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  • Informatics approaches play an increasingly important role in accelerating the advances of modern materials science. A recent study reports the development of predictive machine learning models to guide the de novo design of through-space charge transfer polymers with full-colour-tunable emission.

    • Xiaolin Liu
    • Chunlei Zhu
    • Ben Zhong Tang
    News & Views
  • The interactions of lipid bilayer cell membranes with liquid biomolecular condensates are key to many biological processes, including endocytosis. New research shows a model system of liposomes that are able to engulf droplets, effectively mimicking endocytosis.

    • Jianhui Liu
    • Ben Zhong Tang
    News & Views
  • Twenty five years ago, Christopher Lipinski and colleagues published arguably the most influential sentence in small-molecule drug discovery. Their cleverly crafted ‘rule of 5’ (Ro5) mnemonic was adopted into everyday medicinal chemistry practice and has influenced a generation of small-molecule drug discovery scientists. Five times five years later, we consider the impact of the Ro5 and ask to what extent it should still guide today’s medicinal chemistry efforts.

    • Ingo V. Hartung
    • Bayard R. Huck
    • Alejandro Crespo
    News & Views
  • In 1997, Kneipp et al. and Nie and Emory independently reported the first examples of single-molecule detection using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). These seminal works sparked a surge of interest in SERS, while introducing a new question: how can it be conclusively proven that just one molecule is being probed?

    • Gregory Q. Wallace
    • Duncan Graham
    News & Views
  • Electrochemical deuteration of unactivated alkyl halides provides a general, efficient and sustainable method to prepare deuterium-labelled alkanes.

    • Chuan-Kun Ran
    • Da-Gang Yu
    News & Views
  • Ten years ago, the engineering of a small luciferase called NanoLuc broke through a common limitation of bioluminescence. Currently the brightest known bioluminescent protein, NanoLuc’s activity has been used across a huge application range — enabling measurements in single cells and in whole living organisms.

    • Takeharu Nagai
    • Mitsuru Hattori
    News & Views
  • The rational design of a novel fluorinated ethereal solvent shows a promising direction towards compact and lightweight batteries.

    • Rekha Narayan
    • Robert Dominko
    News & Views
  • The application of computational tools in the study of natural products continues its inexorable rise. A recent report describing an asymmetric total synthesis of resveratrol oligomers provides an example in which computation played an integral role.

    • Jungmin Eun
    • Timothy R. Newhouse
    News & Views
  • In two seminal papers published 25 years ago, Phillips and Remington reported the structure of the green fluorescent protein (GFP). These studies provided a blueprint for the rational engineering of GFP, catalysing efforts that produced a large and growing collection of fluorescent proteins and indicators of cellular activity.

    • Jihwan Lee
    • François St-Pierre
    News & Views
  • The seminal paper by Yves Chauvin and Jean-Louis Hérisson on the mechanism of alkene metathesis is elegant, simple and insightful. Published more than 50 years ago, it deserves appreciation and admiration even today.

    • Catherine S. J. Cazin
    News & Views
  • Recent findings on the skeletal rearrangement of polycyclic aromatics under oxidative and acidic conditions are envisioned to help development of these Scholl reactions into a more useful and versatile method for synthesizing polycyclic aromatics on the basis of rational design rather than luck.

    • Qian Miao
    News & Views
  • Molecular decoders are single host matrices able to differentiate analytes by their distinct structural accommodations. Ten years ago, Susumu Kitagawa and co-workers described the prototypical molecular decoder and paved the way for molecular sensing. We now revisit this seminal study and discuss some of the advances that have followed.

    • Soumya Mukherjee
    • Sujit K. Ghosh
    News & Views
  • The early 1980s witnessed the report of a molecular ruthenium complex active for dehydrogenation of alcohols and hydrogenation of carbonyl compounds. The ligand used represented a new paradigm that influences homogeneous catalysis to this day.

    • Rosie J. Somerville
    News & Views
  • Finding the best approximation to the exact functional of electron density is the central challenge of density functional theory (DFT). In 2005, Zhao, Schultz and Truhlar paved the way to the development of approximate DFT functionals that can offer universally accurate treatment of different chemical systems and properties.

    • Katarzyna Pernal
    • Michał Hapka
    News & Views
  • In a reaction discovered 50 years ago, a disarmingly simple iron catalyst was shown to couple alkenyl halides to alkyl Grignard reagents. This finding led to a proliferation of catalytic methodologies that today are an indispensable part of our synthetic toolkit.

    • Peter G. N. Neate
    • Michael L. Neidig
    News & Views
  • A landmark vibrational study from 15 years ago established much of what we know about hydrogenase mechanisms

    • Sven T. Stripp
    News & Views