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Posts tagged with "Chemical News"

  • Chemical News

    Diazos On Demand

    I don’t think that anyone really likes diazomethane. Organic chemists like what it can do (cyclopropane formation, cycloadditions, fast, clean methyl ester formation, etc.), but the compound itself is very hard to have warm feelings for. It’s unstable on storage, and thus has to be prepared fresh. That preparation is fairly tedious, and… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Give It to the Machines

    Here’s another paper for the automated med-chem files. A group at Merck (Boston) reports a combination of very small-scale automated synthesis with a screening assay in situ (no purification). You may be wondering how that works, or how it can possibly work, especially when you hear that the nanoscale reactions are transition-metal catalyzed. Read More
  • Chemical News

    Hydrogenating in a Ball Mill

    Here’s one to add to the “weird mechanosynthesis” pile. According to this paper, you can do hydrogenation reactions in a stainless-steel ball mill, without any sort of noble-metal catalyst. The hydrogen is produced when you add some n-alkane or diethyl ether to the mix (these actually get converted to gaseous methane and hydrogen… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Stop Ignoring the Sugars!

    This paper (from two groups at Yale’s chemistry department) addresses several important things that fall into the “important irritants” category in synthesis and molecular biology – or maybe that should be “irritatingly important”. We spend a lot of time thinking about proteins in terms of their primary sequence… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    4-Azidophenylalanine: A Warning

    There’s a reagent used in chemical biology and protein labeling that should be getting a bit more attention than it does. Not because it’s useful – that’s already known – but because it can explode. Here’s the paper (from UC-Irvine and Amgen), and the compound is the 4-azido derivative of phenylalanine. Interest… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Calculate Your Way Out of Bad Yields

    I wrote a little while back about a brute-force approach to finding metal-catalyzed coupling conditions. These reactions have a lot of variables in them and can be notoriously finicky about what combination of these will actually give decent amounts of product. At the same time, it appears that almost any given metal-catalyzed coupling reaction is… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Mirror Proteins Come Through

    You know, chemistry is kind of a big field. I say that because I’ve been actively reading the chemical literature for over thirty years now, and I still keep running across topics that I never knew existed. One of these popped up the other day: racemic protein crystallography. Now there may be a few readers… Read More
  • Chemical News

    More Thoughts of George Whitesides – And of Phil Baran

    The other day I wrote up some comments about a recent article from George Whitesides. If you’ve heard him speak on the topic of organic synthesis, you’ve probably heard most of what’s in that piece, but it’s a good summary of his position. Picked up roughly where I left off last time, he has this… Read More
  • Chemical News

    The Thoughts of George Whitesides, Part I

    A number of readers have mentioned this new paper by George Whitesides on organic synthesis. I can state as a fact that the first time I heard a joking reference to his attitude towards traditional synthetic organic chemistry was in the summer of 1983, so it’s not like he’s been keeping his thoughts bottled up. Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    21st Century Enzymes

    Here’s a remarkable paper that shows how enzymes can be engineered to turn out some very unnatural-looking structures. Frances Arnold’s group at CalTech has published on some work in this area in the past, and this latest variation is something t0 see. They’ve been working with various heme proteins, since that reactive center is… Read More