artistic impression of a polyethylene molecule within a zeolite pore

Read our June issue

This month, a Thesis that introduces some key concepts in environmental chemistry, a Review on antibody–drug conjugates, and an In Your Element on the use of Cas9 in genome editing and beyond.


  • A Nobel medal in the foreground with some beakers and flasks in the background.

    The 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus and Alexei I. Ekimov for the discovery and synthesis of quantum dots. In recognition of this award, Nature Portfolio presents a collection of research, review and opinion articles that highlight the development of quantum dots over the past three decades.

  • A lab with robotic arms carrying out experiments

    The combination of techniques such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics and automation can be used to accelerate chemical and materials synthesis. This Focus issue showcases developments in the automation and digitalization of synthesis, as well as highlights the challenges to be overcome in this area.

  • A petrochemical refinery located at the edge of a body of water illuminates the surroundings with its many bright lights at night

    Nature Chemical Engineering is open for submissions. The journal will cover a broad range of systems and scales that significantly advance fundamental research, aid product and process development and explore new technological solutions, all in the context of core chemical engineering approaches. It will publish research, reviews and opinion articles.

Nature Chemistry is a Transformative Journal; authors can publish using the traditional publishing route OR via immediate gold Open Access.

Our Open Access option complies with funder and institutional requirements.


  • Organic photoredox catalysts enable diverse chemical transformations, but predicting their activity is challenging due to complex properties. Now, a two-step data-driven approach is introduced for targeted organic photoredox catalysts synthesis and reaction optimization. Using Bayesian optimization, promising catalysts can be efficiently identified, yielding competitive results with iridium catalysts.

    • Xiaobo Li
    • Yu Che
    • Andrew I. Cooper
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Standard DNA is limited by low information density and functional diversity. Now it has been shown that an expanded genetic alphabet—incorporating a synthetic nucleotide, dZ—allows for the creation of stable three-dimensional DNA structures under mild alkaline conditions. Such stable structures enrich our understanding of DNA’s structural diversity and its potential in synthetic biology applications.

    • Bang Wang
    • James R. Rocca
    • Steven A. Benner
    ArticleOpen Access
  • In the original Maxwell’s demon thought experiment, a potential gradient of particles between two neighbouring compartments is created without the apparent use of work. Now a functional example of this experiment where material is pumped over centimetres has been reported—o-fluoroazobenzene is transported unidirectionally under light stimulation between two arms of a U-tube across an aqueous layer containing coordination cages.

    • Jiratheep Pruchyathamkorn
    • Bao-Nguyen T. Nguyen
    • Jonathan R. Nitschke
    ArticleOpen Access
  • The presence of halogens in halogenated organic pollutants has negative impacts on the environment; however, they serve as valuable sources for halogenation reactions. Now it has been shown that transfer chlorination reactions enable the repurposing of halogenated organic pollutants for the synthesis of chlorides and bromides.

    • Heng Liu
    • Ding-Wei Ji
    • Qing-An Chen
  • Deciphering the sulfation and sialylation codes of ganglioside glycans is impeded by the limited accessibility of well-defined structures. Now, an integrated chemoenzymatic strategy has been developed for efficient synthesis of a comprehensive 65-membered ganglioside glycan library, enabling an extensive exploration into their structure–function relationships using glycan microarray technology.

    • Zhuojia Xu
    • Yating Liu
    • Tiehai Li
  • Chemical probes that selectively react with histidine could afford functional insight for those located in vital protein regions, but the moderate nucleophilicity of histidine and interference from other residues pose challenges. A singlet oxygen and chemical probe relay labelling approach demonstrates high selectivity, enabling comprehensive histidine profiling and providing crucial functional insights.

    • Yansheng Zhai
    • Xinyu Zhang
    • Gang Li
    • The optimization of chemical reactions can be laborious, particularly in the case of complex, multicomponent catalytic cycles. Now, it is shown that Bayesian optimization methods, underpinned by explainable computational physical models, can guide chemists to discover efficient organic molecular metallophotocatalyst formulations, avoiding the use of precious metals such as iridium.

      Research Briefing
    • Posttranslational modifications alter the structure and function of proteins. Now, genetic code expansion enables encoding of ε-N-succinyllysine and ε-N-glutaryllysine residues to decipher the effects of these modifications on enzymatic activity, protein–protein interactions and protein–DNA interactions.

      • Daniela Danková
      • Christian A. Olsen
      News & Views
    • Ethylene feedstocks must be ultrapure for plastics production, but metal-based catalysts used for acetylene removal are limited by cost, scarcity and durability. Now, electrochemical studies demonstrate that 2-thiolimidazole exceeds the efficiency of traditional metal-based catalysts with remarkable selectivity and conversion rates.

      • Quanbin Dai
      • Liming Dai
      News & Views
    • State-of-the-art plastic deconstruction technologies typically require noble metals, consume hydrogen gas, and generate waste methane. Now it has been shown that earth-abundant layered self-pillared zeolite catalysts selectively convert polyethylene to high-octane products without requiring molecular hydrogen.

      • Chris Torres
      • Julie E. Rorrer
      News & Views
  • In molecular biology, few molecules have had as profound an impact as Cas9. Madeleine King, Kayla Perry, Mitchell McAndrew and Audrone Lapinaite discuss how this multifunctional molecular tool of genetic engineering is revolutionizing multiple fields.

    • Madeleine B. King
    • Kayla N. Perry
    • Audrone Lapinaite
    In Your Element
  • Environmental contamination is in the news more than ever. Shira Joudan introduces key concepts to talk about what happens to chemicals in the environment and what chemists should consider in their day-to-day lives, both at work and at home.

    • Shira Joudan
  • John Steele and Stephen Wallace discuss recent advances in the chemical and biotechnological synthesis of the prolific platform chemical adipic acid.

    • John F. C. Steele
    • Stephen Wallace
    In Your Element
  • Excited by the prospect of future missions to the Jupiter system, Bruce Gibb explores the chemistry of Jupiter’s moons and wonders whether there could be life on Europa.

    • Bruce C. Gibb
  • Serotonin is known by many names — in science as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) or enteramine, and in popular culture as the ‘feel good’ chemical or the ‘happy hormone’. Cameron Movassaghi and Anne Andrews discuss the knowns and unknowns of this well-studied yet elusive neurotransmitter.

    • Cameron S. Movassaghi
    • Anne Milasincic Andrews
    In Your Element
  • Becoming an assistant professor brings with it several challenges, one of which is developing new relationships that can be professionally and personally beneficial. Shira Joudan reflects on getting to know people at a new institution, having different types of relationships, and how they help with happiness and success.

    • Shira Joudan

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