Short items

  • The US National Science Foundation has granted $546,000 (?309,000) to Mark Bier, from Carnegie Mellon University, US, to build a heavy-ion mass spectrometer that will be able to characterise large biomolecules, such as intact proteins, protein complexes, virus particles and DNA. It could also provide a new tool for analysing large man-made polymers used in nanotechnology. 
  • NERC is inviting nominations for a committee advising on an environment and human health programme. The three-year interdisciplinary programme will focus on pathogens, pollutants (chemicals and particles) and the pathways these follow and their interaction with people. The Science Advisory Committee will be responsible for advising on the overall direction and scientific content of the programme. A form for nominations is available on the NERC website.   
  • EPSRC, in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, has up to ?4 million available for research in three areas of array chemistry: developing reactions for arrays, the process used to design the components of an array, and the interpretation of the resultant data from the array. The closing date for applications is 3 May 2006.   
  • EPSRC is inviting outline proposals for its materials for energy call. ?5.5 million has been allocated to fund four full projects, which should be collaborative with a problem solving approach. The closing date is 6 April 2006.   
  • ?50,000 of the Rank prize for optoelectronics has been awarded to Paul Alivisatos, from the University of California, Berkeley, US, and colleagues for their work on semiconductor nanocrystals as fluorescent biological labels, and Shumin Nie and colleagues from Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, US, for work on quantum dot bioconjugates for ultrasensitive nonisotopic detection. The remaining ?37,500 of the prize went to Stephen Wiesner and colleagues for work into quantum cryptography.