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Posts tagged with "Chemical News"

  • Chemical News

    Modifying Natural Products

    Here’s a thorough review of a topic that combines complex drug development issues with complex chemistry: trying to optimize the structures of natural products so that they can be more effective drugs. There are detailed looks at examples like the tetracyclines, the polyene macrolides, pactamycin, geldanamycin, and the thiostrepton-like pepti… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Who Cares About Making Ammonia? You Do.

    This paper comes under the heading of “early days, but possibly of great interest”. It demonstrates room-temperature synthesis of ammonia from nitrogen gas using a samarium/molybdenum system, and chemists of all sorts will sit up and that news and say “Hold it. Ammonia is the Haber-Bosch process, isn’t it?” That it is. Read More
  • Chemical News


    I was interested to see this paper, which goes into detail on a chemical phenomenon that many have seen but no one understands very well: triboluminescence. That word meets with a blank stare or instant recognition; there’s not much in between. It means “emission of light when a material is physically broken”, and that encompasses… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    A Close Look at Fragments

    Here’s a look from the D. E. Shaw research team at fragment binding, and even if you don’t do fragment-based drug discovery, it’s worth a read. That’s because the mechanisms by which fragments bind to proteins are most likely the fundamental ones by which larger molecules bind as well; this is the reductionist look at… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Stirring Bar Contamination

    Stir bars – it was the stirring bars all along. That’s the take-home from this paper, which shows definitively that (A) you cannot truly clean one of the things and that (B) the stuff that’s stuck to them can be influencing the next reaction they’re used in. At one level, I think that few organic… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Some Natural Product Weirdness

    Let us take a moment to gaze upon the weirdness of natural products. For an organic chemist, these things can at times be startlingly weird, with structures that keep bringing on the “Well, I never would have thought of that” response. I collect especially odd ones as I see them in the current literature, so… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Predicting – Or Not Predicting – New Materials

    We chemists would love to be able to do just a tiny bit less chemistry now and then and just let models and simulations tell us what would happen instead. Only every once in a while – you wouldn’t want to obtain such a perfectly accurate picture of chemical and physical interactions that there was… Read More
  • Chemical News

    New Chemistry, Making New Things

    In a perverse way, I’m enjoying how modern organic synthesis is upsetting the classic undergraduate sort of test-question syntheses. You know – Grignards, ester condensations, oxidation and reduction of carbonyls, Wittigs, Sandmeyer reactions, Friedel-Crafts, good ol’ hammer-and-tongs bond formation. I had sophomore organic back i… Read More
  • Biological News

    Targeting microRNAs

    Medicinal chemists spend the vast majority of their time targeting proteins. Enzyme active sites, receptors, allosteric sites, interfacial sites – it’s one protein after another, to the point that you can mentally assume that your compounds are going to be hitting the familiar landscape of backbone amide bonds, pi-interacting tryptophan… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Birch Reduction Without Tears. Or Ammonia. Or Metals.

    The Birch reduction is pretty interesting to run, especially the first time you do it. Liquid ammonia is not a typical reaction solvent, and condensing it off a cold finger always looks a bit like a magic trick. You’ll be standing there with a beaker of sodium or lithium metal pieces (sitting under solvent!), which… Read More