Author Archive

Outstanding Reviewers for Chemical Science in 2017

We would like to highlight the Outstanding Reviewers for Chemical Science in 2017, as selected by the editorial team, for their significant contribution to the journal. The reviewers have been chosen based on the number, timeliness and quality of the reports completed over the last 12 months.

We would like to say a big thank you to those individuals listed here as well as to all of the reviewers that have supported the journal. Each Outstanding Reviewer will receive a certificate to give recognition for their significant contribution.

Dr Lutz Ackermann, Georg-August-Universitaet, ORCID: 0000-0001-7034-8772
Dr Mircea Dinca, MIT, ORCID: 0000-0002-1262-1264
Professor Frank Glorius, University of Muenster
Dr Takashi Hisatomi, The University of Tokyo, ORCID: 0000-0002-5009-2383
Professor Rei Kinjo, Nanyang Technological University, ORCID: 0000-0002-4425-3937
Professor Jun Kubota, Fukuoka University
Professor Akihiko Kudo, Tokyo University of Science
Dr Armido Studer, WWU Muenster, ORCID: 0000-0002-1706-513X
Dr Bo Tang, Shangdong Normal University, ORCID: 0000-0002-8712-7025
Dr Jay Winkler, California Institute of Technology

We would also like to thank the Chemical Science Board and the general chemical sciences community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

If you would like to become a reviewer for our journal, just email us with details of your research interests and an up-to-date CV or résumé. You can find more details in our author and reviewer resource centre.

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Meet Vincent Artero: Chemical Science Associate Editor

We are delighted to welcome Professor Vincent Artero as Chemical Science Associate Editor, handling submissions in the area of energy.

Vincent Artero graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Ulm) and the University Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris 6). He received his Ph.D. in 2000 under the supervision of Professor A. Proust and Professor P. Gouzerh. His doctoral work dealt with organometallic derivatives of polyoxometalates. After a postdoctoral stay at the University of Aachen (Aix la Chapelle) with Professor U. Kölle, he joined in 2001 the group of Professor M. Fontecave in Grenoble where he obtained a position in the Life Science Division of the CEA.

Since 2016, he leads the SolHyCat group as Research Director in the Laboratory of Chemistry and Biology of Metals (a research unit cooperated by CEA, CNRS and Univ. Grenoble Alpes) in Grenoble. Vincent Artero received the “Grand Prix Mergier-Bourdeix de l’Académie des Sciences” in 2011. In 2012, he was granted with a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). He currently acts as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the ARCANE Excellence Laboratory Network (LABEX) for bio-driven chemistry in Grenoble and co-chair of the French Research Network (GDR) on solar fuels.

His current research interests are in the structural and functional modelisation of hydrogenases, the design of artificial organometallic proteins and the photo- and electro-production of hydrogen. Vincent is keen to receive submissions in his area of expertise.  Below is a list of recent Chemical Science articles published within the energy-related field – all free to read. We hope you enjoy them!

Porous dendritic copper: an electrocatalyst for highly selective CO2 reduction to formate in water/ionic liquid electrolyte
Tran Ngoc Huan, Philippe Simon, Gwenaëlle Rousse, Isabelle Génois, Vincent Artero and Marc Fontecave
Chem. Sci., 2017,8, 742-747
DOI: 10.1039/C6SC03194C

Ligand effect on the catalytic activity of porphyrin-protected gold clusters in the electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction
Daichi Eguchi, Masanori Sakamoto and Toshiharu Teranishi
Chem. Sci., 2018, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/c7sc03997b

A matrix of heterobimetallic complexes for interrogation of hydrogen evolution reaction electrocatalysts
Pokhraj Ghosh, Shengda Ding, Rachel B. Chupik, Manuel Quiroz, Chung-Hung Hsieh, Nattami Bhuvanesh, Michael B. Hall
and Marcetta Y. Darensbourg
Chem. Sci., 2017,8, 8291-8300
DOI: 10.1039/c7sc03378h

Site-isolated manganese carbonyl on bipyridine-functionalities of periodic mesoporous organosilicas: efficient CO2 photoreduction and detection of key reaction intermediates
Xia Wang, Indre Thiel, Alexey Fedorov, Christophe Copéret, Victor Mougel and Marc Fontecave
Chem. Sci., 2017,8, 8204-8213
DOI: 10.1039/C7SC03512H

You can submit your high quality research in the area of energy to Vincent Artero’s Editorial Office.

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Old and new spectroscopic techniques team up to decipher intricate alkaloids

Cutting-edge strategies set to increase our access to chemical space after researchers use them to verify unprecedented structures

Scientists have identified the structures of two marine natural products that were previously considered too complicated to characterise.1 A combination of well-known spectroscopic tools and new experiments probing orientation-dependant bonding allowed the team to unpick the structures.

Source: © Royal Society of Chemistry
Structures of caulamidines A (left) and B (right)

Natural products are a rich source of pharmacologically-active compounds. The problem is: they are often difficult to purify and identify.

Gary Martin, of Merck Research Laboratories in the US, and Kirk Gustafson, from the US National Cancer Institute, have been studying and characterising natural products for years. ‘There has been a continuing flow of incorrectly reported complex natural product structures into the published literature … at present, there are more than 1200 structure revision papers. Stopping investigators from reporting incorrect structures in the first place will free up their time to pursue and identify new molecular entities,’ they say.

Read the full story by Hannah Kerr on Chemistry World.

1 D J Milanowski et al, Chem. Sci., 2017, DOI: 10.1039/c7sc01996c (This paper is open access.)

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What’s left isn’t always right in total synthesis

Using detective skills that would make Hercule Poirot proud, researchers in the US have solved a longstanding mystery around the absolute configuration of natural product (+)-frondosin B.1

Source: Royal Society of Chemistry Summary of the enantioselective frondosin B syntheses reported to date

(+)-Frondosin B is part of a family of marine sesquiterpenes found in underwater sponges that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties and have potential applications in anticancer and HIV therapy. Starting with Samuel Danishefsky’s route in 2001,2 there have been 5 total syntheses of (+)-frondosin B. However, due to a discrepancy in the optical rotation of the final product during Dirk Trauner’s 2002 synthesis,3 which was observed to have S rather than the expected R configuration, there has been a fierce debate in the synthetic community about the true stereochemistry at C8 in the natural product. After more than decade of attempts by synthetic organic chemists to explain this, particularly focused on different inversion processes, no definitive answer had arisen.

Read the full story by Jason Woolford on Chemistry World.

1 L A Joyce et al, Chem. Sci., 2017, DOI: 10.1039/c7sc04249c (This paper is open access.)

2 M Inoue et al, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2001, 123, 1878 (DOI: 10.1021/ja0021060)

 

 

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Benchmark for molecular machine learning

A team at Stanford University in the US has developed a benchmark for machine learning in chemistry. By providing a consistent way to test different techniques across a range of chemical data, it aims to accelerate the growth of this new type of scientific problem-solving.

Source: Royal Society of Chemistry
MoleculeNet curates multiple public datasets, establishes metrics for evaluation, and offers high quality open-source implementations of multiple previously proposed molecular featurisation and learning algorithms (released as part of the DeepChem open source library)

Machine learning methods train a computer to efficiently get from raw data to already-known answers. Once the expected results are consistently reproduced, the software is ready to perform the same task with entirely new data. To fairly compare different learning approaches, research groups around the globe need to train and test their methods using a shared set of problems. Reference databases already exist for images and text; MoleculeNet, an extension of the DeepChem project, provides such a benchmark for chemistry.

Read the full story by Alexander Whiteside on Chemistry World.

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Protonation enhances water splitting

Researchers in China and Singapore have designed a new platinum electrocatalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction that outperforms existing catalysts and also performs better than theoretical calculations suggest it should.

Source: Royal Society of Chemistry
Transmission electron microscopy image of the new electrocatalyst showing its branched structure

Hydrogen can serve as a clean fuel, and electrochemical water splitting through the hydrogen evolution reaction is one way to generate this valuable resource. Many current electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction are based on platinum, which, although expensive, can be very efficient. Researchers are always looking to improve the efficiency of platinum electrocatalysts to make the hydrogen evolution reaction a suitable replacement for fossil fuels.

Read the full story by Suzanne Howson on Chemistry World.

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Peptide vehicle drives CRISPR delivery of Cas9 into cells

Scientists in Spain have put forward what they describe as the first non-covalent strategy for delivering the CRISPR Cas9 ribonucleoprotein into cells.1

Cas9 is a large RNA-guided DNA endonuclease enzyme that is responsible for accurately recognising and cutting the desired sequence of DNA in a cell’s genome during the gene editing process known as CRISPR. At the moment, CRISPR scientists typically transfect cells with a plasmid containing instructions to make Cas9: however, this isn’t ideal as it might result in permanent DNA recombination and persistent expression, which could have adverse effects. Researchers are therefore exploring methods that deliver Cas9 into cells.

Read the full story by Adrian Robinson on Chemistry World.

Peptide/Cas9 nanostructures for ribonucleoprotein cell membrane transport and gene edition

1 I Lostalé-Seijo et al, Chem. Sci., 2017, DOI: 10.1039/c7sc03918b (This paper is open access.)

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Zirconium MOF buckles under dynamite pressure

Scientists in the US have found that a metal–organic framework (MOF) known for its robustness takes in the same amount of energy as a TNT blast releases when it breaks.

Shock-absorber MOF

Source: Royal Society of Chemistry After compression, the effective number of Zr–carboxylate oxygen bonds (shown in yellow) for each Zr(IV) ion decreased from 4 to ≈2

MOF materials are porous framework solids whose typical applications include gas storage, separation and catalysis. Scientists have studied the zirconium-based MOF, UiO-66, in more detail than most. It’s easily synthesised, has a well-known structure and is strong. Unlike some other MOFs, it doesn’t react with water, and on removing its residual solvent, the framework remains intact with true, empty voids.

Read the full story by Emma Stephen on Chemistry World.

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Quick test on pinprick of blood could help stop Ebola in its tracks

Scientists have developed a quick, cheap, safe and field-deployable method to detect the Ebola virus in unprocessed whole blood.

artist's impression of an ebola virus in the body

Source: Shutterstock The World Health Organization declared an end to the most recent Ebola epidemic in January 2016

The recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa was responsible for 11,310 deaths. Containing this deadly virus relies on rapid, reliable diagnoses, but Ebola is difficult to diagnose because it shares its initial symptoms with other diseases such as malaria and yellow fever. It usually takes weeks before patients develop the bleeding associated with Ebola haemorrhagic fever; by this time, they may have passed the infection on to others.

The standard method of detection is reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), where chemical probes flag nucleic acids in the virus genome. This is reliable but involves deploying whole mobile laboratories and trained personnel. It is also expensive and results can take hours or even days, while the virus continues to spread. Another drawback is that it requires a blood draw, which is risky for both medical personnel and haemorrhagic patients.

Read the full story by Will Bergius on Chemistry World.

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Meet Mircea Dincă: Chemical Science Associate Editor

We are delighted to welcome Professor Mircea Dincă as Chemical Science Associate Editor, handling submissions in the area of materials.

Mircea Dincă grew up in Romania and moved to the US to study for a Bachelor’s degree at Princeton University. From here, he graduated with a BA in Chemistry in 2003. Following graduate studies in Inorganic Chemistry at UC Berkeley, Mircea moved to MIT for a postdoctoral appointment in 2008, and was offered an Assistant Professor position in the Department of Chemistry at MIT starting in 2010. Mircea was then promoted to Associate Professor in 2015 and offered tenure in 2017.

Mircea’s research interests lie in the synthesis of new multifunctional materials for applications in electrical and electronic devices, heterogeneous catalysis, and various uses in clean and renewable energy. In recognition of Mircea’s group’s research, he has been awarded the Alan T. Waterman Award from the NSF in 2016 and the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry in 2018, among several others.

Mircea is keen to receive submissions in his area of expertise, particularly MOF-related and multi-functional material research. Below is a list of recent Chemical Science articles published within the MOF-related field – all free to read. We hope you enjoy them!

Functional metal–organic framework boosting lithium metal anode performance via chemical interactions
Wen Liu, Yingying Mi, Zhe Weng, Yiren Zhong, Zishan Wua and Hailiang Wang
Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 4285-4291
DOI: 10.1039/C7SC00668C

Hollowing out MOFs: hierarchical micro- and mesoporous MOFs with tailorable porosity viaselective acid etching
Jaehyoung Koo, In-Chul Hwang, Xiujun Yu, Subhadeep Saha, Yonghwi Kim and Kimoon Kim
Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 6799-6803
DOI: 10.1039/C7SC02886E

Is iron unique in promoting electrical conductivity in MOFs?
Lei Sun, Christopher H. Hendon, Sarah S. Park, Yuri Tulchinsky, Ruomeng Wan, Fang Wang, Aron Walsh and Mircea Dinca
Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 4450-4457
DOI: 10.1039/C7SC00647K

Bond breakage under pressure in a metal organic framework
Zhi Su, Yu-Run Miao, Guanghui Zhang, Jeffrey T. Miller and Kenneth S. Suslick
Chem. Sci., 2017, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7SC03786D

You can submit your high quality research in the area of materials to Mircea Dincă’s Editorial Office.

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