ISIS Graduate, Jon Elmer, joined his fellow RAL Graduates to star in BBC2’s Robot Wars last night, in one of 40 teams battling it out to become the show’s 2016 champion. The RAL graduate team, completed by Laurence de Bruxelles (RAL Space), Sean Cleary (Team Captain; Technology) and Dominique Anderson (Robot Pilot; Central Laser Facility), spent four weeks staying late after work to design and build their Robot, Sweeny Todd.
The ISIS Molecular Spectroscopy Group and ILL Computing for Science Group will hold the next MDANSE (Molecular Dynamics and Lattice Dynamics to Analyse Neutron Scattering Experiments) workshop at the Cosener’s House, Abingdon, UK from the 10th to 12th of November 2016.
Less than 2% of small molecules, including therapeutics, are able to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and reach the brain from the bloodstream. The blood-brain barrier is a semi-permeable barrier that separates the extracellular fluid surrounding the brain from circulating blood. Separating the brain from the bloodstream, it protects the brain against any sort of toxins in the blood. Its protective nature is because of its high selectivity; however, this also means it is difficult to deliver therapeutics to the brain.
As we move away from our dependency on fossil fuels and work towards cleaner energy resources and chemical conversion it is key to further our understanding of catalysis. Whether it’s assisting reactions in energy transformations, providing chemicals with increased efficiency or getting rid of, or preventing, waste, catalysis will help in the move towards a greener future. Progress in catalytic science and its applications requires an understanding of what is taking place with the catalyst at the molecular level, which is where techniques such as neutron scattering are invaluable.
Materials that display localised electronic or magnetic behaviour are of wide interest in physics. One reason is that they can provide insights into unusual quantum phenomena, as seen in single molecular magnets for example. An international group of scientists have been using neutrons to study calcium ferrate to understand how different magnetic arrangements are distributed throughout the material. Surprisingly they found that the phases existed in tiny regions only a few nanometres across, containing localised waves of magnetic excitations. This discovery could lead to the use of magnetic materials in a similar fashion to photonic crystals.
World-leading neutron scientists gathered last week to discuss the latest findings in the development of drugs to tackle infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance. The annual UK Neutron and Muon Science and User Meeting (NMSUM) was hosted in Warwick, UK, and brought together researchers using the neutron instruments at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, UK, and the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in France.