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Science of Synthesis 4.13 - New update! (March 2019) 

New volume available: Photocatalysis in Organic Synthesis, edited by B. König

This volume introduces the key basic concepts of photophysics and describes typical laboratory set-ups for photoredox catalysis. 

Knowledge Update:

  • Among the highlights is the major update by A. Gagnon et al. on the synthesis and application of bismuth compounds, an area which has seen much growth in recent years. 
  • Also of interest are the updates on carbamic acids and esters by J. Podlech, on tetraheterosubstituted methanes with a carbon-halogen bond by R. Zimmer et al. and on various alkenylsulfur compounds by R. Kawecki, as well as on oxetanes and oxetan-3-ones by R. A. Croft and J. A. Bull.

Read more about the latest update here (pdf).

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They harnessed the power of evolution

The power of evolution is revealed through the diversity of life. The 2018 Nobel Laureates in Chemistry have taken control of evolution and used it for purposes that bring the greatest benefit to humankind. Enzymes produced through directed evolution are used to manufacture everything from biofuels to pharmaceuticals. Antibodies evolved using a method called phage display can combat autoimmune diseases and in some cases cure metastatic cancer.

Enzyme Evolution

One half of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded to Frances H. Arnold. In 1993, she conducted the first directed evolution of enzymes, which are proteins that catalyse chemical reactions. Since then, she has refined the methods that are now routinely used to develop new catalysts. The uses of Frances Arnold’s enzymes include more environmentally friendly manufacturing of chemical substances, such as pharmaceuticals, and the production of renewable fuels for a greener transport sector.

Phage Display

The other half of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry is shared by George P. Smith and Sir Gregory P. Winter. In 1985, George Smith developed an elegant method known as phage display, where a bacteriophage – a virus that infects bacteria – can be used to evolve new proteins. ... 

Antibody Evolution

The other half of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry is shared by George P. Smith and Sir Gregory P. Winter.  ... Gregory Winter used phage display for the directed evolution of antibodies, with the aim of producing new pharmaceuticals. The first one based on this method, adalimumab, was approved in 2002 and is used for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel diseases. Since then, phage display has produced anti-bodies that can neutralise toxins, counteract autoimmune diseases and cure metastatic cancer.

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Sabine Lanteri
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