NNNS chemistry blog http://chem.vander-lingen.nl Chemistry blog : news - comments - basics in chemistry en-us 1440 The tunable mirror http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/The tunable mirror/id/231/itemid/793 Wouldn't that be nice. A mirror that you can switch between a reflective mode and a transparent mode with a push of a button. A nice gadget that would make. For some reason police interrogation rooms come to mind. Devices exist based on silver electrodeposition backed by an electrolyte solution (cal Saturday 11 Oct 2014 19:55:12 Opening a can of worms http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Opening a can of worms/id/231/itemid/792 The image of the week is the result of a molecular dynamics simulation of a mammalian plasma membrane (DOI). It looks like a can of worms has opened but the piece of cell wall depicted (a bilayer) consists of a complex mixture of 63 different worm-like lipids (phosphatidylcholines, sphingomyelin and Friday 10 Oct 2014 18:58:12 Meanwhile in the Whitesides lab (V) http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Meanwhile in the Whitesides lab (V)/id/231/itemid/791 Meanwhile in the Whitesides lab. This blog continues to cover George Whitesides in the run up to the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014 announcement. See earlier episodes I, II, III and IV. This year we have already been covering a new use of the Maglev here but the big breakthrough this year must have b Wednesday 01 Oct 2014 20:53:55 Pubpeer field test http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Pubpeer field test/id/230/itemid/790 The new website pubpeer.com brands itself as an online journal club and a post-publication peer-review forum. The recent threat with legal action against the site (link link Link) surely helped brand recognition, that is how this blog became aware of its existence. The appeal of the site must be th Monday 29 Sep 2014 21:55:01 Sierpinski triangle made easy http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Sierpinski triangle made easy/id/230/itemid/789 One step beyond a dendrimer is a Sierpinski triangle. Imagine a first-generation dendrimer with each extending unit having three arms and then close the edges. Synthesizing a molecule based on this concept may seem a mission impossible but the George R. Newkome team (of dendrimer fame) has reported Saturday 20 Sep 2014 12:37:05 Melamine detection at 20 ppm http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Melamine detection at 20 ppm/id/230/itemid/788 Melamine and milk share a connection ever since the 2008 Chinese milk scandal. You are not supposed to find the compound in it and detection methods have been discussed here ranging from the expensive to the cumbersome. There is always a market for new analytical chemistry and a group of Chinese res Tuesday 16 Sep 2014 20:56:31 Tramadol is not a natural product http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Tramadol is not a natural product/id/230/itemid/787 Last year a French - Cameroonian - Swiss team reported they had isolated the compound tramadol (0.4% by weight) from the root bark of the Cameroonian medicinal plant Nauclea latifolia (Boumendjel et al. DOI). This is unexpected because tramadol was until then only known as a synthetic pain-killer as Saturday 13 Sep 2014 18:25:10 Nicolaou on drug development http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Nicolaou on drug development/id/230/itemid/786 It would be a disappointment if someone like K.C. Nicolaou would write an essay on the present and the future of drug development along the lines that everything that is being done is simply fantastic. The opening line of his essay on this very topic in the Angewandte then is not an encouragement: Saturday 06 Sep 2014 23:18:46 Germanane in photocatalysis http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Germanane in photocatalysis/id/229/itemid/785 New in the family of graphene / graphane like materials is germanane (GeH). It was invented in 2013 by Goldberger et al. (DOI). Synthesis of precursor CaGe2 is accomplished by heating elemental calcium and germane at 1000°C for 18 hours. This compound is a typical Zintl compound with the calcium ato Saturday 09 Aug 2014 19:19:24 Chematica on linguistics http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Chematica on linguistics/id/229/itemid/784 Chematica caused quite a stir back in 2012 with their announcement of a "chemical brain" and a "Google on steroids". Chematica is software that promises to design synthetic pathways by computer algorithms and contains a database of 10 million compounds interconnected by reaction vectors. It would ma Sunday 03 Aug 2014 17:37:09 Water electrolysis by iron nickel oxides http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Water electrolysis by iron nickel oxides/id/228/itemid/783 Inorganic catalysts often have complex compositions with multiple elements combined in precise ratios. The way researchers arrive at these compounds appears based on guesswork and a lot of labour. About time to introduce some job automation the way organic people invented high-throughput screening. Saturday 26 Jul 2014 12:33:17 The B40 anion http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/The B40 anion/id/228/itemid/782 The same people that brought you the B30 anion just a month ago, now report the B40 anion. This time the popular science press jumped on the news because this anion is not just flat with an hexagonal hole in it (as was the B30 anion) but a cage-like molecule very much like fullerene. The researchers Monday 14 Jul 2014 18:47:06 Lacosamide total synth http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Lacosamide total synth/id/228/itemid/781 Lacosamide is a drug for the treatment of epilepsy. There is no shortage of interest in the production of this compound. The latest academic contribution originates from Sebastian Stecko as single author here. The selected raw material was ethyl lactate 1. Several steps down the road allyl alcohol 2 Friday 11 Jul 2014 23:25:29 An elusive liquid explosive http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/An elusive liquid explosive/id/228/itemid/780 Should we be really concerned about the new "invisible bomb" terrorist treat making the headlines this week? According to the Guardian here a Saudi chemist allied with both ISIS and al-Qaida (however unlikely that is) has the expertise to create invisible bombs and an ambition to target transatlant Friday 04 Jul 2014 21:03:08 New in Taxol http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/New in Taxol/id/228/itemid/779 Work on taxol total synthesis continues even after 20 years. The latest exploit as reported by Letort here concerns not a new total synthesis as only the core section is synthesised or a new method as the presented cascade metathesis method has been tried before. The novelty is that this time the st Monday 30 Jun 2014 21:18:18 A triply twisted Möbius annulene http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/A triply twisted Möbius annulene/id/227/itemid/778 There is Möbius aromaticity news. A new compound having such aromaticity has been reported as synthesised by Schaller et al. in Nature Chemistry (DOI). The challenge: the creation of a large pi-ring (as in a regular aromatic compound) but then with one or more twists in it. As in a Möbius ring. The Thursday 26 Jun 2014 21:06:14 Suzuki without metal http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Suzuki without metal/id/227/itemid/777 The Aggerwal group has recently described an alternative to the well-known Suzuki carbon - carbon coupling reaction that still utilises a boronic acid but does away with the platinum catalyst (Bonet et al. DOI). The novel method is applicable to aromatics such as furan, thiophene and electron-rich a Saturday 21 Jun 2014 22:33:46 The B30 anion http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/The B30 anion/id/227/itemid/776 As highlighted here a B18 dianion was recently postulated (computation only) to have a rotating inner ring. A B30 anion reported here is also flat but has a hexagonal hole. Li et al. as described in Angewandte pointed a laser at a piece of isotopically enriched boron, collected the debris in a molec Tuesday 10 Jun 2014 21:39:12 Something blew up in Moerdijk again http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Something blew up in Moerdijk again/id/227/itemid/775 And another chemical explosion hit the Dutch town of Moerdijk this week, home to a considerable amount of chemical industry. This time the culprit was Shell with a facility located by coincidence in the same industrial park as the now infamous Chemie-Pack as reported about earlier. A series of explo Thursday 05 Jun 2014 15:32:54 Methane activation by Gallium http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Methane activation by Gallium/id/227/itemid/774 A previous episode highlighted the conversion of methane to ethylene via iron. Li et al. report here on the conversion of the same methane to benzene now catalysed by gallium. The lede explains that the odds are not in favour of this transition. The reaction 6CH<sub>4</sub> -> C<sub>6</sub>H<sub>6< Tuesday 03 Jun 2014 21:26:02