Browse Articles

  • Comment |

    A bioeconomy — that is, an economy in which fuels, chemicals and other products are sourced from biomass — can contribute to a sustainable and prosperous future. Realizing a bioeconomy will necessitate new methods for processing the complex structure of biomass to produce commodity chemicals. Many exciting opportunities are availing themselves to chemists brave enough to tackle this challenging problem.

    • Nichole D. Fitzgerald
  • Editorial |

    A detailed picture of how DNA is copied and modified comes from a molecular-level understanding of DNA and the enzymes that process it. Why is DNA not always copied correctly, and what happens when its bases are modified?

  • Review Article |

    DNA polymerases are responsible for DNA replication, repair and mutation. Although these processes occur through conserved mechanisms, this Review highlights how large differences in the fidelity of DNA replication arise from subtle structural differences between individual DNA polymerases. These differences enable polymerases to perform diverse functions that are important to nature as well as technology.

    • Wen-Jin Wu
    • , Wei Yang
    •  & Ming-Daw Tsai
  • Comment |

    Controversy surrounds the perceived absence of a relationship between DNA polymerase fidelity (kinetic discrimination) and free energy changes determined from DNA melting studies (thermodynamic discrimination). Thermodynamic discrimination together with aqueous solvent effects can account for kinetic fidelities on the order of those observed experimentally.

    • John Petruska
    •  & Myron F. Goodman
  • Perspective |

    The unique properties of ferrocene-containing compounds make them useful for treating many diseases. The most notable drug candidates — the antimalarial ferroquine and the anticancer agent ferrocifen — have been studied for more than two decades but have not yet met clinical approval. This Review describes the design of ferrocene-containing drugs as well as the challenges faced in bringing them into clinical use.

    • Malay Patra
    •  & Gilles Gasser
  • Review Article |

    Research into naturally occurring chemically modified DNA bases has been invigorated by new chemical and enzymatic methods that, when coupled with sequencing approaches, enable us to detect and decode them. These techniques will support a better understanding of the role of chemically modified DNA bases in normal physiology and disease.

    • Eun-Ang Raiber
    • , Robyn Hardisty
    • , Pieter van Delft
    •  & Shankar Balasubramanian
  • Perspective |

    The cross-electrophile coupling approach to stereocontrolled C–C bond formation provides a complementary alternative to traditional cross-coupling methods. This Perspective provides an overview of the recent development of nickel-catalysed asymmetric cross-electrophile coupling reactions. Both stereoconvergent and stereospecific examples are considered and mechanistic details are highlighted.

    • Erika L. Lucas
    •  & Elizabeth R. Jarvo
  • Research Highlight |

    Microbial communities beneath Antarctic subglacial lakes play an important role in biogeochemical cycling, and might mitigate enhanced global warming during ice sheet retreat.

    • Sinéad Lyster
  • Review Article |

    The active template approach to interlocked molecules uses metal ions to both pre-organize reaction components and catalyse the final covalent bond formation that captures the interlocked structure. This Review looks at the history of the method, its application in the synthesis of ever more complex interlocked molecules and future directions.

    • Mathieu Denis
    •  & Stephen M. Goldup
  • Review Article |

    Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is a physical phenomenon first discovered in 1974. SERS has since been exploited for bioanalysis because of its high sensitivity and multiplexing capabilities. This Review describes the progress made and problems faced with respect to using in vivo SERS in humans.

    • Stacey Laing
    • , Lauren E. Jamieson
    • , Karen Faulds
    •  & Duncan Graham
  • Review Article |

    Polymeric nanomaterials have a rich history of applications in the selective delivery of small-molecule drugs to their biological targets. This Review discusses the evolution of drug delivery using such polymers and explores how these approaches have evolved in parallel with the ability to prepare ever more architecturally complex macromolecular structures.

    • Ashok Kakkar
    • , Giovanni Traverso
    • , Omid C. Farokhzad
    • , Ralph Weissleder
    •  & Robert Langer
  • Perspective |

    Bis(β-diketiminato)dimagnesium(I) complexes are low-valent reagents that can each deliver two electrons in a selective and stoichiometric manner. Easily handled and dissolved, these species effect reduction of many inorganic and unsaturated organic substrates. This Perspective covers the development of magnesium(I) dimers and the scope of their reactivity.

    • Cameron Jones
  • Review Article |

    An untargeted mass spectrometry analysis of a biological sample will detect both biological molecules and compounds that are derived from, for example, diet and the environment. This Review examines the design of such experiments, how to process and interpret the vast amount of data that are produced, and how far we are from being able to use mass spectrometry to inventory the world around us.

    • Alexander A. Aksenov
    • , Ricardo da Silva
    • , Rob Knight
    • , Norberto P. Lopes
    •  & Pieter C. Dorrestein
  • Perspective |

    Covalent organic frameworks (COFs) have potential applications in, for example, gas storage and separation. The pore sizes in these materials are tunable by selection of the building blocks, and materials with multiple pore sizes are desirable. This Perspective considers synthetic approaches to 2D COFs that rely on tessellation to prepare such multiporous materials.

    • Yinghua Jin
    • , Yiming Hu
    •  & Wei Zhang
  • Review Article |

    Transition metal catalysis is well established as an enabling tool in synthetic organic chemistry. Photoredox catalysis has recently emerged as a method to effect reactions that occur through single-electron-transfer pathways. Here we review the combination of the two to show how this provides access to highly reactive oxidation states of transition metals and distinct activation modes that further enable the synthetic chemist.

    • Jack Twilton
    • , Chi (Chip) Le
    • , Patricia Zhang
    • , Megan H. Shaw
    • , Ryan W. Evans
    •  & David W. C. MacMillan
  • Comment |

    For long-duration space exploration to be successful, it is essential that chemistry research in space — which has been neglected to date — is intensified. The results of this research is also likely to be of benefit to those at home on Earth.

    • Richard Jones
    • , Ferenc Darvas
    •  & Csaba Janáky