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The fleeting frontier 

29 April 2016  Premium contentFeature

Andy Extance finds out how chemists are studying processes lasting trillionths of a second – and even less – using laser-based pump–probe experiments

Active esters enable powerful new route to carbon–carbon bonds

21 April 2016 Research

‘Insanely easy’ approach to form previously tricky sp3–sp3 bonds already being used by pharma just three months after discovery

Mouth-puckering molecule inspires fish-catching glove

13 April 2016 Research

Relevance of measuring tannic acid’s friction-increasing astringency reaches beyond food

Optical tweezers extract biomolecule folding secrets

9 April 2016 Research

Pioneering ‘transition path’ analysis studies mad cow disease-causing prions

Living colour

8 April 2016  Premium contentFeature

Fluorescent proteins can illuminate cells’ inner workings, but making them takes effort – and luck, as Andy Extance discovers

Lifting molecular brake may have kept primeval cells running

16 March 2016 Research

Removing RNA restriction can steady biochemical function, with relevance for life’s emergence

Electrostatic field powers up reaction rate 

2 March 2016 Research

Applying electrical potential to Diels-Alder system confirms prediction of catalytic effect that defies received chemical wisdom

Boat conformer launches new carbon bond-forming reaction

23 February 2016 Research

Palladium catalyst exploits usually hard-to-access configuration to achieve C–H activation

‘Forbidden chemistry’ drives carbon bond forming sequence

10 February 2016 Research

Flow process harnesses unstable diazo compounds in room temperature reactions

Raiders of the lost steel

15 January 2016  Premium contentFeature

The skills behind the legendary sharpness of wootz steel were once forgotten, but Andy Extance talks to the researchers unsheathing its secrets

Carbon dioxide-to-methanol catalyst ignites ‘fuel from air’ debate

14 January 2016 Research

Nobel winner’s team hopes ‘air capture’ of greenhouse gas can store renewable energy – but others see problems

New vinyl catalyst will reduce mercury emissions

11 January 2016 Business

Johnson Matthey strikes gold as China’s PVC industry looks for cleaner processes

Pfizer’s response to compound fraud spotlights quality issues

7 December 2015 News and Analysis

‘Bosutinib isomer’ typifies threat posed by evolution of chemical supply chain

Trampolining droplets raise hopes for ice-shedding surfaces

4 November 2015 Research

Mystery of bouncing droplets that apparently defy the laws of physics unravelled

Gamblers judge research quality cheaply and well

3 November 2015 News and Analysis

‘Prediction market’ trial in chemistry departments suggest less arduous way to prepare for research assessment

Crystals allow peek at picosecond DNA damage

22 October 2015 Research

Combined x-ray and laser technique explores reaction with light lasting trillionths of a second

‘Chemical search engine’ backs alternative route to life

12 October 2015 Research

Spontaneous peptide formation conditions found using automated system

Chemists harness impermanent ‘star’ molecule

8 October 2015 Research

Iron complex overcomes [5]radialene’s enthusiasm for reacting with itself, filling decades-old gap in series

Megasupramolecules promise to quell fuel explosions

2 October 2015 Research

‘Sticky-ended’ molecules that self-assemble into long chains may have made 9/11 less deadly

Cosmetics deals push skin 3D bioprinting

24 September 2015 Business

Interest for testing from L’Oréal, BASF and Procter & Gamble could be a stepping stone towards bespoke organs

Oligonucleotide drugs step up

23 September 2015  Premium contentFeature

Structural innovations are overcoming oligonucleotide drugs’ historical flaws, discovers Andy Extance

Firming COFs up takes Michael reaction catalysis forward

22 September 2015 Research

Chemists stabilise hexagonal layers that form nanochannels, which help speed up conversions

Vitamin makes tricky E/Z flipping easy

3 September 2015 Research

Thanks to riboflavin, chemists see route to Z-isomers of α,β-unsaturated carbonyl intermediates

‘Fire fountain’ data illuminate lunar history

28 August 2015 Research

Volatile element details promise to ignite research into Moon’s origin and evolution

Porous pills could be largest industrial 3D printing use

20 August 2015 Business

US grants first-of-a-kind approval for Aprecia’s epilepsy tablets exploiting porous structure