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  • Chemistry in Pictures: Shining Better Together

    Chemistry in Pictures: Shining Better Together

    via c&en: Before Yujie Tu crystallized this anthracene derivative, it hardly glowed at all. In the closely packed structure of the crystals, the molecules clumped together, locking down squirmy parts of the molecules that would otherwise absorb light and thus prevent fluorescence. Tu studies this phenomenon, called aggregate-induced emission, as part of his PhD work at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Finding organic molecules that glow when they clump together is useful in biological […]

  • Chemical synthesis could produce more potent antibiotics

    Chemical synthesis could produce more potent antibiotics

    via MIT News: Using a novel type of chemical reaction, MIT researchers have shown that they can modify antibiotics in a way that could potentially make them more effective against drug-resistant infections. By chemically linking the antibiotic vancomycin to an antimicrobial peptide, the researchers were able to dramatically enhance the drug’s effectiveness against two strains of drug-resistant bacteria. This kind of modification is simple to perform and could be used to create additional combinations of antibiotics […]

  • Self-healing material can build itself from carbon in the air

    Self-healing material can build itself from carbon in the air

    via MIT News: A material designed by MIT chemical engineers can react with carbon dioxide from the air, to grow, strengthen, and even repair itself. The polymer, which might someday be used as construction or repair material or for protective coatings, continuously converts the greenhouse gas into a carbon-based material that reinforces itself. The current version of the new material is a synthetic gel-like substance that performs a chemical process similar to the way plants incorporate […]

  • Scientists discover natural plant-based food preservative

    Scientists discover natural plant-based food preservative

    via Phys: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) scientists have discovered a plant-based food preservative that is more effective than artificial preservatives. The organic preservative comprises naturally occurring flavonoids, a diverse group of phytonutrients found in almost all fruits and vegetables. The flavonoids created by NTU scientists have strong antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, two key traits of preservatives that inhibit bacterial growth and extend food freshness. In tests carried out on on meat and fruit juice […]

  • Supercomputing The ‘How’ of Chemical Reactions

    Supercomputing The ‘How’ of Chemical Reactions

    via Science Daily: Sometimes, when experimental scientists get their hands on a supercomputer, it can change the course of their careers and open up new questions for exploration. This was the case with Abdurrahman and Tülay Atesin, husband and wife chemists, collaborators and professors at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Experimentalists by training, when they moved to Texas in 2013, a colleague told them that through the University of Texas Research Cyberinfrastructure initiative they […]

  • Bizarre Chemical Structure Sinks Paper Five Years Later

    Bizarre Chemical Structure Sinks Paper Five Years Later

    via Chemistry World: Three years after an unlikely structure first set off chemists’ alarm bells, a study describing a natural product with antibacterial properties has been retracted amid concerns over doctored images. The paper, published in 2013 in the peer-reviewed open access journal PLoS One, was first picked up by chemistry blogger See Arr Oh in 2015. He was taken aback by the strange chemical structure Xinqing Zhao from Dalian University of Technology, China, and his […]

  • Chemists find new way to make enzymes do a non-natural reaction

    Chemists find new way to make enzymes do a non-natural reaction

    via News Medical Life Sciences: Princeton chemists have found a way to make a naturally occurring enzyme take on a new, artificial role, which has significant implications for modern chemistry, including pharmaceutical production. Their work appears in the journal Nature Chemistry. “We have found a completely new way to get enzymes to do a non-natural reaction,” said Todd Hyster, an assistant professor of chemistry. “A traditional perspective says that enzymes will only do one thing. This […]

  • Organic Chemistry on Mars

    Organic Chemistry on Mars

    via Science Translational Medicine: We’re going far afield for chemistry news this morning: all the way to Mars. As many readers will have seen, there’s some very interesting (and long-awaited) news – deposits of organic compounds have been conclusively identified. (Here’s the paper, free full text). This really is of great importance, for several reasons, and involves a few twists and turns of scientific history that you might not have expected. We immediately land clavicle-deep in […]

  • Chemists Orchestrate The Molecular Union of Two Single Atoms

    Chemists Orchestrate The Molecular Union of Two Single Atoms

    via Wired: THE MAIN ACT of Kang-Kuen Ni’s experiment could fit on the tip of a needle—and it happens in a fraction of a second. The Harvard chemist takes two individual atoms, a sodium and a cesium, each about 10,000 times smaller than a bacterium. Then, very carefully, she brings them together to become a single molecule: sodium cesium. It’s an unlikely pairing. In the cosmic rom-com that is nature, sodium rarely goes for cesium; both […]

  • Chemistry in Pictures: Fine-Tuned Glow

    Chemistry in Pictures: Fine-Tuned Glow

    via c&en: Biologists use fluorescent dyes to stain and image biological tissues using specialized microscopes. Luke Lavis’s group at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus recently came up with a new, milder synthesis for rhodamines, a popular class of dyes, using a palladium catalyst (Nat. Methods. 2017, DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.4403). With this new method, they were able to prepare rhodamines decorated with four-membered azetidine rings, which boost the efficiency of the dyes’ fluorescence. By changing […]