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<i>E</i>- and <i>Z</i>-trisubstituted macrocyclic alkenes for natural product synthesis and skeletal editing

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 16 May 2022; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-00935-yMany bioactive compounds are trisubstituted macrocyclic alkenes, but use of current methods often results in poor yields and low stereoselectivity. Now, a ring-closing metathesis strategy has been developed that enables these compounds to be prepared efficiently and in either...

Ultrafast proton-coupled isomerization in the phototransformation of phytochrome

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 16 May 2022; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-00944-xPhytochromes regulate plant growth by sensing far-red light through the photoisomerization of their protein-bound chromophores. In the phytochrome Agp2, it has now been demonstrated that ultrafast proton-transfer occurs from the chromophore to a protein–water network before...

A two-directional vibrational probe reveals different electric field orientations in solution and an enzyme active site

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 05 May 2022; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-00937-wPreorganized electric fields may be essential for the extraordinary catalytic power of enzymes. Now, it has been demonstrated how electric field strengths can be monitored along two directions using a vibrational Stark probe, enabling the observation of distinct electric...

Bewildering benzene

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 05 May 2022; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-00948-7Claire Murray ponders on the attraction benzene — a small, seemingly simple molecule — has long exerted on scientists, some of the insights gained through its exploration, and the varied applications found for this hexagonal ring and its derivatives.

Keeping COFs in the loop

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 05 May 2022; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-00940-1The rational synthesis of organic nanotubes and their hierarchical architectures has remained challenging. Now, one-dimensional hollow covalent organic frameworks have been prepared that can further assemble into toroid-shaped materials.

Making commercial sense

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 05 May 2022; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-00942-zIn 2017 Professor Frances S. Ligler was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for her inventions in portable optical biosensors. Professor Ligler now talks to Nature Chemistry about the challenge of developing new sensor designs into reliable products, and some...

Sustaining chemistry

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 05 May 2022; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-00938-9Bruce C. Gibb offers some suggestions to chemists for how they can help save the world, one nudge at a time.

Fixing photocatalysts

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 05 May 2022; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-00939-8Molecular photocatalysts for generating solar fuels such as hydrogen degrade over time, ceasing to function as intended. Now the mechanism by which a ruthenium–platinum-based hydrogen-evolving photocatalyst breaks down has been identified, leading to the development of a...

Catalytic site seeing

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 05 May 2022; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-00943-yUnderstanding how surface structure affects catalyst selectivity is limited by the ability to synthesize atomically precise active-site ensembles. Now, by using intermetallic Pd–Zn, a series of well-defined multinuclear Pd–metal–Pd catalytic sites have been generated and...

Multistep enzyme cascades as a route towards green and sustainable pharmaceutical syntheses

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 05 May 2022; doi:10.1038/s41557-022-00931-2Enzymes, either purified or as whole-cell biocatalysts, can be concatenated into catalytic cascades and used to produce pharmaceutically relevant molecules. This Review discusses the advantages and requirements of multistep enzyme cascades and also highlights how they can...

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