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Posts tagged with "Analytical Chemistry"

  • Analytical Chemistry

    Stereochemical Mysteries, Solved

    Ask a chemist (I’ll do) about optical rotation, and you’ll get a confident answer about how right- and left-handed isomers of chiral compounds will rotate polarized light that shines through a solution of one of them. Ask one of us exactly how it does that, and in 99 cases out of a hundred, you’ll witness… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    A Rain of Tiny Droplets

    You might be surprised to know how little we chemists know about what our reactions are really doing. A case in point is the “on water” field. Water is generally not the greatest solvent for a lot of classic organic chemistry reactions, since the reactants, reagents, and products are often not very soluble (or are… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    A Nobel for Cryo-EM

    The Chemistry Nobel committee seems to have taken everyone by surprise today with their award for cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). That’s not because it isn’t Nobel-worthy, though – it certainly is. But they tend to take their time before recognizing discoveries (ask 95-year-old John Goodenough, a key inventor of the lithium ba… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Short Chemistry Topics

    Blogging time is tight today, but there are several interesting stories and follow-ups that I wanted to mention. For starters, I wrote here about a cyclohexane analog that’s fluorinated all on one side of the molecule. That gives you very odd properties, and it and its relatives could be really useful solvents and additives, but… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Tie Your Crystals Into Knots

    Chemists love crystals. We don’t do as much recrystallization as we used to, since there are higher-throughput (and less labor-intensive) ways of purifying things these days, but I don’t think I’ve ever met an organic chemist who isn’t happy when a product crystallized out nicely. And we all know what crystals are like ̵… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Nature Doesn’t Abhor a Vacuum As Much As You’d Think

    I wrote some years ago about the case of a protein that seemed to have a completely empty binding pocket – empty, as in not even any water molecules hanging around in there. There are a number of these known, and there’s a lot of arguing about them among both experimental and computational chemists. You’d… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Rise of the Electron Beams

    There was apparently a very impressive talk from Sriram Subramaniam on cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) at the Computer-Assisted Drug Design Gordon Conference, and I can well believe it. That field has grown tremendously in capabilities in recent years, and is producing some startling results – and those results are coming faster all the t… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Enantioselectivity With Microwaves

    This new paper is a very interesting approach to chiral separation, and I would like to go into detail about how it works. Unfortunately, section 2 of the Supplementary material goes into detail, and it’s titled “Three-level optical Bloch equations”, and I can just about follow it until I get to the part that says “The… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    A New Factor in Protein Folding

    I linked to this particular XKCD strip when it came out, but it came right back to mind when I saw this paper, on a new kind of intramolecular interaction in proteins (and other systems). Protein folding, macromolecular folding in general, is indeed a famously horrendous problem to attack from first principles. There’s been progress… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    NMR Continues to Bear Down on Structures

    Determining the structure of a new molecule is one of those things that you’d think would be simple – at least, nonscientists often seem surprised at how much of our time we spend on such problems. (It doesn’t help that dramatic depictions involving chemistry almost invariably skip over this problem in the interest of moving the… Read More
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