Artistic impression of a biomolecular condensate for which a quarter of its surface is drawn up at a higher resolution to depict the texture of the droplet's transition to a state or aggregation

Read our July issue

This month, the issue focuses on phase separation, including an editorial and a Q&A on the progress and future of the field, along with a mix of articles and an In Your Element on pink medicines.

Announcements

  • 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.

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  • A class of cationic—amidine-based degradable—lipids can now be readily synthesized through a tandem multi-component amine–thiol–acrylate conjugation reaction. Mechanistic studies provided key insights, from which the observed lead lipid enabled mRNA delivery to multiple organs, highlighting the potential for developing mRNA vaccines and therapeutics to treat various diseases.

    • Xuexiang Han
    • Mohamad-Gabriel Alameh
    • Michael J. Mitchell
    Article
  • Expanded use of earth-abundant chromophores for excited-state chemistry requires the ability to increase the energy content of excited states while simultaneously lengthening their lifetimes. It has now been shown that this goal can be achieved in Co(III)-based chromophores by virtue of their photophysical dynamics occurring in the Marcus inverted region.

    • Atanu Ghosh
    • Jonathan T. Yarranton
    • James K. McCusker
    Article
  • Living anionic polymerization generally requires stringent conditions and one metal initiator per polymer chain. Now it has been shown that a weakly acidic compound serves as the initiator or chain-transfer agent in the presence of a potassium base catalyst to produce a polymer chain through a proton transfer anionic polymerization mechanism.

    • Mineto Uchiyama
    • Natsumi Ohira
    • Masami Kamigaito
    Article
  • Unlike homo-dihalogenation, selective hetero-dihalogenation reactions are underdeveloped. Now an oxidative alkene hetero-dihalogenation reaction adds chloride and fluoride ions over unactivated alkenes with high regio-, chemo- and diastereoselectivity. A switch in the mechanism triggers a reversal of the diastereoselectivity to promote either anti- or syn-addition.

    • Sayad Doobary
    • Andrew J. D. Lacey
    • Alastair J. J. Lennox
    ArticleOpen Access
  • The oxidative addition of the H–H bond to a single main-group centre in a metallomimetic fashion and its further use in catalysis is challenging. Now the oxidative addition of the H–H bond to a single phosphorus centre is shown and used for the catalytic hydrogenation of unsaturated compounds.

    • Deependra Bawari
    • Donia Toami
    • Roman Dobrovetsky
    Article
  • The characterization of surface ligands around nanoparticles is challenging and often limited to static studies. Now, the structure of the ligand shell around gold nanoparticles, and at the ligand–gold interface, has been investigated by transmission electron microscopy in a liquid environment by using high-quality graphene liquid cells.

    • Adrián Pedrazo-Tardajos
    • Nathalie Claes
    • Sara Bals
    Article
    • The electrochemical double layer dictates how many energy conversion and storage technologies operate, but such interfacial systems are challenging to examine. Now, Schreier and colleagues have developed a way to correlate variations in the electrochemical double layer with audible frequency changes to afford real-time ‘audiolization’ of molecular movements.

      • Adam Weingarten
      News & Views
    • Compounds containing metal–metal bonds can provide fresh insights into electronic structure and bonding, and their synthesis can open up new chemical space. A sandwich complex containing a lithium–aluminium bond has now delivered some food for thought in this arena.

      • David P. Mills
      News & Views
    • Carbenes are reactive intermediates that undergo many useful transformations yet are typically accessed via functionalized precursors and often require additives. Now, shelf-stable alkynes have been used to generate metal-free carbenes in an additive- and by-product-free method that rapidly affords diverse heterocyclic frameworks.

      • Khushal Siddiq
      • Christopher R. Jones
      News & Views
    • The Be–Be bond has long represented a ‘missing link’ between the H–H bond of dihydrogen and the B–B bond of diborane(4) species. Now, a complex with a polarized Be–Be bond that acts as a source of the beryllyl anion is reported. This work also reveals similarities between the homo-elemental linkages of boron and beryllium.

      Research Briefing
    • 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
  • In this issue we feature several articles that explore advances in the study of phase separation. They highlight some recently reported mechanistic features and progress in the methodology used to study it within cells, and they delve into the implications that phase separation has for select cellular functions.

    Editorial
  • A. Ken Inge pores over the history and applications of bismuth subsalicylate, from dispelling digestive distress to breaching bacterial biodefences.

    • A. Ken Inge
    In Your Element
  • 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
    Thesis
  • 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

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