Nature Chemistry

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Quasiclassical simulations based on cluster models reveal vibration-facilitated roaming in the isomerization of CO adsorbed on NaCl

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 18 January 2021; doi:10.1038/s41557-020-00612-yRecent experiments reporting the isomerization of CO on a NaCl(100) surface—from C adsorbed to O adsorbed—represent a major challenge to simulate from first principles. Now, using dynamics calculations and (CO–NaCl)n cluster models that feature CO–CO interactions, it...

Quaternary stereocentres via catalytic enantioconvergent nucleophilic substitution reactions of tertiary alkyl halides

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 11 January 2021; doi:10.1038/s41557-020-00609-7A wide variety of bioactive molecules contain stereogenic quaternary carbons, and developing methods for the construction of these stereocentres continues to be an active area of research. Now, it has been shown that a nickel-catalysed enantioconvergent coupling of tertiary...

Enantioselective C(<i>sp</i><sup>3</sup>)–C(<i>sp</i><sup>3</sup>) cross-coupling of non-activated alkyl electrophiles via nickel hydride catalysis

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 30 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41557-020-00576-zMethods for producing organic molecules rich in sp3-hybridized carbon centres can be particularly useful for drug development. Now, it has been shown that the enantioselective cross-coupling of non-activated alkyl halides with alkenyl boronates enables the synthesis...

Nuclear spin conservation enables state-to-state control of ultracold molecular reactions

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 30 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41557-020-00610-0Energy scrambling in intermediate complexes—which form in many chemical reactions—presents a major challenge to state-to-state control. However, nuclear spin tends to remain unchanged throughout reactions and now, by manipulating the reactants’ nuclear spins using an...

Screening and characterization of a diverse panel of metagenomic imine reductases for biocatalytic reductive amination

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 30 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41557-020-00606-wHigh-throughput biocatalytic screening and metagenomics have been used to discover over 300 imine reductases (IREDs) and subsequently produce a sequence-diverse panel of IREDs suitable for optimizing the synthesis of chiral amines. Additional characterization identified...

Fishing for nucleic acid with a coiled hook

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 22 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41557-020-00615-9Site-specific attachment of a programmable motif, such as a synthetic nucleic acid tag, on a target protein can facilitate functional studies of proteins in cells or modulation of protein activity. Now, a small genetically encoded peptide enables the templated incorporation...

Poetic licence

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 22 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41557-020-00616-8Michelle Francl wonders if scientists ought to pen poetry.

Convergence of multiple synthetic paradigms in a universally programmable chemical synthesis machine

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 22 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41557-020-00596-9Automated synthesis technologies are often highly specialized, focusing only on a narrow set of reaction classes. Now, solid-phase peptide synthesis, iterative Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling and diazirine chemistry have all been automated using the same universal platform...

The importance of storytelling in chemical education

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 22 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41557-020-00617-7Storytelling can be a powerful educational tool to help address equity in the chemical sciences.

Expanding the antibacterial selectivity of polyether ionophore antibiotics through diversity-focused semisynthesis

Nature Chemistry, Published online: 22 December 2020; doi:10.1038/s41557-020-00601-1Polyether ionophores are natural products that display antibacterial activity—but they also show activity against mammalian cells, which has limited their development as clinical antibiotics. Now, a semisynthesis principle of recycling substructures from highly abundant...

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