News of the WeekChemistry

To Net Big Molecules, Widen the Mesh

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Science  19 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5567, pp. 449-451
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5567.449b

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On page 519, chemical engineers report that they have formed membranes with wide-open holes that, paradoxically, allow large molecules through far more readily than smaller ones. Normally, enlarging a membrane's pores opens the gates to a flood of molecules, both large and small. The new membranes are both more selective and faster acting than previous versions.