NChem Research Highlights: Bimetallic nanoparticles, oxo complexes and those blue bananas

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Greetings blogateers, welcome to another batch of Research Highlights.

Busy week for Gabor Somorjai: paper in Science, featured in C+E News editorial, now a Nature Chemistry Research Highlight! Gav covers the work, which used ambient-pressure XPS to discover that bimetallic nanoparticles essentially turn inside out in different conditions.

Someone else with a busy week was David Milstein, who had a paper in Big Nature, features in this week’s ChemPod (which itself features in C+E News) and now in a Research Highlight. Oxo complexes are believed to intermediates in lots of crucial catalytic processes, but isolating complexes has been extremeley difficult – find out how here.

Picking up almost as much attention is our final piece: did YOU know that bananas fluoresce blue under UV light – but only when they’re ripe?? It’s quite amazing to think that in all the years that humans have had UV lights no-one’s noticed this before!

And in this week’s prize for Press Releases with Staggeringly Tenous Links to Chemistry, the RSC win again! To add to the annals of cringe (Sherlock Holmes, ‘on-screen chemistry’, football managers chewing gum, Carol Vorderman in mauve…), there’s a competition that manages to shoehorn chemistry into the Italian Job. You can win a trip to Turin, so it’s almost worth gritting your teeth and having a go. Do remember that submissions must “be based upon the principles of serious scientific rigour” (whatever that means), helicopters aren’t allowed, and you can’t use what Michael Caine has revealed would have been the real ending. And they got the quote wrong – spotter’s badge to film-boy Ed.


Neil Withers (Associate Editor, Nature Chemistry)