry.  Enjoy!

  • Determining the structure by looking at the molecule. Anyone who has taken at least high school chemistry knows that determining the structural properties of a molecule is a very difficult process.  Now, as Lars Fischer of EuCheMS 2010 Blog reports, researchers have been able to use atomic force microscopy to directly image individual molecules!
  • How bacteria help create dinosaur fossils. Fossilization has traditionally been treated as a purely chemical process: bone is replaced gradually by mineral.  However, recent research suggests that bacteria may actually play a crucial role in the formation of such fossils; Brian Switek of Dinosaur Tracking reports.
  • A simplified yet quantitative model for macromolecular crowding. Research into biological processes such as protein folding are often done with the proteins in solution; however, the interior of cells are crowded with stuff and that crowding effects what can and will happen.  Michael Long of Phased reports on new simulations designed to understand such crowding.
  • Foldit: Innovative biology for gamers and Humans beat computers in predicting protein structures. Speaking of protein folding, here we have two different reports on a novel technique for studying the phenomenon!  It has become somewhat commonplace to use crowdsourcing to help researchers tackle complex problems.  However, Grrlscientist of This Scientific Life and the eponymous The Curious Wavefunction report on a new strategy: making protein-folding research into a video game!

Check back next week for more “miscellaneous” suggestions!

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