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Separations Chemistry

This month's cover story for Chemical & Engineering News details some of the latest techniques in chromatography. The article traces the development of separations chemistry, which has recently culminated in the creation of one-piece, porous separation media known as monoliths. According to Nobuo Tanaka, a biomolecular engineering professor at the Kyoto Institute of Technology and one of the first researchers to develop monolith columns for use in chromatography:

… one of the main concerns in making monoliths is ensuring that the monolithic material remains in intimate contact with the walls of the surrounding tube. If gaps form between the monolith and the tube's walls, the pressures encountered, for example, in typical high-performance liquid chromatography experiments, will cause the analyte solution to leak past the monolith.
Monoliths may be tricky to make, but C&E reports that the new columns are already making inroads in clinical and basic science circles. The latest applications cover everything from the analysis of tumor biopsy peptides to drug-serum protein interactions.
The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.