In a land hit by the resource curse, a new gold mine spooks officials

first_imgA company in Indonesia plans to start mining gold in a district in the country’s West Papua province that forms part of the ecologically important Cendrawasih Bay National Park — an ostensibly protected area.The company is currently applying for an environmental impact assessment that would allow it to obtain a mining permit, but local officials involved in the process say they see little benefit to the proposed mine. They say they prefer a development model built on tourism based on the region’s rich biodiversity.The district chief, who has the final say in issuing the permit, has signaled he approves of the project — flip-flopping on a pledge he made at the end of last year to prioritize an environment-focused development framework. JAKARTA — Environmental officials have warned of the potentially catastrophic impact of a planned gold mine in a conservation zone in eastern Indonesia, amid mixed signals from the district chief responsible for approving the project.The proposed mine would cover 233 square kilometers (90 square miles), an area four times the size of Manhattan, in Wondama Bay district in West Papua province. Eighty five percent of the district, though, sits within Cenderawasih Bay National Park, while parts of it also overlap onto or border the Wondiwoi Mountains Nature Reserve — both protected areas. The planned site also straddles the ancestral lands of three indigenous groups: the Kuri Wamesa, the Rasiei and the NaikereThe company applying for the mining permit, PT Abisha Bumi Persada (ABP), is based some 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles) west, in the city of Bandung on the island of Java. It reportedly plans to operate for 15 years, and expects to mine 800,000 tons of ore per year, yielding 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of gold annually.A company in Indonesia plans to mine for gold in Wondama Bay district in West Papua province, with the proposed site marked by the red pin. Much of the district falls within Cenderawasih Bay National Park, a protected area. Image by Google Maps.Ben Saroy, head of the agency that manages Cenderawasih Bay National Park, warned that establishing a large-scale gold mine like ABP has proposed could damage the wider conservation area. Among his top concerns, he said, was the waste from the mining operations, such as mercury, that could pollute the environment and wind up in the food chain.Mercury is often used to bind gold from ore, and is typically burned off and discarded afterward, eventually ending up in rivers. In 2017, the Indonesian government ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury, committing to phase out the use of the heavy metal in small-scale gold mining by 2020.“The impacts from any mercury contamination will be only apparent in 10 to 20 years, as babies are born blind, permanently disabled, and with other diseases,” Saroy told local media. “The waste must not be dumped into the sea.”He also warned that tourist arrivals to the national park could go down “if they know that the area has been contaminated with mercury.”The pristine marine ecosystem of Cenderawasih Bay National Park has attracted tourists from around the world. Image courtesy of Cenderawasih Bay National Park Agency.ABP is reportedly in the process of obtaining an environmental impact assessment, known locally as an AMDAL, as a prerequisite for getting a mining permit.Rudolf Rumbino, the head of the West Papua government’s environmental agency, said his office would not issue an AMDAL without assurances from environmental NGOs and the provincial government’s research and development agency that the benefits of the mine would outweigh any disruption to the environment.“Although some of the local communities have given their support, we will rely on the advice of NGOs and the R&D agency because they know better about the positive and negative impacts from this mining,” he told local media.Charlie Heatubun, who heads the R&D agency, was also skeptical about allowing gold mining in the district, saying it would create a lot of risks, including the further impoverishment of the local people.“Gold mining promises quick profits for the area, but that profit may not be worth the negative impacts,” he told local media.He said tourism remained the best option for the long-term development of Wondama Bay district. “If we develop tourism, we can ensure that the environment won’t be damaged,” he said. “The people can profit from the tourist visits and from related tourism businesses.”A swath of rainforest in Indonesia that was destroyed for gold-mining operations. Image by Boyhaqie/Mongabay-Indonesia.Prioritizing ecofriendly tourism over resource exploitation was the same argument used earlier by the Wondama Bay district chief, Bernadus Imburi, who has the final say on whether the mining permit is issued.“We don’t have forests or gold that can be exploited to help [develop the economy] in this area,” Imburi said last December at the signing of an environment-focused development framework with representatives from WWF-Indonesia and Cenderawasih Bay National Park.“We are confident that the potential of Cenderawasih Bay National Park and Wondiwoi Mountains National Reserve will serve as valuable capital to increase our regional revenue,” he added.“The tourism sector is the only top priority for Wondama Bay district in increasing our local revenue.”By February, however, Imburi appeared to have changed his mind, attending a discussion hosted by ABP with community representatives at which he spoke of a “win-win” situation for all sides.“I hope [ABP] manages everything by the book so that the company can operate and the local people can also live,” he said as quoted by local media.The discussion was part of ABP’s AMDAL obligation to allow communities that would be affected by its proposed operations a chance to weigh in. The district chief, though, appeared to discourage any opposition when he told those in attendance that “the local people must not act in such a way that the company can’t proceed.”In any case, there was little pushback from the community representatives, who said they approved of the proposed mining operation, as long as their rights as indigenous people were upheld and they weren’t “disadvantaged” further down the road. They also called on ABP to prioritize the hiring of workers from local communities over those from outside.The pristine forests of West Papua are being increasingly targeted for mines and plantations. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.The Indonesian half of the island of New Guinea, administratively split into the provinces of West Papua and Papua, is all too familiar with the “resource curse.”For decades, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Freeport McMoRan has run the world’s biggest copper and gold mine, Grasberg, in Papua province. But its operations, wildly profitable for the company and for the central government in Jakarta, have done little for the development of local communities. Papua and West Papua remain the most impoverished provinces in Indonesia, with life expectancies and infant and maternal mortality rates that are among the worst in Asia.Freeport’s subsidiary has also long been criticized for a litany of environmental offenses, as well as for funding security forces that have been widely accused of rights violations against indigenous Papuans.In recent years, another resource has threatened to destroy the ancient and pristine rainforests that make the island a biodiversity hotspot like no other: palm oil. Major plantation operators, having largely depleted the forests of Sumatra and Indonesian Borneo, are now increasingly eyeing the vast, untouched wildernesses of Papua and West Papua.Charlie Heatubun, the West Papua R&D agency head, summed up the quandary of a region awash in natural wealth but falling short of most human development metrics: “Right now, we may be [financially] poor, but we are so rich in natural resources. We could end up being poor in both ways, and that’s a huge problem.”FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Basten Gokkon Deforestation, Development, Environment, Forest Destruction, Forests, Gold Mining, Mining, Natural Resources, Pollution, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Deforestation, Tropical Forests, Waste, Water Pollution center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Let’s Do This Again: Are These Shoes Gray and Teal, or Pink and White?

first_imgFor what it’s worth, 89% of people who voted in a Buzzfeed poll went with gray and teal. It’s been like 12 minutes since an optical illusion photo went viral, so here you go.  Here’s the newest one in the tradition of “The Dress” from a few years back . . . Someone on Twitter named “TFILDOLANS” posted a picture of her shoe a few days ago.  And people are debating whether it’s gray and teal . . . or pink and white.last_img

Stratford girls basketball outlasts Newman Catholic in overtime, improves to 5-0

first_imgThree Tigers score in double figuresBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterWAUSAU — Savannah Schillinger scored five of her 11 points in overtime to lift the Stratford girls basketball team to a 49-46 victory over Wausau Newman Catholic in a Marawood Conference South Conference matchup Tuesday night at Newman Catholic High School.Andie Zuelke had a team-high 12 points, Sammy Griesbach added 10, and Kaylee Hollatz had eight points and 11 rebounds for Stratford, which is now 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the Marawood South. Newman is 2-2 and 0-2 in the conference.Taylor Jankowski had nine of her 11 points in the first half as Newman built a 25-21 lead at intermission.The Tigers came back in the second half to force overtime and held off Newman 8-5 in the extra four-minute frame.Stratford’s next game is Friday at Auburndale, which is also unbeaten at 4-0 and 1-0 in the Marawood South. The game will be broadcast on WOSQ-FM 92.3 and wdlbwosq.com, and full coverage will be available after the game on MarshfieldAreaSports.com.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com)Tigers 49, Cardinals 46 (OT)Stratford 20 21 8 – 49Newman Catholic 25 16 5 – 46STRATFORD (49): Savannah Schillinger 3-11 4-7 11, Sammy Griesbach 3-4 4-4 10, Macie Frueh 2-5 1-3 6, Olivia Burrows 0-1 0-0 0, Chelsey Gliniecki 1-4 0-1 2, Kaylee Hollatz 4-7 0-1 8, Makayla Krall 0-1 0-0 0, Andie Zuelke 5-9 2-4 12. FG: 18-43. FT: 11-20. 3-pointers: 2-6 (Schillinger 1-2, Frueh 1-2, Nett 0-1, Krall 0-1). Rebounds: 28 (Hollatz 11). Assists: 9. Fouls: 21. Fouled out: Gliniecki, Frueh. Record: 5-0, 2-0 Marawood Conference South Division.NEWMAN CATHOLIC (46): Lauren Fech 3 4-4 12, Signe Fronek 3 1-2 8, Makayla Slaby 0 0-0 0, Taylor Jankowski 3 3-6 11, Abbey Fox 2 0-0 4, Makayla Tomsyck 0 0-0 0, Karina McGucken 1 0-0 2, Brogan Kimball 3 1-3 7, Mariah Whalen 1 1-1 3. FG: 16. FT: 10-16. 3-pointers: 5 (Fech 2, Jankowski 2, Fronek 1). Fouls: 21. Fouled out: Fronek. Record: 2-2, 0-2 Marawood South.last_img read more

Cloud Expo West Day 2 – “GIANT” Cloud…

first_imgThis week launched the seventh 2010 Cloud Expo West in Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, Calif.  After missing the first day, I was able to attend Day 2.  Bright and early, the day started out with a keynote from Intel’s Vice President of the Intel Architecture Group and General Manager of Data Center Group Marketing, Boyd Davis.  Unfortunately, attendance at 7:40 in the morning was not quite would it could have been due to the big win of the first world championship title of the San Francisco GIANTS franchise history.  Other than Cloud, the GIANTS game was the other BUZZ around the venue. Still Davis’ keynote was a great kickoff to a long second day as he covered Intel’s three pillars of Cloud; the Cloud 2015 Vision, the newly public Open Data Center Alliance, and Cloud Builders. Through his presentation, the Vision video opened, the OEM/ISV video also played throughout, and the Cloud Builders Videos was also a hit that seemed to really engage the audience. “There is a lot of marketing focused sessions on their companies,” says Reed, but not many for how to help other companies how to implement Cloud.” I heard the same from two other researchers who sat at my lunch table today.  They were looking to get information on how to look at patterns that need change, look ahead and see if there are things they can change before these patterns occur when implementing Cloud, but these researchers said this event was not going to provide the information to get what they are looking for.  So who is?  One notable thing in common with these three different people, two different job focuses within the industry, is that they all came from small –medium businesses, or SMBs.  They chatted with a systems engineer, industry researchers, public cloud providers, research firms, and other developers, (keep in mind, only day two, still many people to meet and that means still many job focus areas that can be of a target to provide information of how to successfully use or implement Cloud. The rest of the day seemed like I kept hearing “Platform as a Service” is the best now.  I know that is something more for myself and Cloud partner in Cloud crime to find out in day three of the Cloud Expo.  Until then, here are some thoughts that crossed my mind.  What, if any, buzz is there about HPC Cloud?  I am also looking forward to the topic of virtualization v. Cloud Computing.  Again…more to come tomorrow… So stay tuned… Interesting as it is, I was talking with a few other Intel people on the plane on my way down to the event, and then listening to the chatter in the Cloud Computing atmosphere and noticing the two conversation types had some things in common.  I think Intel, like many other companies are realizing they need to do, or have started to do, it really look, see, and think “outside the box” or as I say “the blue box.”  In other words, we spend so much time talking amongst ourselves and our OEMs and ISVs, but Intel also really needs to talk with other businesses, IT Professionals, of course, but also even scale it further to developers, researchers, and really find out what other usages all businesses have for the Cloud, hence a scalable, flexible Cloud.  Also what are some other businesses’ concerns and other questions when implementing Cloud.  Are we one large ecosystem?  Do we all help each other?  Can one large business help those smaller businesses answer their questions and help build out on Cloud?  DO NOT get me wrong, the fact that we, Intel, work with the Open Data Center Alliance is great, because we ARE, truly a great trusted advisor, I just hear that we can take that still and maximize it even wider and possibly more creatively, literally. Shortly after Intel, another interesting session was presented by Adaptivity with the topic, “Cloud Computing is Transforming the Business of Enterprise IT” with speaker Tony Bishop.  There was one video that made the audience wake up and laugh while simply understanding the Cloud from their perspective.  Overall, this was the key session people began rolling in.  “Welcome to caffeine and Cloud.” I talked with Scott Reed from Developmentor in Las Angeles, Calif., and just from his developer’s  perspective, the discussions at the event so far have been “geared more toward IT” which is true, but is it possible to maximize our cloud conversation to target all interested areas of work for businesses?last_img read more

‘A new day for chemistry’: Molecular CT scan could dramatically speed drug discovery

first_img By Robert F. ServiceOct. 19, 2018 , 1:50 PM M. Martynowycz et al., ChemRxiv (2018), adapted by E. Petersen/Science (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) ‘A new day for chemistry’: Molecular CT scan could dramatically speed drug discovery In chemistry, structure rules because it determines how a molecule behaves. But the two standard ways to map the structure of small organic molecules, such as pharmaceuticals, hormones, and vitamins, have drawbacks. This week, two research teams report they’ve adapted a third technique, commonly used to chart much larger proteins, to determine the precise shape of small organic molecules. The new technique works with vanishingly small samples, is blazing fast, and is surprisingly easy.“I am blown away by this,” says Carolyn Bertozzi, a chemist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. “The fact that you can get these structures from [a sample] a million times smaller than a speck of dust, that’s beautiful. It’s a new day for chemistry.”The gold standard for determining chemical structures has long been x-ray crystallography. A beam of x-rays is fired at a pure crystal containing millions of copies of a molecule lined up in a single orientation. By tracking how the x-rays bounce off atoms in the crystal, researchers can work out the position of every atom in the molecule. Crystallography can pinpoint atomic positions down to less than 0.1 nanometers, about the size of a sulfur atom. But the technique works best with fairly large crystals, which can be hard to make. “The real lag time is just getting a crystal,” says Brian Stoltz, an organic chemist at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena. “That can take weeks to months to years.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The second approach, known as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, doesn’t require crystals. It infers structures by perturbing the magnetic behavior of atoms in molecules and then tracking their behavior, which changes depending on their atomic neighbors. But NMR also requires a fair amount of starting material. And it’s indirect, which can lead to mapping mistakes with larger druglike molecules.The new approach builds on a technique called electron diffraction, which sends an electron beam through a crystal and, as in x-ray crystallography, determines structure from diffraction patterns. It has been particularly useful in solving the structure of a class of proteins lodged in cell membranes. In this case, researchers first form tiny 2D sheetlike crystals of multiple copies of a protein wedged in a membrane.But in many cases, efforts to grow the protein crystals go awry. Instead of getting single-membrane sheets, researchers end up with numerous sheets stacked atop one another, which can’t be analyzed by conventional electron diffraction. And the crystals can be too small for x-ray diffraction. “We didn’t know what to do with all these crystals,” says Tamir Gonen, an electron crystallography expert at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). So, his team varied the technique: Instead of firing their electron beam from one direction at a static crystal, they rotated the crystal and tracked how the diffraction pattern changed. Instead of a single image, they got what was more like molecular computerized tomography scan. That enabled them to get structures from crystals one-billionth the size of those needed for x-ray crystallography.Gonen says because his interest was in proteins, he never thought much about trying his technique on anything else. But earlier this year, Gonen moved from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, to UCLA. There, he teamed up with colleagues, along with Stoltz at Caltech, who wanted to see whether the same approach would work not just with proteins, but with smaller organic molecules. The short answer is it did. On the chemistry preprint server ChemRxiv, the California team reported on Wednesday that when they tried the approach with numerous samples, it worked nearly every time, delivering a resolution on par with x-ray crystallography. The team could even get structures from mixtures of compounds and from materials that had never formally been crystallized and were just scraped off a chemistry purification column. These results all came after just a few minutes of sample preparation and data collection. What’s more, a collaboration of German and Swiss groups independently published similar results using essentially the same technique this week.“I’ve had dreams in my life where I’m looking through a microscope and I see a molecular model with balls and sticks,” Bertozzi says. “They basically find some microcrystalline schmutz on an EM [sample holder], take some data, and there are the balls and sticks I dreamed about. It’s unbelievable it works so well.”Because it does work so smoothly, the new technique could revolutionize fields both inside and outside of research, Bertozzi and others say. Tim Grüne, an electron diffraction expert at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland, who led the European group, notes that pharmaceutical companies build massive collections of crystalline compounds, in which they hunt for potential new drugs. But only about one-quarter to one-third of the compounds form crystals big enough for x-ray crystallography. “This will remove a bottleneck and lead to an explosion of structures,” Grüne says. That could speed the search for promising drug leads in tiny samples of exotic plants and fungi. For crime labs, it could help them quickly identify the latest heroin derivatives hitting the streets. And it could even help Olympics officials clean up sports by making it easier to spot vanishingly small amounts of performance-enhancing drugs. All because structures rule—and are now easier than ever to decipher. The new technique managed to generate structures from a mixture that contained all four of these organic compounds.last_img read more