A supramolecular weave

An organic building block self-assembles into threads, which in turn form an extended triaxial woven structure.

Latest Research

  • Article |

    The anthraquinone and enediyne halves of the antitumor antibiotic dynemicin A were previously thought to be assembled by two separate polyketide synthases (PKS). Now, a single polyketide synthase has been proposed to be responsible for their production, and a working model for their biosynthesis from a common octaketide intermediate has been suggested.

    • Douglas R. Cohen
    •  & Craig A. Townsend
  • Article |

    Water oxidation is key to the production of chemical fuels from electricity. Now, guided by theory, NiCoFeP oxyhydroxide catalysts have been developed that require an overpotential lower than that required by IrO2. In situ soft X-ray absorption studies of neutral-pH NiCoFeP catalysts indicate formation of Ni4+, which is favourable for water oxidation.

    • Xueli Zheng
    • , Bo Zhang
    • , Phil De Luna
    • , Yufeng Liang
    • , Riccardo Comin
    • , Oleksandr Voznyy
    • , Lili Han
    • , F. Pelayo García de Arquer
    • , Min Liu
    • , Cao Thang Dinh
    • , Tom Regier
    • , James J. Dynes
    • , Sisi He
    • , Huolin L. Xin
    • , Huisheng Peng
    • , David Prendergast
    • , Xiwen Du
    •  & Edward H. Sargent
  • Article |

    Nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) produce vital natural products but have proven recalcitrant to biosynthetic engineering. Now, a combination of yeast surface display and fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) has been used to reprogram an L-Phe-incorporating module for β-Phe. The resulting module is highly selective and functions efficiently in NRPS pathways.

    • David L. Niquille
    • , Douglas A. Hansen
    • , Takahiro Mori
    • , David Fercher
    • , Hajo Kries
    •  & Donald Hilvert
  • Article |

    Tau aggregation is associated with Alzheimer's disease and dozens of related dementias. Now atomic structures of the aggregation-prone segment VQIINK in repeat 2 of tau have been reported. Inhibitors designed using these structures block seeding by full-length tau better than inhibitors that target the VQIVYK aggregation segment in repeat 3.

    • P. M. Seidler
    • , D. R. Boyer
    • , J. A. Rodriguez
    • , M. R. Sawaya
    • , D. Cascio
    • , K. Murray
    • , T. Gonen
    •  & D. S. Eisenberg
  • Article |

    Within natural product biosynthetic pathways, nature has evolved highly selective catalysts capable of complexity generating reactions. Leveraging these tools, a suite of catalysts with complementary site- and stereoselectivity have been applied to the oxidative dearomatization of phenolic compounds, enabling one-pot transformations of phenols into various natural products.

    • Summer A. Baker Dockrey
    • , April L. Lukowski
    • , Marc R. Becker
    •  & Alison R. H. Narayan
  • Article |

    Primer exchange reaction (PER) cascades have now been used to grow nascent single-stranded DNA with user-specified sequences following prescribed reaction pathways. PER synthesis occurs in a programmable, autonomous, in situ and environmentally responsive fashion, providing a platform for engineering molecular circuits and devices with a wide range of sensing, monitoring, recording, signal processing and actuation capabilities.

    • Jocelyn Y. Kishi
    • , Thomas E. Schaus
    • , Nikhil Gopalkrishnan
    • , Feng Xuan
    •  & Peng Yin

News & Comment

  • News and Views |

    Building materials with clusters instead of atoms promises unconventional properties, but those 'superatomic solids' are often too fragile to manipulate. Now, intercalating a guest within an ionic layered solid made of fullerenes and metal chalcogenide clusters greatly alters its conductivity and optical properties without disrupting its crystalline structure.

    • Shiv N. Khanna
    •  & Arthur C. Reber
  • In Your Element |

    Named after a mysterious place, thulium — one of the rarest rare earths — has some exotic chemistry in store for us, says Polly Arnold.

    • Polly Arnold
  • News and Views |

    The use of mechanical force to break and build chemical bonds in polymers can enable transformations that cannot be conducted using stimuli such as light and heat. Now, an insulating polymer has been mechanically unzipped to create a semiconducting polymer with extended regions of conjugation.

    • Stephen L. Craig
  • News and Views |

    Non-covalent interactions can organize planar molecules into two-dimensional arrays. It has now been shown that such arrays can be combined at the solid–liquid interface into bilayered heterostructures.

    • Manfred Buck
  • Thesis |

    We all appreciate how chemical knowledge has advanced over the years, but Bruce C. Gibb reminds us that chemical culture has similarly made great advances.

    • Bruce C. Gibb
  • News and Views |

    Both the topology and the mechanical strength of woven materials have inspired great synthetic efforts to replicate their structures at the nanoscale. Now, a triaxial weave has been prepared by self-assembly of a judiciously designed organic molecule through π–π and CH–π interactions.

    • Yi Liu

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