Short items

Nano-officials get busy 

After a series of warnings and ethical codes about the dangers of nanotechnology from consumer groups, NGOs, scientists and industry, the US Federal Drugs Administration (FDA)’s Nanotech Task Force has issued its first report. It recommends the FDA consider developing guidance for manufacturers and researchers working with nanotechnology. The agency also needs clear, consistent regulatory pathways, the Task Force said.  

Phoenix risen

Nasa’s latest mission to Mars, the Phoenix lander, successfully launched on 4 August. If all goes to plan, it should touch down near the red planet’s North Pole in May 2008. Phoenix carries some sophisticated mass spectrometers which should help it search for environments suitable for life (Chemistry World, August 2007, p44). 

Chemists get publishing

A raft of new chemistry journals has been announced. Wiley-VCH, together with the Italian and German chemical societies, will publish ChemSusChem  early next year - it focuses on the interface between chemistry and sustainability. Nature Publishing Group say they plan to launch Nature Chemistry,a general chemistry journal,in early 2009. And the American Chemical Society has launched the first issue of ACS Nano, which publishes comprehensive articles and reviews on nanoscience. 

Go Figure 

13.1 billion The 2007 US corn harvest, in bushels, as predicted by the US Department of Agriculture. That’s 24 per cent up on last year and the largest corn crop since 1933.Demand for corn has surged since the rise of the US grain ethanol industry.