News from across RSC Publishing.
Flexible molecules that are mirror images of themselves are very difficult to identify fully. This is especially true when they are dissolved in a liquid crystal solvent that is chiral itself. Using mathematical modelling and NMR experiments, James Emsley at the University of Southampton and fellow structural chemists in the Université de Paris-Sud claim to have developed an applicable mathematical solution to help distinguish the different mirror images.
Large, basket-like phosphines have been created by a team of researchers from Germany and Russia. Evamarie Hey-Hawkins and colleagues made several phosphine macrocycles which, when coordinated to a metal centre, create distinct hydrophobic chemical environments - ideal for the catalysis of organic substrates.
The secret of how enzymes catalyse redox reactions has been brought a step closer by Australian scientists Gordon Wallace and Gerhard Swiegers and colleagues. They noticed that a platinum electrode coated with immobilised ferrocene moieties enabled the combination of two hydrogen ions to form H2 gas at much lower potentials than a platinum electrode alone. The effect is all down to close positioning of the ferrocene catalytic centres. They explain that enzyme catalysis is also wholly dependent on correctly proximate and predisposed catalytic groups.
Takahiro Seki from Nagoya University and colleagues from Tokyo, were inspired by biological systems where mineral components are produced and orientated under influences from organic membranes. They pattern a photoresponsive organic layer using polarised light. This pattern is transferred to the inorganic film. The new method will provide new opportunities in device manufacture. Seki says 'the next goal is to make films with pores in an upright orientation; these could have exciting medical applications.'
Natural Product Reports, Issue 1, of 2004 is a special issue on marine natural products published in memory of Professor John Faulkner, recognising his outstanding contribution bot...
Biomolecular engineers develop chip to monitor living cells in real time.
The search is on for more sensitive materials to create images with.
The historical origins of dragon's blood - the deep red resins obtained from Dracaena plants - can now be used to identify accurately resins of unknown origin.
Novel enzyme mimic could be used to help treat inflammatory diseases.
Tiny molecular machines that can build themselves are the futuristic-sounding goal of supramolecular chemists.
Mimicry of the cleverest kind is under way in the labs of Ally Aukauloo at the Université Paris-Sud in France.
Drugs based on cyclam, a simple cyclic molecule, show promise in the war against HIV by blocking the path of the virus into cells.
The usefulness of a recently developed reaction, the intramolecular Michael addition, can be improved in order to show enantioselectivity.
Researchers at Liverpool University have shown that enzymes that cleave DNA are still effective when the DNA is bound to spherical gold nanoparticles.
Modifying gold nanoparticles with zinc porphyrins leads to enhanced anion recognition properties claims a team of inorganic chemists from the University of Oxford.
Enzymes that initiate a flip-flop action in membrane lipids have been designed by Bradley Smith and his research group at the University of Notre Dame.