Archive for the ‘Chemical IT’ Category
A month or so ago at a workshop I was attending, a speaker included in his introductory slide a QR (Quick Response) Code. It is a feature of most digital eco-systems that there is probably already “an app for it”. So I thought I would jump on the band wagon by coding an InChI string. Here it is below:
I blogged about this two years ago and thought a brief update might be in order now. To support the discussions here, I often perform calculations, and most of these are then deposited into a DSpace digital repository, along with metadata. Anyone wishing to have the full details of any calculation can retrieve these from the repository. Now in 2012, such repositories are more important than ever.
Back in 1994, we published the crystal structure of the molecule below (X=H), a putative anti-malarial drug called halofantrine. Little did we realise that a whole area of organo catalysis based on a thiourea catalyst with a similar motif would emerge a little later. Here is how the two are connected.
During the 1960s, a holy grail of synthetic chemists was to devise an efficient route to steroids. R. B. Woodward was one the chemists who undertook this challenge, starting from compounds known as dienones (e.g. 1) and their mysterious conversion to phenols (e.g. 2 or 3) under acidic conditions. This was also the golden era of mechanistic exploration, which coupled with an abundance of radioactive isotopes from the war effort had ignited the great dienone-phenol debates of that time (now largely forgotten). In a classic recording from the late 1970s, Woodward muses how chemistry had changed since he started in the early 1940s. In particular he notes how crystallography had revolutionised the reliability and speed of molecular structure determination. Here I speculate what he might have made of modern computational chemistry, and in particular whether it might cast new light on those mechanistic controversies of the past.
Sometimes, as a break from describing chemistry, I take to describing the (chemical/scientific) creations behind the (WordPress) blog system. It is fascinating how there do seem increasing signs of convergence between the blog post and the journal article. Perhaps prompted by transclusion of tools such as Jmol and LaTex into Wikis and blogs, I list the following interesting developments in both genres.
I thought I would launch the 2012 edition of this blog by writing about shared space. If you have not come across it before, it is (to quote Wikipedia), “an urban design concept aimed at integrated use of public spaces.” The BBC here in the UK ran a feature on it recently, and prominent in examples of shared space in the UK was Exhibition Road. I note this here on the blog since it is about 100m from my office.
Previously, I had noted that Corey reported in 1963/65 the total synthesis of the sesquiterpene dihydrocostunolide. Compound 16, known as Eudesma-1,3-dien-6,13-olide was represented as shown below in black; the hydrogen shown in red was implicit in Corey’s representation, as was its stereochemistry. As of this instant, this compound is just one of 64,688,893 molecules recorded by Chemical Abstracts. How can we, in 2011, validate this particular entry, and resolve the stereochemical ambiguity? Here I discuss one approach (a vision if you like of the semantic web). (more…)
How one might go about answering the question: do alkenes promote anomeric effects? A search of chemical abstracts does not appear to cite any examples (I may have missed them of course, since it depends very much on the terminology you use, and new effects may not yet have any agreed terminology) and a recent excellent review of hyperconjugation does not mention it. Here I show how one might provide an answer.