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#5
March 2000
David Bradley Science Writer and
Advanced Chemistry Development are proud to present the fifth issue of Reactive Reports, a new web-based Chemistry Magazine.
Reactive Reports from David Bradley Science Writer and Advanced Chemistry Development

   
The molecule behind a Biblical plague?  A simple natural molecule 2-methoxyphenol, also known as guaiacol could be a factor in the voracious swarming of locusts, which have devastated crops since before even Biblical plagues.

   
Marine bacteria can bubblewrap iron A unique molecule that self-assembles in the presence of iron allows two different groups of marine bacteria to scavenge the iron they need to survive direct from their watery surroundings very effectively, according to US scientists.

   
Native antibiotic   A compound found in a Native American herbal remedy could hold the key to overcoming antibiotic resistance. 5'-Methoxyhydnocarpin (5'-MHC) extracted from the leaves of the barberry plant (traditionally used to treat infections, skin problems and stomach complaints) can work alongside antibiotics to deactivate even 'superbug' strains of Golden Staph - the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This dreaded bacterium causes thousands of hospital deaths every year through inadvertent infection.

   
Doing it like plants Branched polymers that carry light-trapping molecules like so many tiny leaves, could provide a clue to mimicking the process of photosynthesis in green plants, according to US research. Jean Fréchet and his team at the University of California at Berkeley, have developed a new class of hyperbranched polymer that bears an array of porphyrin units.

   
Chemophobia revisited The chemical industry is under constant attack for allegedly producing compounds bad for our health. Now, there is some good news from the Yale Cancer Center (New Haven, CT). Researchers there, in work funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety, have found there to be no link between breast cancer risk and the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and the organochloride compound DDE, two of the groups of compounds.
 
Web Distillates

   SAGE III

   Introduction to Surface Chemistry

   Classic Organic Reactions

Periodic Features

Dr Rainer Koch, Matthias Lemmler:
"Nomenclature: The Next Generation"
The growing influence of electronic media in the field of chemistry has inevitably led to an increase in the importance of consistent naming of chemical structures. Last year witnessed some significant progress in the development of software for the purpose of naming. Two new programs were introduced: AutoNom 4.0, the latest version of Beilstein Informations systeme, which is well known on the German market; and Name Pro 4.0 from ACD/Labs (Advanced Chemistry Development, Toronto, Canada). What possibilities and improvements do these competitors have to offer, and what does the end user stand to gain?
(from: Journal of the German Chemical Society - read full article in English or in German)

Mr Kit Swinfen, UK Association for Science Education
"The Need for Early Nomenclature Standards in the High School Science Laboratory"
At the recent IUPAC Strategy Round Table at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (10-11 March, 2000) to discuss representations of Molecular Structure, Nomenclature and its alternatives, this speech was presented. Mr Kit Swinfen is a member of the UK Association for Science Foundation (kitswinfen@tesco.net). I believe this speech, while highly amusing and enjoyable, carries the spirit of an issue which I personally believe to be of great importance - the value of including early nomenclature standards into the secondary school system agenda as soon as possible. I believe this view should be seriously considered by North American school systems also.
- Antony Williams, ACD/Labs

Pick a Star

Reactive Reports Star Pick  
This month's issue sees the launch of the Star Pick Awards. We will be singling out chemistry sites of particular merit and featuring them on the front-page of Reactive Reports each month. To qualify sites must be high quality and there must be plenty of content. Winners will receive a flashy graphic to proudly display on their site and to link in directly to Reactive Reports. All chemistry webmasters are free to enter their site themselves and readers are also invited to nominate their choices. Please use the form to submit a site for Star Picks. Good luck.

Our first winners: