Artistic representation of a fluxional carbon cage structure.

Read our May issue

This month we have a Review on using single-molecule junctions for chemical analysis, a Thesis article on the importance of visual thinking in chemistry, and an In Your Element article on luciferins.


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

    The 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and K. Barry Sharpless for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry. In recognition of this award, Nature Portfolio presents a collection of research, review and opinion articles that focus on the origins, the development and the future directions inspired by the topic.

  • Two molecules reacting together to form a new bond, as shown by a lightning bolt, with bubbles of hydrogen being released

    Hydrogen atom transfer (HAT) is a key process for the functionalization of C(sp3)-H bonds, enabling the synthesis of complex molecules from hydrocarbon chemical feedstocks. This Focus highlights innovations in technology, catalysis and methodology which seek to overcome challenges in the 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.


  • Generating aptamers for use as affinity reagents in analytical applications is important, but SELEX, the standard method for aptamer generation, is unable to select for pre-defined binding affinities. Now, by combining efficient particle display, high-performance microfluidic sorting and high-content bioinformatics, the method ‘Pro-SELEX’ can afford the quantitative generation of aptamers with programmable binding affinities.

    • Dingran Chang
    • Zongjie Wang
    • Shana O. Kelley
  • The ortho-substituted phenyl ring is a basic structural element in chemistry. Now, 2-oxabicyclo[2.1.1]hexanes have been developed as saturated bioisosteres of the ortho-substituted phenyl ring with improved physicochemical properties. Replacement of the phenyl ring with 2-oxabicyclo[2.1.1]hexanes in marketed agrochemicals fluxapyroxad and boscalid improved water solubility, reduced lipophilicity and retained bioactivity.

    • Aleksandr Denisenko
    • Pavel Garbuz
    • Pavel K. Mykhailiuk
    ArticleOpen Access
  • The use of main-group elements in radical cross-coupling reactions has been little explored. Now, a low-valency bismuth complex has been shown to emulate the behaviour of first-row transition metals and undergo single-electron-transfer oxidative addition to redox-active electrophiles, leading to the development of a bismuth-catalysed C–N coupling reaction between amines and carboxylic acids.

    • Mauro Mato
    • Davide Spinnato
    • Josep Cornella
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Trihydrogen cations are abundant in interstellar space and play a vital role in both star and organic molecule formation. Now it has been shown that D3+ cations can be directly produced through photoionization of molecular D2–D2 dimers.

    • Yonghao Mi
    • Enliang Wang
    • André Staudte
  • Supramolecular structures are typically formed by the one-step self-assembly of building blocks. Now, a greater level of control has been achieved using stepwise non-covalent reactions under kinetic control. Two-dimensional block supramolecular polymers with tailored compositions and sequences were synthesized, and a site selectivity that is reminiscent of regioselectivity in covalent synthesis was observed.

    • Norihiko Sasaki
    • Jun Kikkawa
    • Kazunori Sugiyasu
  • Ribosomal incorporation of non-α-amino acid monomers into proteins is largely restricted to in vitro translation. Now, pyrrolysyl-transfer RNA synthetase variants have been shown to acylate tRNAs with α-thio acids, malonic acids, and N-formyl amino acids. This work represents a key step towards the programmed ribosomal synthesis of sequence-defined non-protein polymers in cellulo.

    • Riley Fricke
    • Cameron V. Swenson
    • Alanna Schepartz
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Rajeev K. Dubey and Frank Würthner discuss the colourful character of perylene bisimides and the impact of aggregation on their functional properties.

    • Rajeev K. Dubey
    • Frank Würthner
    In Your Element
  • Getting started at a new institution and building a research programme can be an exciting period, but there is much to do in a short space of time. Shira Joudan reflects on her first month as an assistant professor, discussing the stresses of setting up a new lab and how it’s easier with a little help from your (new) friends.

    • Shira Joudan
  • Organisms that glow are perhaps eerie. Vadim Viviani ponders on the luciferin–luciferase systems responsible for their intriguing bioluminescence.

    • Vadim R. Viviani
    In Your Element
  • Bifurcating the population as either verbal or visual thinkers is one of the simplest ways to classify intelligence. Bruce Gibb argues that visual thinking is key to chemistry, and that teaching and testing must focus on this type of thinking rather than traditional approaches promoting verbal thinking skills.

    • Bruce C. Gibb
  • Jane Liao and Allie C. Obermeyer explore the discovery, modification and applications of green fluorescent protein, best known for its use as a tool to cast light on cellular processes.

    • Jane Liao
    • Allie C. Obermeyer
    In Your Element
  • Does the pursuit of scientific research based on a well-defined technological outcome hamper our ability to be creative? And does it limit opportunities to explore and develop fundamental areas of science that may ultimately lead to applications we hadn’t even thought of yet?

    • Ksenija D. Glusac
    • Radomir N. Saicic

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