Molecular Mimics Of The Olympic Rings
Aug03

Molecular Mimics Of The Olympic Rings

This post was written by C&EN reporter Jyllian Kemsley. In the July 23 print Newscripts column, I wrote about olympicene, a molecule composed of five fused rings that was synthesized by chemists at the University of Warwick and resembles the Olympic rings. Now the Periodic Table of Videos has tackled the subject, and the University of Nottingham's Martyn Poliakoff ups the ante. Poliakoff says that to truly mimic the Olympic rings, chemists need to interconnect circular molecules rather than fuse them together. He suggests ways that it might be done using catenanes and challenges viewers to make it happen. Can any Newscripts readers out there think of other ways to make interconnected Olympic ring mimics? Share your ideas here....

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Valentine Perfumes Made By Chemists
Feb14

Valentine Perfumes Made By Chemists

In this week’s print Newscripts column, Associate Editor Linda Wang wishes readers a happy Valentine’s Day by writing a feature about a chemist who makes his own perfumes. Frederick J. Lakner first wrote in to C&EN in a Letter to the Editor about his frustrations at being unemployed. But it turns out that when Lakner isn’t patiently seeking a new job, he uses his chemistry skills to concoct fragrances for men and women. To check them out, click here. The folks at the Periodic Table of Videos have also been having “a bit of fun for Valentine’s Day,” according to their website, by trying their hands at perfumery. In this clip, they pass around a bottle, and each team member adds a special component to create the perfect fragrance. As Martyn Poliakoff explains, cheap perfumes have very few components and evaporate quickly. The more expensive ones, he says, have lots of complex ingredients layered over one another. If so, their perfume, “Mendeleev’s Dream,” is quite sophisticated, containing components such as vanillin, vodka, citronellol, cinnamaldehyde, boron trioxide, and hexachloroplatinic acid (for “a little bling”). The kicker, I think, might be the red dye 23 put in at the end, turning the solution blood red. Kids, do not apply this at home. For a man-on-the-street look at how “Mendeleev’s Dream” tests with science students at the University of Nottingham, here’s some extra...

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