Artistic rendering of intermolecular Coulombic decay occurring between unbound pyridine molecules taken from the cover of the October issue.

Intermolecular Coulombic decay knows no bounds

Efficient intermolecular Coulombic decay between unbound pyridine molecules excited at ambient-light intensities.


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    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.

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  • Automated systems, nowadays more commonly used in laboratory settings, are typically fixed to a narrow set of reactions and used within a complex laboratory environment. Now, a portable platform has been developed for the on-demand and on-site multistep synthesis of organic molecules, oligonucleotides and oligopeptides mapped into reactionware systems.

    • J. Sebastián Manzano
    • Wenduan Hou
    • Leroy Cronin
  • Protein–RNA interactions regulate RNA fate and function, and are generally non-covalent and reversible. Genetically introducing a latent bioreactive amino acid into a protein is now shown to enable the protein to covalently crosslink a bound RNA molecule in vivo. This method offers innovative avenues for developing protein–RNA research and applications.

    • Wei Sun
    • Nanxi Wang
    • Lei Wang
  • Tigilanol tiglate is a therapeutic lead for the treatment of a broad range of cancers. Now, it has been shown that tigilanol tiglate can be synthesized in a time and step economical fashion from phorbol—its naturally abundant biosynthetic precursor. This synthesis provides rapid access to analogues with unprecedented protein kinase C binding activity.

    • Paul A. Wender
    • Zachary O. Gentry
    • Edward Njoo
  • Intersystem crossing in reaction entrance channels usually arises from ‘heavy-atom’ effects. Now molecular-beam experiments show that even without heavy atoms, the O(3P) + pyridine reaction leads to spin-forbidden pyrrole + CO products. Theoretical calculations reveal efficient intersystem crossing before the entrance barrier for O-atom addition to the N-atom lone pair, which dominates reactivity at low to moderate temperatures.

    • Pedro Recio
    • Silvia Alessandrini
    • Vincenzo Barone
  • General synthetic methods to access pleuromutilin antibiotics are limited due to their complex carbocyclic skeleton. Now, a synthetic platform has been developed to access structurally diverse pleuromutilins with variations at the quaternary C12 position and hydrindanone cores. Seventeen structurally distinct derivatives were prepared and evaluated against a panel of Gram-positive and -negative bacteria.

    • Olivia Goethe
    • Mikaela DiBello
    • Seth B. Herzon
  • Alkyl and aryl polycyanurate networks have now been prepared through polymerization of diols and substituted triazines via a dynamic SNAr reaction. When treated with excess mono alcohol or phenol, the polycyanurate networks can be depolymerized into the starting monomers, which can be separated and reused, thus achieving closed-loop recycling.

    • Zepeng Lei
    • Hongxuan Chen
    • Wei Zhang
    • Noyori-type catalysts and inorganic bases are frequently used together for homogeneous hydrogenation, but key intermediates have not yet been isolated. Now, the structure and reactivity of a long-postulated intermediate — the alkali metal amidate complex — have been reported through experimental and computational studies.

      • Pavel A. Dub
      News & Views
    • Aqueous organic redox flow batteries are promising for low-cost and large-scale energy storage, but the redox-active molecules they rely on degrade prematurely. Now, a facile electrochemical protocol to regenerate them has been proposed, resulting in extended battery lifetimes.

      • Antoni Forner-Cuenca
      News & Views
    • Quantitatively studying the partitioning of biomolecules and reaction equilibria in cellular systems is an enormous challenge. Now, a multiphase coacervate model system provides insight into this complex biological problem, illustrating how coexisting phases influence RNA partitioning and duplex dissociation.

      • Shuqi Wu
      • Liangfei Tian
      News & Views
    • Amines with free N–H groups have long posed a tremendous challenge in transition metal-catalysed amination reactions. Now, use of a bidentate phosphorus ligand enables the palladium-catalysed oxidative amination of simple olefins with Lewis basic amines, with no prefunctionalization, forming both alkyl and aryl allylamines.

      • Logan E. Vine
      • Jennifer M. Schomaker
      News & Views
    • The application of machine learning to big data, to make quantitative predictions about reaction outcomes, has been fraught with failure. This is because so many chemical-reaction data are not fit for purpose, but predictions would be less error-prone if synthetic chemists changed their reaction design and reporting practices.

      • Jacqueline M. Cole
      News & Views
  • Decisions, decisions. There’s a lot to think about when moving on from a postdoctoral position and Shira Joudan takes us through the considerations that led to her ultimately taking a tenure-track position in a new city.

    • Shira Joudan
  • Madison Knapp and Jennifer Bridwell-Rabb explore the functions of chlorophyll and explain how our understanding of this green pigment has changed over time.

    • Madison Knapp
    • Jennifer Bridwell-Rabb
    In Your Element
  • Lukas Veth and Paweł Dydio discuss the importance of ligands in transition metal catalysis, looking at the success story of xantphos and why it should earn the title of ‘privileged ligand’.

    • Lukas Veth
    • Paweł Dydio
    In Your Element
  • 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

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