NNNS chemistry blog http://chem.vander-lingen.nl Chemistry blog : news - comments - basics in chemistry en-us 1440 Synthetic pepsin http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Synthetic pepsin/id/240/itemid/823 The one reaction missing on the amide Wikipedia page: amide hydrolysis. Better leave that one to nature's proteases. Their grandpa (called pepsin) was discovered as early as 1836. The amide bond is simple too strong (resonance stabilised) and will resist any nucleophile. Good to know then that in on Friday 24 Jul 2015 21:20:08 Au9 cluster snapped http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Au9 cluster snapped/id/240/itemid/822 The image on display in this week's image of the month (new item) is brought to you by Bosch-Navarro and Rourke both from the University of Warwick. (DOI) What you see is a very organised gathering of 9 gold atoms on a carbon surface. And not by coincidence. For this TEM image to happen graphen Monday 13 Jul 2015 21:47:09 Next move in Dutch Elsevier boycott http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Next move in Dutch Elsevier boycott /id/240/itemid/821 As reported earlier here in the beginning of the year, the Dutch universities have started a war on publisher Elsevier demanding a better deal for their journal subscription preferably open-access. This war has now entered stage two: all university personnel is kindly requested to abandon their seco Saturday 04 Jul 2015 22:09:40 MS chiral awareness http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/MS chiral awareness/id/239/itemid/820 The separation of enantiomeric mixtures is a big thing in analytical chemistry. Gas chromatography and liquid chromatography both know how to play the chiral game on a routine basis but mass spectroscopy thus far has been "chirally blind". A group of VU Amsterdam researchers have brought chirally aw Thursday 25 Jun 2015 20:28:55 The new thermite reaction http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/The new thermite reaction/id/239/itemid/819 It is time to fool around with chemicals. The Journal of Chemical Education regularly publishes about igniting stuff, a long tradition dating back to 1930. In a recent issue McGuire et al have another look at the thermite reaction (DOI) of iron oxide and aluminium. The hazards section reads: "an out Saturday 20 Jun 2015 20:20:23 Sanofi artemisinin update http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Sanofi artemisinin update/id/239/itemid/818 The people at Sanofi continue to tinker away at their industrial production of artemisinin. As described in a previous blog episode here the starting compound artemisinic acid (produced from glucose) was converted to artemisinin in subsequently a hydrogenation, an esterification and an Schenk-ene st Wednesday 17 Jun 2015 22:39:38 Replaced by computational overlords not just yet http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Replaced by computational overlords not just yet/id/239/itemid/817 This must be the most damning quote of 2015 in chemistry land: "Computational predictions vary vastly, and it is not clear that any significant accurate information that was not already apparent from experiment could have been garnered from computations". The authors are Erik Plata and Dan Singleton Saturday 13 Jun 2015 18:58:12 Olefin hydroamination latest http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Olefin hydroamination latest/id/238/itemid/816 Latest from the Baran laboratory: Olefin hydroamination. (Gui et al. DOI) Key ingredients: an alkene and a nitro arene together with triphenylsilane (2 eq.), ferric acetylacetonate (30 mole%), zinc, HCl and ethanol. The product: the alkylated amine. Product optimisation and substrate scope are all Friday 22 May 2015 22:42:18 Walk like an inchworm http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Walk like an inchworm/id/238/itemid/815 In a new episode of Making-It-Move (previous one here) molecular walkers take the stage as reported by Haq et al. (DOI) . Walking or self-driving molecules have been around for some time. Unidirectional motion has not yet been achieved (the molecules stagger back and forth) and the new walker is not Saturday 16 May 2015 13:16:17 Get more out star anise http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Get more out star anise/id/238/itemid/814 The compound shikimic acid is a natural precursor in the production of the synthetic (and supposedly) anti-influenza drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu). See Oseltamivir total synthesis and previous blog episodes here, here, here, here and here. Nice to know that researchers from the School of Physical Scien Wednesday 13 May 2015 18:50:06 Safe acetylene source http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Safe acetylene source/id/238/itemid/813 Matake, Niwa, and Matsubara report a new way to generate acetylene for research laboratory use. (DOI) The method is based on a phase-vanishing reaction (PV method): in a test tube a layer of fluorous solvent separates two reactive media that exchange reactants by slow diffusion, the reaction product Saturday 09 May 2015 17:21:22 Disilicon tetroxide http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Disilicon tetroxide/id/237/itemid/812 Disilicon tetroxide (Si2O4) is not supposed to exist just like the carbon analogue 1,3-dioxetanedione. But why not give it a try. The research group of Gregory Robinson reporting the synthesis of a stabilised silicon oxide (DOI) has had already discovered carbene-stabilized disilicon L:Si=Si:L with Thursday 23 Apr 2015 22:58:33 ZrIrSb http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/ZrIrSb/id/237/itemid/811 You would expect that by now chemists haver tackled all small molecules and have ventured on with the larger ones. This is far from the truth. Simple binary compounds continue to pose problems and large tracts of the small ternary compound landscape are still unknown to science. It is therefore a ha Saturday 04 Apr 2015 12:36:10 OPRD solvent survey http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/OPRD solvent survey/id/236/itemid/810 A group of researchers from Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline have been datamining the journal Organic Process Research and Development for solvents and report about it here. The chemistry detailed in this journal may be typical of what is happening in chemistry industry with procedures in the 1 to 100 K Saturday 28 Mar 2015 19:05:26 Limitless power by water droplets http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Limitless power by water droplets/id/236/itemid/809 In the latest of fantastic endless renewable energy schemes: energy harvested from falling raindrops on a surface (think roof tile and gutter) as devised by Yajuan Sun, Xu Huang and Siowling Soh (DOI) from the National University of Singapore (annual precipitation: 2,340 mm). The basics: water drop Friday 27 Mar 2015 18:46:46 On Frank Weinhold http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/On Frank Weinhold/id/236/itemid/808 Frank Weinhold is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin. A chemist with a talent for attracting controversy so it seems. He recently found himself in hot scientific debate on two occasions. Last year together with Roger Klein, Weinhold introduced the concept of the "anti-electrostatic hy Saturday 14 Mar 2015 21:53:15 Meet Derk Haank http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Meet Derk Haank/id/235/itemid/807 Meet Derk Haank. He used to run Elsevier Science, now runs Springer. Haank is a pretty important figure in scientific publishing. Springer recently acquired MacMillan. Mac Who? That is the German Von Holtzbrinck family and proud owners of the journal Nature. Who is better positioned to present a cou Friday 27 Feb 2015 21:10:07 Fluorenyl cation trapped http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Fluorenyl cation trapped/id/235/itemid/806 Fluorene is a typical aromatic compound and so is it's anion. The fluorenyl cation on the other hand is antiaromatic and any attempt to synthesising it would seem a futile exercise. Where some of the giants in chemistry like Olah and Schleyer tried anyway and failed some 30 years ago actual synthesi Saturday 21 Feb 2015 21:33:22 Terpenes-in-a-box http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Terpenes-in-a-box/id/235/itemid/805 In an example of lab imitating nature tail-to-head terpene cyclization is found to take inside the cavity of a certain resorcinarene mimicking an enzyme (Zhang and Tiefenbacher DOI). The resorcinarene capsule is hydrophobic with a cavity of 1.4 A. The walls are aromatic allowing favourable cation- Saturday 21 Feb 2015 18:38:55 Reaction in hot water http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Reaction in hot water/id/234/itemid/804 The latest reaction inducted in the Chemical Reaction Database (CRD) is lifted from an article by Feng-Zhi Zhang et al. (DOI) about intramolecular etherification by activated alcohols. Is hot water as advertised in the title an efficient reaction promotor? Or is water just a terrible solvent given t Friday 16 Jan 2015 21:24:51