Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Alchemy


Copper is an essential element in various metabolisms. The investigation was carried out to evaluate acute gastroprotective effects of the Copper (II) complex against ethanol-induced superficial hemorrhagic mucosal lesions in rats.

Concepts: Chemical element, Toxicology, Acute toxicity, Alchemy, Schiff base, Peter Slabakov, Hugo Schiff


Astrology was a lifelong interest for C.G. Jung and an important aid in his formulation of psyche and psychic process. Archetypally configured, astrology provided Jung an objective means to a fuller understanding of the analysand’s true nature and unique individuation journey. Jung credits astrology with helping to unlock the mystery of alchemy and in so doing providing the symbol language necessary for deciphering the historically remote cosmology of Gnosticism. Astrology also aided Jung’s work on synchronicity. Despite astrology’s worth to Jung’s development of analytical psychology, its fundamental role in guiding his discoveries is all but absent from historical notice. The astrological natal chart seems rarely used clinically, and many clinicians seem unaware of its value as a dynamic diagram of the personality and the potentialities within which nature and nurture foster and/or discourage for individual growth and development over the lifespan. This paper charts Jung’s interest in astrology and suggests why his great regard for it and other paranormal or occult practices remains largely neglected and unknown.

Concepts: Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, Alchemy, Human nature, Astrology, Carl Jung, Analytical psychology


Mercury-dependent artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the largest source of mercury pollution on Earth. In this practice, elemental mercury is used to extract gold from ore as an amalgam. The amalgam is typically isolated by hand and then heated-often with a torch or over a stove-to distill the mercury and isolate the gold. Mercury emissions from tailings and vaporised mercury exceed 1000 tonnes each year from ASGM. The health effects on the miners are dire, with inhaled mercury leading to neurological damage and other health issues. The communities near these mines are also affected due to mercury contamination of water and soil and subsequent accumulation in food staples such as fish. The risks to children are also substantial, with mercury emissions from ASGM resulting in both physical and mental disabilities and compromised development. Between 10 and 19 million people use mercury to mine for gold in more than 70 countries, making mercury pollution from ASGM a global issue. With the Minamata Convention on Mercury entering force this year, there is political motivation to help overcome the problem of mercury in ASGM. In this effort, chemists can play a central role. Here, the problem of mercury in ASGM is reviewed with a discussion on how the chemistry community can contribute solutions. Introducing portable and low-cost mercury sensors, inexpensive and scalable remediation technologies, novel methods to prevent mercury uptake in fish and food crops, and efficient and easy-to-use mercury-free mining techniques are all ways in which the chemistry community can help. To meet these challenges, it is critical that new technologies or techniques are low-cost and adaptable to the remote and under-resourced areas in which ASGM is most common. The problem of mercury pollution in ASGM is inherently a chemistry problem. We therefore encourage the chemistry community to consider and address this issue that affects the health of millions of people.

Concepts: Chemical element, Gold, Mercury, Mining, Alchemy, Mercury poisoning, Minamata disease, Amalgam


This paper reports core competencies for dissemination and implementation (D&I) grant application writing and provides tips for writing a successful proposal.

Concepts: Alchemy, Elixir


Effects of HCl, H2SO4, HNO3, citric acid, and acetic acid on the yield, structure, and emulsifying properties of potato pectins were investigated. Results showed that the highest yield (14.34%) was obtained using citric acid, followed by HNO3(9.83%), HCl (9.72%), H2SO4(8.38%), and acetic acid (4.08%). The degrees of methylation (37.45%) and acetylation (15.38%), protein content (6.97%), and molecular weight (3.207 × 105 g/mol) were the highest for pectin extracted using acetic acid, and (galactose + arabinose)/rhamnose was 33.34, indicating that it had a highly branched rhamnogalacturonan I domain. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy showed a specific absorbance peak at 1064 cm-1, which corresponds to the acetyl groups in potato pectins. SEM showed that all potato pectins are morphologically different. The emulsifying activity (EA, 44.97%-47.71%) and emulsion stability (ES, 36.54%-46.00%) of the pectins were influenced by acid types, and were higher than those of commercial citrus and apple pectin.

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Carboxylic acid, Pectin, E number, Infrared spectroscopy, Fourier transform spectroscopy, Vinegar, Alchemy


The present study deals with synthesis of cardanol-cased novolac (CBN) resin by the condensation reaction between cardanol and formaldehyde using acoustic cavitation. It is a step-growth polymerization which occurs in the presence of an acid catalyst such as adipic acid, citric acid, oxalic acid, sulphuric acid and hydrochloric acid. CBN was also synthesised by a conventional method for the sake of comparison of techniques. The effect of molar ratio, effect of catalyst, effect of different catalyst and effect of power on the conversion to CBN has been studied. The synthesised CBN was characterized using the Fourier Transform Infra Red Spectroscopy (FTIR), Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). The reaction was monitored by the Acid value, free formaldehyde content and viscosity of the synthesised product. The reaction time required for the conventionally synthesised CBN was 5 h (300 min) with 120 °C as an operating temperature while sonochemically the time reduced to 30 min at room temperature. The amount of time and energy saved can be quantified. Ultrasound facilitated synthesis was found to be an energy efficient and time-saving method for the synthesis of novolac resin.

Concepts: Chemical reaction, Hydrogen, Nuclear magnetic resonance, Fourier transform, Sulfuric acid, Infrared spectroscopy, Fourier transform spectroscopy, Alchemy


A simple route is presented to fabricate carboxylic-functional carbon-coated polyacrylonitrile nanofibers (oPAN@C) through preoxidation and hydrothermal carbonization. PAN fibers were firstly preoxidized to form aromatic ladder structure with the resistance to hydrothermal condition, in which more carboxyl groups were introduced on the fiber surface at the present of chitosan and citric acid. The oPAN@C composites exhibit a high adsorption capacity towards methylene blue (MB) and lead ion (Pb2+). The adsorption data matched the pseudo-second-order kinetic model and Langmuir model well with the maximum adsorption capacity (153.37 and 143.27 mg g-1) for methylene blue and Pb2+, respectively. Moreover, oPAN@C could be regenerated easily by hydrochloric acid, and still remained high removal efficiency after 5 cycles. Therefore, oPAN@C fibers should have potential application in sewage treatment.

Concepts: Hydrogen, Citric acid, Alchemy


More than 80% of ammonia (NH₃) in the steel manufacturing process wastewater is contributed from the coking wastewater, which is usually treated by biological processes. However, the NH₃ in the coking wastewater is typically too high for biological treatment due to its inhibitory concentration. Therefore, a two-stage process including a hollow fiber membrane contactor (HFMC) and a modified membrane distillation (MD) system was developed and applied to reduce and recover NH₃ from coking wastewater. The objectives of this paper are to evaluate different membrane materials, receiving solutions, and operation parameters for the system, remove NH₃ from the coking wastewater to less than 300 mg N/L, which is amenable to the biological process, and recover ammonia solution for reuse. As a result, the polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) HFMC using sulfuric acid as a receiving solution can achieve a maximum NH₃-N transmembrane flux of 1.67 g N/m²·h at pH of 11.5 and reduce NH₃ in the coking wastewater to less than 300 mg N/L. The NH₃ in the converted ammonium sulfate ((NH₄)₂SO₄) was then recovered by the modified MD using ice water as the receiving solution to produce ≥3% of ammonia solution for reuse.

Concepts: Ammonia, Water, Petroleum, Nitrogen, Sulfur, Sulfuric acid, Alchemy, Ammonium nitrate


Translation played a vital role in the development and transfer of alchemy in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Since its origins in Graeco-Roman Egypt, alchemy was encapsulated in Greek texts which allegedly relied on Persian or Egyptian sources. Later, a variety of Greek and Byzantine writings were translated into Syriac and Arabic, and these translations were in turn fragmented and disseminated in later Arabic compendia. This paper will first review the main phases of this historical process of transmission of alchemy from one language and culture to another. Second, this process will be examined using two significant case studies: a close analysis of various quotations from Graeco-Egyptian authors (Pseudo-Democritus, Zosimus of Panopolis, and Synesius) as presented in two Arabic dialogues on alchemy, The Tome of Images and The Dialogue between Āras and the King Caesar. These sources demonstrate some of the concrete textual realities that underlie general patterns of translation and reception.

Concepts: Middle Ages, Middle East, Decline of the Roman Empire, Egypt, Translation, Alchemy, Arabic language, Byzantine Empire


Cytocompatible polysaccharide-based functional scaffolds are potential extracellular matrix candidates for soft and hard tissue engineering. This paper describes a facile approach to design cytocompatible, non-toxic, and multifunctional chitosan-cellulose based hydrogel beads utilising polysaccharide dissolution in sodium hydroxide-urea-water solvent system and coagulation under three different acidic conditions, namely 2 M acetic acid, 2 M hydrochloric acid, and 2 M sulfuric acid. The effect of coagulating medium on the final chemical composition of the hydrogel beads is investigated by spectroscopic techniques (ATR-FTIR, Raman, NMR), and elemental analysis. The beads coagulated in 2 M acetic acid displayed an unchanged chitosan composition with free amino groups, while the beads coagulated in 2 M hydrochloric and sulfuric acid showed protonation of amino groups and ionic interaction with the counterions. The ultrastructural morphological study of lyophilized beads showed that increased chitosan content enhanced the porosity of the hydrogel beads. Furthermore, cytocompatibility evaluation of the hydrogel beads with human breast adenocarcinoma cells (soft tissue) showed that the beads coagulated in 2 M acetic acid are the most suitable for this type of cells in comparison to other coagulating systems. The acetic acid fabricated hydrogel beads also support osteoblast growth and adhesion over 192 h. Thus, in future, these hydrogel beads can be tested in the in vitro studies related to breast cancer and for bone regeneration.

Concepts: Oxygen, Extracellular matrix, Ethanol, Sodium chloride, Acid dissociation constant, Acetic acid, Sulfuric acid, Alchemy