Sunday, 16 June 2013

#chemclub Roundup 11

Here's the usual roundup of papers from the #chemclub Twitter feed and various chemistry blogs in the last fortnight. If you're not sure what #chemclub is, click here.

Derek Lowe highlighted the recent Carreira paper in Science, which appeared in the last roundup. He summarises this impressive work nicely. The ever-prolific SeeArrOh wrote up several papers, including a JACS paper on the synthesis of a new class of compounds called pyrimidanes, a paper from David Procter exploring the largely-unexplored reactivity of TmI2, and a Feringa paper in Nat. Chem. using organolithiums for cross-coupling.

BRSM has written up a recent total synthesis from JACS in quite some detail. As always it's a pleasure to read BRSM's writing and wonder how on earth he knows so much random trivia about the history of total synthesis. He also featured a guest post from Siddharth Yadav on the unnatural-looking natural product pentacycloanammoxic acid.

Finally, Vittorio posted his slides from his final literature presentation at his current institution. Rather than present new chemistry, he talked about the role of social media in chemistry, including a forthcoming paper on the subject. The topics range from building community, to post-publication review, to crowdsourcing funding.

Onto recent papers from the Twitter feed! Both Science and Angew. Chem. have editorials about the effect of competition for funding on science. In Science, Marc Kirschner discusses the impact of 'impact' and calls for the scientific community to assert itself against prevailing "political, economic, and institutional interests" that see fundamental understanding as wasteful or less important than short-term application. In ACIE, Michael Hampe discusses the causes and effects of overselling science, and the risk this poses to the scientific commitment to truth and transparency.
Jianwei Li and Piotr Nowak have written a review of dynamic combinatorial libraries. The final section on machines and information processing is particularly interesting.
Raphael Levy shared a paper which weighs into the 'stripy nanoparticles' debate. The authors look at the effect patterns in nanoparticles might have on their translocation across cell membranes.
Clayton Owens shared a new paper from the Baran lab. The benzoic acid moiety of a precursor to (+)-hongoquercin A directs site-selective reactions ortho to the acid, allowing the generation of analogues of the natural product.
Andy Nortcliffe has a new paper out in Org. Biomol. Chem.. NO turns out to be useful therapeutically, and this paper looks at a new way to deliver it to specific sites. The idea is clever, I think: make amino acids which contain NO-releasing functional groups, incorporate them into peptides, and then design a peptide that will deliver NO to your target. Here the authors report the first step: the design of four NO-releasing amino acids, and their successful incorporation into tripeptides.
Finally, a new toy for field workers. In Analytical Chemistry there's a paper about a handheld tool for ionisation which can be connected to a benchtop mass spectrometer. This could be very useful for sciences such as archaeology, which already use portable versions of x-ray fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy in the field to analyse samples in situ. Effectively, this tool is a step towards allowing researchers to take the mass spectrum of a surface without having to prepare samples and ship them off to a lab.

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