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Policy

Digital Briefs

New Software and Websites for the Chemical Enterprise

by Lauren K. Wolf
December 22, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 51

Websites

Nuclearpathways.org is a source of vetted information on topics such as nuclear weapons proliferation and energy—hot-button issues in today’s economic and political climate. The website integrates content from six partner sites, providing links at appropriate positions so that users can travel seamlessly between related material. One partner site, the Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues (alsos.wlu.edu), contains a searchable collection of more than 2,500 references—many of them about nuclear chemistry—that includes books, articles, and films. Another partner site, Chemcases.com, is a Web-based resource for teaching introductory college chemistry courses. It consists of a series of curriculum supplements, including one on the basic concepts of nuclear science (chemcases.com/nuclear/index.htm). Nuclear Pathways is part of the National Science Foundation’s National Science Digital Library (NSDL) and is funded by the Division of Undergraduate Education. NSDL, www.nuclearpathways.org

Waters Corp. has launched an online community to support users of its Acquity UltraPerformance Liquid Chromatography and nanoAcquity systems. The community enables users to query and interact with scientists worldwide. Registration is free for Acquity users and enables access to UPLC expert advice, latest application notes, new scientific articles, and tutorials. Membership in the online community reached more than 1,200 users within its first month and continues to grow. Waters Corp., www.waters.com/myuplc


Chemical Emergency System Is Updated

SAFER Real-Time v10 is a chemical emergency management system that enables detection, analysis, and response to toxic chemical releases. Used by organizations that manufacture, store, or handle hazardous materials, the system predicts at early stages how a chemical plume will disperse through air. Version 10, released in late October, has new advanced features, including Open Path technology that allows full integration of data feeds from optical gas sensors. This feature enables Real-Time to define the chemical composition of single- or multicomponent gas streams, measuring chemical concentrations across a 200-meter open path of air at parts-per-billion levels. The data can also be fed into Real-Time’s Advanced Back Calculation model to estimate a release rate for the plume. All historical data from the sensors can be archived by the software for a variety of validation purposes. Real-Time v10 also incorporates the new Source Area Locator feature, which is useful to emergency management personnel in locating the source of a chemical release. In addition, the system can incorporate streaming Internet weather feeds from around the world and render geocoded graphical plume models in Google Maps for visualization in Google Earth (shown). SAFER Systems, www.safersystemv10.com


eMolecules is a free chemical search engine that contains a database of more than 10 million unique chemicals from some 180 suppliers, including Sigma-Aldrich and Life Chemicals. Through an intuitive Web interface, users can rapidly search by typing in compound names or by drawing structures or substructures to find supplier information. Users can also save and share search results, filter and sort hit lists, and create a shopping cart for directly purchasing desired chemicals online. A subscription-based professional version of the search engine, eMolecules Plus, is also available (emolecules.com/doc/plus). Used by biotech and pharmaceutical companies, this version is updated weekly as needed and can provide instant price information for more than 6.8 million in-stock compounds. Users can also download the entire eMolecules Plus database to their in-house cheminformatics system. eMolecules, www.emolecules.com

Strem Chemicals, a manufacturer of specialty R&D chemicals in areas such as catalysts and organometallics, relaunched its website in mid-November. The new site has improved search functionality, including a quick search feature and the ability to use just acronyms, such as S-Phos and TBAP, as search terms. Material safety data sheets and Certificates of Analysis for chemicals are also now accessible through the site. Users can order chemicals and request literature and price quotations online. Strem Chemicals, www.strem.com

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