12 chemistry research highlights for 2011

This year’s headlines from my monthly Research Highlights column on ChemistryViews.org

Ouroboros Breathes Benzene

December — As benzene breathes, its aromaticity ebbs and flows according to new derivative current-density maps

Flexible Crystals

November — New discovery not only hints at existence of “flexible” crystals, but also shows how such materials could be probed in greater detail

Could Dopamine be the Most Evil Chemical in the World?

October — Two neighboring hydroxy groups on a benzene ring with an amino group just around the corner. Nothing too complicated really. Or is it?

Herbal Remediation or Complication?

September — Do herbal remedies like St. John’s wort live up to their claims or are they a source of additional complications?

The Good And The Bad News for Chocolate Fans

August — As with any vice — Bieber, brews, or bars of chocolate — those who partake to excess will have a trove of excuses

At Last, A Definitive Periodic Table?

July — ChemViews article and ensuing discussion has spawned a development in this field courtesy of UCLA chemistry professor E. Scerri

Periodic Debate

June — Mendeleev’s Periodic Table is, for many, the symbol of chemistry but is the current layout the best one?

Nano Safety

May — The safety of nanoparticles is under constant examination and recent research suggests their toxicity does not depend on size

Natural Product? Not!

April — An acid chloride reportedly isolated from a fungus may not be a natural product after all

The Forgotten Greenhouse Gas

March — Ionic liquids can be used to cut greenhouse gas emissions in an example of green chemistry

The Lingering Risk of Thirdhand Smoke

February — Thirdhand smoke re-emitted from surfaces could pose long-term health risk while firsthand smoke does damage in minutes

Crystallographic Confusion

January — Two bond or not two bond? That is a question of X-ray crystal structure interpretation, especially for cyclobutadiene.