Alchemical Happenings

ChemWeb Logo

As regular Sciencebase readers will know, I write a regular chemistry news round-up for ChemWeb under the plome-de-nume of The Alchemist. This is the latest incarnation of a column I first wrote for the original almost a decade ago. ChemWeb is now owned by chemical industry search engine, which is fast developing the site into an indispensable resource for anyone working in the chemical sciences.

Anyway, here is a summary of the latest Alchemist chemistry news headlines.

This week, iron and chemical education skills are rewarded, while analytical and synthetic efforts finally pay off after almost four decades or work on a natural insecticide with the first total synthesis of the neem tree extract azadirachtin. The Alchemist also discovers that diamonds really are almost forever and nanoscopic polymer capsules can facilitate one-pot cascading biotransformations. Finally, a new range of fluorinated contrast agents for medical imaging could make cancer diagnostics stick and computational developments on actinide compounds could revolutionize our understanding of the chemistry of radioactive materials. That synthetic odyssey undertaken by Steve Ley and colleagues at Cambridge University to synthesise azadirachtin will feature in more detail here in a forthcoming post.