NChem Research Highlights: Mars, mass spec and metals

As the title suggests, a good range in this week’s Research Highlights.

What do you know about the martian atmosphere? If the answer is “not a lot”, you can find out about how the heterogeneous chemistry of radicals and cloud ice makes a difference.

There’s a new addition to the venerable science of fingerprints, as Graham Cooks at Purdue turns his DESI mass spec technique in a CSI direction. They can now detect different chemicals present on fingerprints, such as drugs or explosives.

You know how it is: you wait ages for a metal–metal bond under 1.8 Å, then two come along at once! That’s what’s happened with two groups independently making compounds with the shortest Cr–Cr quintuple bonds. You can read Katharine’s take on it over at big Nature news.

And finally…want to find your DNA soul mate? Now you can, thanks to a Boston company that will analyze the DNA behind your immune system and find the best match for you. And it only costs $1,995.95. Is there is anything chemistry (and a couple of grand) can’t do?!


Neil Withers (Associate Editor, Nature Chemistry)