Archive for Science – Chemistry

On what you think you know…

The excellent Jonathan Drori at TED recently.


Mind Hacks on the fMRI Smackdown

Top psychology site Mind Hacks has an excellent post on the mounting controversy around the use of fMRI to understand and map the functions of the brain against the behaviour of the individual. This controversy has been building for a while, and I guess it will remain far from settled for some time to come.

You can find lots more information about the uses and limitations of fMRI at these sites:

fMRI 4 Newbies

Functional MRI & The Brain

Columbia University’s fMRI Page

All About fMRI

Introduction to FMRI, University of Oxford

Rosie, Anna and Sulphur Hexafluoride (Genius!!)

Brain Map

This is a great little introductory tool, particularly for Undergraduate Psychologists. Go here.

You can get more information on the structures and functions of the Brain at these sites:

Columbia University Brain Atlas

Florida University Brain Atlas

Harvard University Brain Atlas

Michigan University Brain Atlas

Utah University Brain Atlas

Washington University Brain Atlas

Wayne State Brain Atlas

Feynman in North Yorkshire

I’ll never cease to be amazed by the great Man’s enthusiasm for Science and the world around him. This is 40 minutes of pure unadulterated geeky joy.

Take the world from another point of view – Part 1

Take the world from another point of view – Part 2

Take the world from another point of view – Part 3

Take the world from another point of view – Part 4

More on Feynman, here, here and here.

Go on, let your inner mad scientist loose…

First DNA molecule made from (almost) entirely Artificial Parts

Bit late to the party on this one, but it’s definitely worth noting.

Chemists at a University in Japan are reporting the first artificially synthesised DNA molecule.

The researchers used high-tech DNA synthesis equipment to stitch together four entirely new, artificial bases inside the sugar-based framework of a DNA molecule. This resulted in unusually stable, double-stranded structures resembling natural DNA.

Like natural DNA, the new structures were right-handed and some easily formed triple-stranded structures. The unique chemistry of these structures and their high stability offer unprecedented possibilities for developing new biotech materials and applications, the researchers say.


Doi et al. Artificial DNA Made Exclusively of Nonnatural C-Nucleosides with Four Types of Nonnatural Bases. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2008; 130 (27): 8762 DOI: 10.1021/ja801058h

$8000 – Would You?

I should give this a via, but I can’t remember where I saw it, so apologies if you this was yours originally.

Takes me back to my NMR days