Browse Articles

  • Perspective |

    Reviewing the applications of a solvent would ordinarily be an unusual thing to do, but the unique properties of hexafluoroisopropanol and its applications across a huge swathe of chemistry make that both a viable and interesting undertaking.

    • Ignacio Colomer
    • , Anna E. R. Chamberlain
    • , Maxwell B. Haughey
    •  & Timothy J. Donohoe
  • Perspective |

    Blue energy can be cleanly and renewably harvested from a salinity gradient. The large-scale viability of this non-intermittent source is restricted by certain challenges, including the inefficiency of present harvesting technologies. This Perspective describes how nanofluidics can afford membranes better able to convert chemical potentials to electrical potentials.

    • Alessandro Siria
    • , Marie-Laure Bocquet
    •  & Lydéric Bocquet
  • Editorial |

    Nature Reviews Chemistry welcomes your proposals for review articles. In this editorial, we provide some details on what makes a good proposal.

  • Review Article |

    Mechanical forces can be used as an alternative source of energy to increase chemical reactivity. This Review reports on the latest single-molecule measurements and how they have improved the current understanding of single-bond mechanochemistry.

    • Sergi Garcia-Manyes
    •  & Amy E. M. Beedle
  • Perspective |

    Redox reactions related to renewable energy challenges can be mediated by molecular electrocatalysts. Intelligent design of these catalysts calls for systematic catalyst benchmarking. This Perspective presents examples of analysing catalytic Tafel plots, noting through-structure and through-space effects on the performance and mechanism. This approach is preferred to oversimplifications inherent in using volcano plots.

    • Cyrille Costentin
    •  & Jean-Michel Savéant
  • In the Classroom |

    Undergraduate practical classes that include more real science are to the benefit of students, teachers and society more broadly.

    • Andrea Sella
  • Review Article |

    Owing to their programmable ability to cut specific nucleic acid sequences, CRISPR–Cas systems have been used for precise genome engineering. In this Review, the authors discuss the chemistry and molecular mechanisms of interference by single-effector CRISPR–Cas proteins.

    • Janice S. Chen
    •  & Jennifer A. Doudna
  • Review Article |

    This Review considers cascade reactions initiated by single electron transfer. Open-shell intermediates are highly reactive but undergo reactions with high selectivity. They are thus ideal intermediates in cascade reactions that generate complex, high-value products from simple starting materials

    • Mateusz P. Plesniak
    • , Huan-Ming Huang
    •  & David J. Procter
  • Review Article |

    Aptamers are nucleic acid molecules that can be evolved to bind to specific molecular targets and have found applications in technologies such as sensors and actuators. This Review provides a critical analysis of the first 25 years of aptamer research.

    • Matthew R. Dunn
    • , Randi M. Jimenez
    •  & John C. Chaput
  • Perspective |

    The unusual electronic characteristics of boron atoms lead boron clusters to adopt a wide variety of structural arrangements, most of which are 2D. This Perspective discusses the possibility of expanding the range of boron-based 2D structures by metal doping, as well as the use of the resulting clusters for conceptualizing metalloborophenes.

    • Wan-Lu Li
    • , Xin Chen
    • , Tian Jian
    • , Teng-Teng Chen
    • , Jun Li
    •  & Lai-Sheng Wang
  • 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