Your Molecular Essentials

Well, the ‘molecules you’d take to a deserted isle’ results are in. A special thank you to Dr. David Kroll (aka Abel Pharmboy) over at Terra Sigillata for sharing his own thoughts on the topic and encouraging more folks to take part in the survey. You were all over the map, picking 29 different molecules in all. Just one of you shared the philosophy of the original paper’s authors, picking molecules that have intriguing chemical structures and chemical stories. Most of you went the practical route- assembling a molecular first-aid kit for any ailments that might happen to come your way, as Dr. Kroll had in his post. And a few of you went in a more, shall we say, recreational direction.

In the ‘beautiful molecules’ category, you picked palau’amine and vinigrol.

You have protection from the sun and the bugs (avobenzone, the insecticide imidacloprid), antibiotics (amoxicillin, streptomycin, Cipro), allergy meds (diphenhydramine aka Benadryl and pseudoephedrine aka Sudafed), and painkillers of all stripes, from morphine to ibuprofen. A few people prepared for bouts of indigestion (loperamide aka Immodium) and epilepsy (the anticonvulsant lamotrigine). And one person may expect to find a friend on the island, since they packed the contraceptive norgestimate.

You also packed quinine, which could easily fit into the awe-inspiring structure category as well as the medicinal category, for its fever-reducing and antimalarial activity.

A few recreational molecules made the list, like LSD, THC, and cocaine. But I give props for creativity to the person who selected just one molecule, albeit a very large one: The DNA of Emma Watson.

Curious what the ‘winning’ molecule was? It was a tie between good old penicillin and aspirin, with ethanol, caffeine, and water close behind.

Image:C&EN

Author: Carmen Drahl

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