Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Chemical Challenge

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast hope to revolutionise the world of chemistry by developing a culture of adventure.

The team, including Dr Joe Vyle and Dr Stuart James, received a grant from the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to develop this "culture of adventure" at QUB by exploring new ways of thinking and challenging the norm.

"The first project, which is quite ambitious, is to create the first liquid with microscopic holes in it," James explains. Solids with microscopic holes are well-known and are enormously useful. A
porous liquid, on the other hand, would flow because the holes would be continually moving around allowing it to mop up or release other substances incredibly quickly. "This has the potential to change the way that chemical plants operate or even improve dialysis treatments in hospitals," James says.

A second project, promises to revolutionise the field of computing by exploring the use of RNA. Vyle hope to use this material to store
information.

More science news from David Bradley Science Writer

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