In no order whatsoever. Mixed bag, high and low. All amazing on different levels. Why read what mediocre writers write (such as myself)? Focus on the really talented authors instead. Please find attached five dazzling articles.


“Natural Product and Material Chemistries — Separated Forever?”
Horst Kunz and Klaus Müllen, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 8764-8769. (DOI: 10.1021/ja309186q)


“The thermodynamic basis for the use of lipophilic efficiency (LipE) in enthalpic optimizations”
Michael D. Shultz, Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2013, In press (DOI: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2013.08.030)


“C–H bond activation enables the rapid construction and late-stage diversification of functional molecules”
Joanna Wencel-Delord and Frank Glorius, Nature Chem. 2013, 5, 369-375. (DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM.1607)


“A Two-Step Synthesis of the Laundry Detergent Perfume Additive β‑Citronellyl Tosylate”
Cheryl M. Mascarenhas, J. Chem. Ed. 2013, 90, 1231-1234. (DOI: 10.1021/ed300474j)


“Chemical Crystallography before X-ray Diffraction”
Krešimir Molčanov and Vladimir Stilinović, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 2-17. (DOI: 10.1002/anie.201301319)


My comments:

No. 1 is important as Hell. Read all of it. But, I also feel like chiming in and say we aren’t fully separated – yet. I’m a living proof of that. I make both drugs and advanced materials today. Synthesis is always synthesis, regardless of the projected end-uses of the materials. But beware, cross-disciplinary work is key to success. Don’t be afraid to listen to a physicist once in a while. They speak a different language, true, but many of them are kind and more willing to explain their kung-fu than you might expect. Try it! You will learn a thing or two.

No. 2 Metrics… rational design. Mmm… I’m with Derek Lowe on this one. Dramatic changes ahead in drug discovery are essential, if the industry is to survive long term. I could write a book on what I think the necessary steps would be. (Maybe I am writing one now?)

No. 3. I like C-H couplings. This is a great paper. The main problem, as I see it, is that you often solve one problem, only to introduce a new one instead. In the case of C-H activation that would be: No need for “chemical handles” = good; massive need for reactants on top of the arrow = bad. Looks great in graphical abstracts. Not as funny when you have to measure out stoichiometric amounts or more of the additives needed.

No. 4. I love this journal. Everybody should subscribe to it! Chemistry doesn’t have to be complicated. Two easy steps, and you’ve got yourself a kick-ass detergent. Excellent for educational purposes. I’d love to include this example in an undergraduate course.

No. 5. There was a time when X-ray didn’t exist. Did you know? We didn’t live then, but many chemists did, and they made amazing discoveries that I’m quite sure very few of us would be able to reproduce today. A microscope and a pair of tweezers, that’s how you separate enantiomers, Pasteur stylee! Fantastic write-up of things that we should never allow to be forgotten.


Your comments?


2 Responses to Five must-reads

  1. Really enjoyed #5 in particular. Lots of interesting details and good chemistry, written with a sense of humour.

  2. Dmitry says:

    #1 kicks ass, I wish one of ACS journals make a special issue or a set of videos (like “voices of inorganic chemistry”) dedicated to discussion of this hidden conscience of two fields. It is a big thing.

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