We speak to Eric Betzig about his Nobel prize-winning research, and find out how thermoelectric materials can be made more efficient



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0.41 – Interstellar molecule hunters have bagged a prize specimen by detecting the first branched carbon species and at a surprisingly high abundance - First interstellar sighting of a branched alkyl molecule

3.16 – The breakup of 3-bromocamphor molecules bombarded by polarised electrons has given a tantalising hint of the origins of biological homochirality, nature’s preference for one mirror image of a molecule over another – Breakup reaction hints at handedness of nature

5.37 – The majority of the water in the moon’s soil is created by the solar wind, according to researchers in France who have conducted detailed analyses of isotopic ratios using ultrasensitive mass spectrometry – Solar wind whips up water on moon

6.51 – Super-resolution fluorescence microscopy earned three of its creators a Nobel prize this year. Laureate Eric Betzig explains the innovation behind this prize-winning technology - The resolution revolution

14.58 – In 2013 the surprising discovery was made that the opioid painkiller tramadol, thought to be synthetic, was being produced by the African herb Nauclea latifolia. However, new research casts doubt on this claim. Researchers from Germany and Cameroon conclude that the tramadol detected in the plants’ roots was actually the result of soil contamination by the urine and faeces of farmers and their animals – Painkiller found in plants may not be natural after all

18.51 – UK chemists have devised a precise process for building carbon chains a link at a time that packs in more side groups than biologically-derived molecules can – ‘Assembly line’ sculpts carbon chains

22.10 – Materials that harness waste heat and turn it into useful energy could alleviate our energy demand. Mercouri Kanatzidis explains one way we could dramatically improve the performance of these materials – Harvesting heat

27.30 – Scientists in the US have devised a new way of carrying out blood tests – based on a modified computer and camera phone – that could lower the costs of disease screening in developing countries – CPU heat powers PCR disease detection

31.12 – US scientists have developed a series of microfluidic building blocks that allow researchers to construct devices by assembling the components like Lego – Microfluidics for the masses