The structure of a planar π-extended paracyclophenylene.

Cycloparaphenylenes go flat out

The formation of a planar π-extended paracyclophenylenes has been achieved through a bottom-up on-surface synthesis approach. 


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    The 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Benjamin List and David MacMillan for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis. 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.

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  • Synthetic chemical networks with far-from-equilibrium dynamics akin to genetic regulatory networks in living cells could precisely regulate the kinetics of chemical synthesis or self-assembly. Now standardized excitable chemical regulatory elements, termed genelets, that enable predictive bottom-up construction of in vitro networks with designed temporal and multistable behaviour have been developed.

    • Samuel W. Schaffter
    • Kuan-Lin Chen
    • Rebecca Schulman
  • Most proteins must fold co-translationally on the ribosome to adopt biologically active conformations, yet structural, mechanistic descriptions are lacking. Using 19F NMR spectroscopy to study a nascent multi-domain protein has now enabled the identification of two co-translational folding intermediates that are significantly more stable than intermediates formed off the ribosome, suggesting that the ribosome may thermodynamically regulate folding.

    • Sammy H. S. Chan
    • Tomasz Włodarski
    • John Christodoulou
    Article Open Access
  • Although neutral and anionic low-valent aluminium complexes are widespread, their cationic counterparts have remained rare. Now, a salt of [Al(AlCp*)3]+ featuring a formal low-valent Al+ cation has been isolated that dimerizes in concentrated solutions and the solid state, and also forms Al4 clusters on coordinating with Lewis bases.

    • Philipp Dabringhaus
    • Julie Willrett
    • Ingo Krossing
  • The majority of methods to prepare β-amino acid derivatives require metal-mediated multistep manipulations of pre-functionalized substrates. Now, a metal-free, energy-transfer enabled, highly regioselective aminocarboxylation reaction has been developed, for the single-step installation of both amine and ester functionalities into alkenes or (hetero)arenes. An oxime oxalate ester is used as a bifunctional reagent, supplying C-centred ester and N-centred iminyl radicals.

    • Guangying Tan
    • Mowpriya Das
    • Frank Glorius
  • Intermolecular Coulombic decay (ICD) is a process whereby a photoexcited molecule relaxes while ionizing a neighbouring molecule. ICD is efficient when intermolecular interactions are active and consequently it is usually observed in weakly bound systems. Now, an efficient ICD is shown to occur even between unbound pyridine molecules excited at ambient-light intensities.

    • Saroj Barik
    • Saurav Dutta
    • G. Aravind
  • Burkholderia pseudomallei is a species of bacteria that poses a global health threat and, more generally, bacteria of the Burkholderia pseudomallei group cause severe diseases that are recalcitrant to treatment with antibiotics. Now, it has been shown how these infamous pathogens repurpose the widespread enzyme BurG to produce a reactive cyclopropanol head group found in the virulence-promoting malleicyprol toxins. Interrupting the synthesis of the cyclopropanol warhead is a potential route for developing antivirulence treatments.

    • Felix Trottmann
    • Keishi Ishida
    • Christian Hertweck
    Article Open Access
    • Malleicyprols are highly reactive polyketides responsible for virulence in some pathogenic bacteria. Now, the enzyme that constructs the cyclopropanol warhead of malleicyprols has been identified. This enzyme could represent a useful target for developing new antivirulence therapeutics.

      • Elijah Abraham
      • Rebecca A. Butcher
      News & Views
    • How electric fields generated by enzyme active sites push and pull on substrates is important to their chemistry, but measuring them is difficult. Now, the electric field within an active site has been measured along two directions using a vibrational probe, revealing that the field effect in enzymes is different compared with that in bulk solvents.

      • Anuj Pennathur
      • Jahan Dawlaty
      News & Views
    • The rational synthesis of advanced porous materials that mimic the behaviours of biological proteins remains challenging. Now, a distinct type of crystalline porous peptide framework has been prepared through bioinspired noncovalent assembly, enabling chemical tuning of the properties and functions of the pore environments.

      • Jinqiao Dong
      • Dan Zhao
      News & Views
    • N-heterocycles are valuable motifs in pharmaceuticals and materials, but divergent synthetic strategies are lacking. Now, bifunctional sulfilimines have been shown to form nitrogen-centred radicals under photocatalytic conditions, and subsequent coupling with olefins enables the synthesis of diverse N-heterocycles.

      • Prabagar Baskaran
      • Wei Li
      News & Views
    • Droplet interface bilayers (DIBs) are a type of artificial bilayer that can act as cell membrane mimics. This Perspective surveys how DIBs can be used to mimic key cellular features (such as bilayer asymmetry) and processes (such as drug movement), and discusses challenges that need to be overcome to enable DIBs to reach their full potential as biomimetic model membranes.

      • Elanna B. Stephenson
      • Jaime L. Korner
      • Katherine S. Elvira
  • Bruce Gibb suggests that chemists can play a central role in democratizing access to energy by focusing on common elements.

    • Bruce C. Gibb
  • Tova N. Williams explores the history of madder, its components and the perhaps confusing terminology that surrounds this long-known source of red colour.

    • Tova N. Williams
    In Your Element
  • Choline 2-hexenoate is an ionic compound that is a liquid at room temperature, and is just one of a class of compounds that have huge potential in biomedical research and clinical applications, explains Eden E. L. Tanner.

    • Eden E. L. Tanner
    In Your Element
  • Michelle Francl explores how glass revolutionized chemistry.

    • Michelle Francl
  • The tris(2,2′-bipyridine)ruthenium(II) cation, or ‘rubipy’ to its friends, has had a significant influence on our understanding of the photophysics of transition metal complexes, and has also helped revolutionize organic photochemistry, explains Daniela M. Arias-Rotondo.

    • Daniela M. Arias-Rotondo
    In Your Element
  • In early 2020, Shira Joudan was in the final stages of her PhD when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Despite the challenging circumstances, she graduated, found a postdoc position and will begin her independent academic career in early 2023.

    • Shira Joudan

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