Monday, 11 March 2013

#chemclub Roundup: week 3

Here's the weekly roundup from #chemclub. If you don't know what that is, read this

First up, an exciting paper in Nature Chemistry. It demonstrates that DNA can be used to template the non-enzymatic synthesis of non-nucleotide polymers, including peptides. As you might expect, the products have complex primary sequences - more like biological than synthetic polymers. @V_Saggiomo wonders if it can be taken a step further...
In Nature, the Beller lab report a Ru-catalysed dehydrogenation of MeOH to give H2 at considerably lower temperature and pressure than previous methods. As you might expect from Beller, the catalyst is stable over several weeks and has a high turnover even then, allowing a loading of as low as 1 ppm. Great stuff!

As usual, @Total_Synthesis posted a selection of recent papers. I particularly liked this synthesis of kingianins by Sherburn: in the key step, a conjugated tetrayne is reduced to a (Z,Z,Z,Z)-tetraene and cyclises to a bicyclo[4.2.0]octadiene, which then dimerises to give the product.
In other news, the Baran lab now has a blog called Open Flask. A recent post highlighted by Chemjobber discusses in depth some of the work behind their synthesis of ouabagenin. The comment section also features some of Prof. Baran's thoughts on justifying total synthesis.

Finally, @Softmatsg wants recommendations for his bedtime reading:
Thanks to everyone who contributed! Post your literature highlights to the #chemclub hashtag.

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