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Mr Element 118: The only living person on the periodic table

You’re the only person alive to have an element named after them. How does it feel to join the likes of Albert Einstein and...

Graphene strainer transforms seawater into drinking water

Graphene-oxide membranes have attracted considerable attention as promising candidates for new filtration technologies. Now the much sought-after development of making membranes capable of sieving...

New molecular knot is most complex yet

One hundred and ninety-two atoms have tied the knot. Chains of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen atoms, woven together in a triple braid, form the...

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry – what are G protein-coupled...

Two US scientists have been awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering the receptors that transmit signals such as light, taste or...

Water hydrogen bonds tunnel in tandem

Researchers have discovered an intriguing new phenomenon in the ‘smallest droplet’ of water possible – just six water molecules. When almost all the energy...

Do hydrogen bonds have covalent character?

Close scrutiny of how intermolecular interaction energies are calculated has cast doubt on evidence for the argument that hydrogen bonds are more covalent than...

A brilliant future for hydrogen bonding

Gold has surprised chemists by showing that a formally positively charged Au(I) ion can be a hydrogen bond acceptor.1 This discovery challenges the traditional view that...

Chiral molecules could recognise each other’s spin

Electronic structure, as well as a molecule’s physical structure, could contribute to chiral molecular recognition. A brief spin polarisation, generated by charges polarised when...

Has metallic hydrogen been found?

What is metallic hydrogen? Hydrogen exists in many forms and phases. But back in 1935, the solid-state physicists Eugene Wigner and Hillard Bell Huntington proposed...

Plutonium gets another oxidation state added to its arsenal

Though plutonium is better known for its nuclear fission reactions than for its inorganic chemistry, it has a surprising number of oxidation states: 0,...

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