- News Home
5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
Twelve Candles for 60 Carbons
13 November 1998 8:00 pm
The buckyball, a 60-carbon molecule shaped like a soccer ball, made its debut 13 years ago today in the pages of Nature. The discovery came while British chemist Harold Kroto was visiting the Rice University lab of American chemist Richard Smalley; they were trying to create new forms of carbon that might exist in interstellar space by bombarding graphite with a laser beam. When the researchers analyzed the resulting products with mass spectroscopy, they detected an unusually stable molecule with exactly 60 carbons; later, they worked out its spherical shape. Kroto named the molecule a "buckminsterfullerene" from its resemblance to the geodesic dome designed by architect Buckminster Fuller. Chemists are still excitedly studying this remarkably strong and beautiful molecule, along with related carbon structures, such as buckytubes, which may prove useful as tiny chemical reaction chambers or electronic components.