My Favorite Reaction’s Not A Reaction
Sep26

My Favorite Reaction’s Not A Reaction

As 7-Up was once called the “Un-Cola,” I am going to call my favorite reaction for CENtral Science’s Chemistry Blog Carnival the “Un-reaction.” When I was a graduate student and then postdoc, I wasn’t a synthesizer of things—I was a studier of molecular interactions: drugs sticking to DNA, proteins sticking to surfaces, lipids assembling into cell membrane mimics.   Some in the field might think this makes me an “un-chemist,” but...

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The Ozone Zone
Sep26

The Ozone Zone

I chose my favorite chemical reaction based purely on aesthetics. Ozonolysis, wherein ozone—that tricky triumvirate of oxygen atoms—slashes its way through double bonds to make aldehydes, ketones, and carboxylic acids. Most synthetic organic chemists make things, but ozonolysis has a certain destructive appeal. Plus, there’s the pretty blue color that the solution takes on when the alkene is consumed, a sight not common to the largely...

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Chemistry Cartoons For IYC 2011
Sep23

Chemistry Cartoons For IYC 2011

For a little Friday afternoon fun, I thought I’d share some chemistry cartoons that came across the Newscripts desk recently as part of an International Year of Chemistry competition. Sponsored by the Physical & Biophysical Chemistry Division of the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), the contest asked participants to submit cartoons illustrating a chemical principle “that would be clear and accessible to...

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What’s In A Name? For Chemists, Their Field’s Soul
Aug03

What’s In A Name? For Chemists, Their Field’s Soul

This post was originally published at Scientific American’s Guest Blog. Don’t forget to check out all the contributions to the Scientific American Blog Network’s Chemistry Day! By 1992, the Soviet Union was formally dissolved, and the entire world’s political, economic, and military alliances were in the throes of transformation. But you could forgive officials at the International Union of Pure and Applied...

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CENtral Science Represents at Scientific American Blogs’ Chemistry Day

Devoted CENtral Science followers may recall two posts about a big development in the blogosphere that went up at Terra Sigillata last month. There, my esteemed blog colleague David Kroll played host to a vibrant discussion about the shiny new Scientific American blog network– of course congratulating the massive effort on the part of Chief Editor and Community Manager Bora Zivkovic and many others that led to its creation, but...

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Alan Alda Takes On Marie Curie
Jun01

Alan Alda Takes On Marie Curie

Alan Alda, the actor and author, has added another credential to his CV: science playwright. Tonight his first play, “Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie,” is being read as part of the opening night festivities of the World Science Festival at Alice Tully Hall in New York City. The play focuses on the eight years of Curie’s life between winning her Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 and her Nobel Prize in Chemistry in...

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