Category Archives: organic chemistry

Search for Advanced Materials Aided by Discovery of Hidden Symmetries in Nature

From ScienceDaily:

A new way of understanding the structure of proteins, polymers, minerals, and engineered materials will be published in the May 2011 issue of the journal Nature Materials. The discovery by two Penn State University researchers is a new type of symmetry in the structure of materials, which the researchers say greatly expands the possibilities for discovering or designing materials with desired properties.



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Filed under biotechnology, molecular biology, organic chemistry

Researchers Close in on Technology for Making Renewable Petroleum

From Science Daily:

University of Minnesota researchers are a key step closer to making renewable petroleum fuels using bacteria, sunlight and carbon dioxide.


Note: The article falsely states that “CO2 is the major greenhouse gas mediating global climate change”. The facts are that water vapor is the greenhouse gas with the most important effect on temperature, based on its per-molecule potency and its relative abundance in the atmosphere (click on link attached to water vapor for references,) and that the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide are responsible for climate change not only has not been proven, it has in fact been falsified.

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Filed under energy technology, organic chemistry

Taking the guesswork out of understanding complex, multi-molecule transformations


Multicomponent reactions (MCRs) that chemically combine three or more molecules into a brand new product are faster and generate less waste than traditional step-by-step synthetic procedures, making them invaluable in efforts to improve efficiency and sustainability. Since 1921, chemists have used an MCR called the Passerini reaction to produce bioactive, peptide-like chains made from three partners: carboxylic acids, carbonyl compounds, and cyanide-bearing molecules. However, a full understanding of this process has eluded researchers because its multipart workings are difficult to detect experimentally.


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Filed under organic chemistry