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May 12, 2021
The week's most essential chemistry news, distilled to your inbox.
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Asian scientists are rethinking the American dream.
Asian scientists are rethinking the American dream.
Asian scientists in the US are wondering if they are welcome in the wake of racist attacks on Asian people in the streets and government policies, including the China Initiative, that target scientists who work with Chinese colleagues. Several scientists have said they are changing their behavior because they worry whether they will be targeted even though they have done nothing wrong. These recent events are part of a longer pattern of discrimination against Asians living in the US. Some academics have started speaking out about the problems, many for the first time.
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Degradable battery ditches the metals.
ENERGY STORAGE
Degradable battery ditches the metals.
A new, metal-free battery can reliably store charge without metals. The design is a step toward a circular battery life cycle, in which batteries could be degraded and rebuilt without entering the waste stream.
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C&EN’s top 50 US chemical producers.
FINANCE
C&EN’s top 50 US chemical producers.
The pandemic’s effects are reflected in C&EN’s latest survey of the top 50 US chemical producers. Firms scrambled to cut costs last year as pandemic-related lockdowns slowed economic activity to a crawl. But business started to pick up in the fourth quarter of 2020.
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Helen M. Free dies at age 98.
OBITUARIES
Helen M. Free dies at age 98.
The chemist, who helped revolutionize diabetes testing in the 1950s by developing dip-and-read test strips to detect levels of glucose in urine, died on May 1.
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Flagship launches Laronde to develop circular RNA therapies.
DRUG DISCOVERY
Flagship launches Laronde to develop circular RNA therapies.
What's next for mRNA? The molecule can in theory be used to deliver the genetic code for any therapeutic protein or vaccine antigen into the body. Now, a new company wants to expand the use of mRNA with a new kind of RNA therapy that is circular instead of linear.
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Networking for introverts
CAREER TIPS
Networking for introverts
Networking is a career-long game, not just a way to find your next job. You won’t become best friends with everyone, but those you do connect with will make the effort worthwhile. Here are some networking tips for introverts.
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Lomaiviticins’ structures get a revision.
NATURAL PRODUCTS
Lomaiviticins’ structures get a revision.
Chemists are rethinking lomaiviticins—potent killers of cancer cells and bacteria. The complex structures of these natural products, which are metabolites of marine bacteria, differ from what researchers thought they were for 20 years, according to a new study.
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Why 100 MHz Benchtop NMR?
Identify the pros and cons of low-field NMR, plus how 100 MHz can begin to address or eliminate cons.
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FEATURED CONTENT
Fear and confusion continue over research interactions with China.
RESEARCH INTEGRITY
Fear and confusion continue over research interactions with China.
Learn how advocacy groups have asked the Biden administration to rethink China Initiative prosecutions and allow public input into new rules on international collaborations, in part 2 of our latest cover story.
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What would you do if you were falsely charged by the US DOJ for stealing technology secrets for another country?
WEBINAR
What would you do if you were falsely charged by the US DOJ for stealing technology secrets for another country?
The news of attacks on Asian people in the US has refocused attention on the situation for Asian scientists and students working in the US. Join physicist Xiaoxing Xi of Temple University for this free, interactive broadcast as he talks about his experiences with the DOJ, his concerns about racial profiling, and how the scientific community can best support Asian scientists in the US.
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Targeting cGAS Activity in the STING Pathway
Sponsored Content  
Targeting cGAS Activity in the STING Pathway
Brought to you by Cayman Chemical
How cGAS’s critical roles in innate immunity, autoimmunity, and cancer can help shape novel therapeutics.
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CHEMISTRY IN PICTURES
April winner: Spiraling out.
April winner: Spiraling out.
This micrograph, taken under crossed polarizers at 20× magnification, shows an array of complex colloids, each containing helical structures known as cholesteric liquid crystals. Alberto Concellón, a postdoc in Tim Swager’s group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, captured the image as part of his research. Concellón explains that incorporating chirality into a liquid crystal causes it to twist into a helix. Here, each liquid crystal’s radial helical structure originates from the center of the droplet, giving rise to concentric shells. These emulsions can be used as photonic materials, for example in chiral mirrors, biosensors, and some kinds of tunable lasers. The Swager lab is focusing on the emulsions’ biosensing abilities to detect foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella or Listeria.
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