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May 30, 2022

New light-powered catalysts could aid in manufacturing

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy

Chemical reactions that are driven by light offer a powerful tool for chemists who are designing new ways to manufacture pharmaceuticals and other useful compounds. Harnessing this light energy requires photoredox catalysts, which can absorb light and transfer the energy to a chemical reaction.

MIT chemists have now designed a new type of photoredox that could make it easier to incorporate light-driven reactions into . Unlike most existing photoredox catalysts, the new class of materials is insoluble, so it can be used over and over again. Such catalysts could be used to coat tubing and perform chemical transformations on reactants as they flow through the tube.

“Being able to recycle the catalyst is one of the biggest challenges to overcome in terms of being able to use photoredox catalysis in manufacturing. We hope that by being able to do flow chemistry with an immobilized catalyst, we can provide a new way to do photoredox catalysis on larger scales,” says Richard Liu, an MIT postdoc and the joint lead author of the new study.

May 28, 2022

An Entirely New Kind of Highly Reactive Chemical Has Been Found in The Atmosphere

Posted by in category: chemistry

Every lungful of air we suck down is mostly made up of nitrogen, with a generous helping of oxygen, and a dash of carbon dioxide.

But dusting this atmospheric soup is a whole encyclopedia of different compounds and elements, some of which we can only speculate about.

One of those mysteries just came into focus, however. Chemists have shown that a reactive class of compounds called organic hydrotrioxides exists in the atmosphere, and while these chemicals last only briefly, they could have effects we don’t know about.

Continue reading “An Entirely New Kind of Highly Reactive Chemical Has Been Found in The Atmosphere” »

May 28, 2022

Scientists made a new kind of molecule bigger than some bacteria

Posted by in categories: chemistry, particle physics, quantum physics

A completely new kind of molecule has been made by combining an extremely cold ion and a super-sized atom. The unusual molecular bond between the two particles was thousands of times longer than those in most room-temperature molecules, and the method to make and study it could kick-start a new branch of ultracold quantum chemistry.

May 28, 2022

Making stem cells with chemicals

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, education, life extension

Reprogramming without having to insert genes.


When people think of cellular reprogramming, converting a differentiated cell into a stem cell, they often refer to the overexpression of Yamanaka factors[Oct4, Klf4, Sox2 & c-Myc]. Rightly so. But what if i told you that stem cells could be induced with just chemicals. Well you would reply “show me the data”. So, let’s take a look at this recent Nature paper that showed how combinations of small molecules/chemicals converted human differentiated cells to stem cells.

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May 28, 2022

An autonomously oscillating supramolecular self-replicator

Posted by in categories: chemistry, robotics/AI

Oscillations are widespread throughout the natural world and a number of fascinating inorganic oscillating reactions are known—but the formation and control of oscillating, self-replicating synthetic systems has remained challenging. Now, it has been shown that chemically fuelled oscillations within a network of organic replicators can drive supramolecular assembly and disassembly.

May 26, 2022

New calculations of solar spectrum resolve decade-long controversy about the sun’s chemical composition

Posted by in categories: chemistry, cosmology, mapping, physics

What do you do when a tried-and-true method for determining the sun’s chemical composition appears to be at odds with an innovative, precise technique for mapping the sun’s inner structure? That was the situation facing astronomers studying the sun—until new calculations that have now been published by Ekaterina Magg, Maria Bergemann and colleagues, and that resolve the apparent contradiction.

The decade-long solar abundance crisis is the conflict between the internal structure of the sun as determined from solar oscillations (helioseismology) and the structure derived from the fundamental theory of stellar evolution, which in turn relies on measurements of the present-day sun’s . The new calculations of the physics of the sun’s atmosphere yield updated results for abundances of different chemical elements, which resolve the conflict. Notably, the sun contains more oxygen, silicon and neon than previously thought. The methods employed also promise considerably more accurate estimates of the chemical compositions of stars in general.

May 25, 2022

Cannabidiol as the Substrate in Acid-Catalyzed Intramolecular Cyclization

Posted by in categories: chemistry, innovation

Circa 2020 Lewis acids such as in some candies can active thc in cannibidiol making a room temperature thc activation. Which has been unheard of until now leading to a breakthrough in thc activation at lower temperatures even room temperature through a lewis acid catalyst.


The chemical reactivity of cannabidiol is based on its ability to undergo intramolecular cyclization driven by the addition of a phenolic group to one of its two double bonds. The main products of this cyclization are Δ9-THC (trans-Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and Δ8-THC (trans-Δ-8-tetrahydrocannabinol). These two cannabinoids are isomers, and the first one is a frequently investigated psychoactive compound and pharmaceutical agent. The isomers Δ8-iso-THC (trans-Δ-8-iso-tetrahydrocannabinol) and Δ4-iso-THC (trans-Δ-4,8-iso-tetrahydrocannabinol) have been identified as additional products of intramolecular cyclization. The use of Lewis and protic acids in different solvents has been studied to investigate the possible modulation of the reactivity of CBD (cannabidiol). The complete NMR spectroscopic characterizations of the four isomers are reported. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis and 1 H NMR spectra of the reaction mixture were used to assess the percentage ratio of the compounds formed.

Recent years have seen a dramatically increasing interest in phytocannabinoids. Isolated from Cannabis in 1940,1,2 cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most abundant phytocannabinoids in the species of Cannabis for textile uses.3,4 Despite the structural similarity between CBD and Δ9-THC (trans-Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) (Figure Figure1 1), CBD has a low agonistic effect for cannabinoid receptors; in particular, it is considered an allosteric negative modulator of CB1 and CB2 receptors (cannabinoid receptor types 1 and 2).5,6 Current evidence shows that CBD exerts pharmacological effects via specific molecular targets such as adenosine, glycine, opioid, serotonin, nonendocannabinoid G protein-coupled, nicotinic acetylcholine, and proliferator-activated receptors.7 Moreover, CBD shows anticonvulsant, antispasmodic, anxiolytic, antinausea, antirheumatoid arthritis, and neuroprotective properties.

Continue reading “Cannabidiol as the Substrate in Acid-Catalyzed Intramolecular Cyclization” »

May 24, 2022

Musical molecules: A new language for chemistry

Posted by in categories: chemistry, media & arts

Music has long been the language of love. Recent research suggests it could have many applications as the language of chemistry, too.

May 24, 2022

NASA’s Psyche Spacecraft Arrives at Kennedy Space Center

Posted by in categories: alien life, chemistry, evolution

For the past fifty years of space exploration, mass spectrometry has provided unique chemical and physical insights on the characteristics of other planetary bodies in the Solar System. A variety of mass spectrometer types, including magnetic sector, quadrupole, time-of-flight, and ion trap, have and will continue to deepen our understanding of the formation and evolution of exploration targets like the surfaces and atmospheres of planets and their moons. An important impetus for the continuing exploration of Mars, Europa, Enceladus, Titan, and Venus involves assessing the habitability of solar system bodies and, ultimately, the search for life—a monumental effort that can be advanced by mass spectrometry. Modern flight-capable mass spectrometers, in combination with various sample processing, separation, and ionization techniques enable sensitive detection of chemical biosignatures.

May 24, 2022

Planetary Mass Spectrometry for Agnostic Life Detection in the Solar System

Posted by in categories: alien life, chemistry, evolution

Circa 2021


For the past fifty years of space exploration, mass spectrometry has provided unique chemical and physical insights on the characteristics of other planetary bodies in the Solar System. A variety of mass spectrometer types, including magnetic sector, quadrupole, time-of-flight, and ion trap, have and will continue to deepen our understanding of the formation and evolution of exploration targets like the surfaces and atmospheres of planets and their moons. An important impetus for the continuing exploration of Mars, Europa, Enceladus, Titan, and Venus involves assessing the habitability of solar system bodies and, ultimately, the search for life—a monumental effort that can be advanced by mass spectrometry. Modern flight-capable mass spectrometers, in combination with various sample processing, separation, and ionization techniques enable sensitive detection of chemical biosignatures. While our canonical knowledge of biosignatures is rooted in Terran-based examples, agnostic approaches in astrobiology can cast a wider net, to search for signs of life that may not be based on Terran-like biochemistry. Here, we delve into the search for extraterrestrial chemical and morphological biosignatures and examine several possible approaches to agnostic life detection using mass spectrometry. We discuss how future missions can help ensure that our search strategies are inclusive of unfamiliar life forms.

Biosignatures are the tantalizing chemical and physical imprints associated with life, and the possibility that life exists elsewhere beyond Earth drives us to search for these biosignatures on other planets and moons. The enterprise of space exploration, galvanized by the question of “Are we alone in the Universe?”, demands a stronger understanding of the diversity of biosignatures that life could express, thereby driving payload instruments on board astrobiology missions to offer broader and more advanced detection capabilities. In tandem with cutting-edge instrument platforms, research in data processing and data analysis on Earth-based (Terran) astrobiology analogs and on extraterrestrial materials also serves to increase the breadth of interpretations possible with mission data.

Continue reading “Planetary Mass Spectrometry for Agnostic Life Detection in the Solar System” »

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