NChem Research Highlights: Biosensing dyes, strong biomimics and levitating beads

So here it isResearch Highlights, everybody’s having fun. But before we all disappear for Christmas, here are the final RHs of the year.

I covered a pretty smart idea for a class of biosensors. Reducing cynanine dyes means they don’t fluoresce, until they come into contact with the nasty reactive oxygen species that mess around with cells. Even cleverer, the reduced forms can slip in and out cells willy-nilly, whereas the fluorescing ones are trapped inside the cells, showing you where the problem is.

You might well have seen this one elsewhere, but now you can read Tim’s take on the biomimetic material that’s thin and strong – it’s all about the ice templating, you know.

Last, but by no means whatsoever least, it’s a nifty idea for what could become ‘TLC for solid-supported synthesis’. And it involves magnetically levitating beads!

And finally…unlike the BMJ we haven’t got a load of spurious research to make it into the news-light festive season newspapers – watch out for next year though – and we’re a week before the RSC releases the same story about hangover cures for the 3rd or 4th year running, so I’ll leave you with some mathematical clues to help you wrap presents better!

See you all in the New Year – thanks for all the comments in 2008!


Neil Withers (Associate Editor, Nature Chemistry)