David Bradley

Total alchemist

A good, old-fashioned total synthesis of a natural product caught The Alchemist’s attention this week, as did the notion of spiking the hydrocarbon picene with potassium atoms to turn it into a superconductor.

In a related carbon field, Chinese chemists have broken the rules to crack bucky eggs and US scientists have looked to molecular midwifery to help explain the origins of life.

In environmental news, the tragic story of BPA is told from the chemical perspective and an award to a Swedish team could help studies of oxygen depletion in the Baltic Sea that might one day lead to a route to remediation.

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