Six Slinn Picks – chemical news

  • Water molecules characterize the structure of DNA genetic material – Water molecules surround the genetic material DNA in a very specific way.
  • Lignin cut down to size by nickel catalyst – A nickel-based homogeneous catalyst that breaks down lignin – the tough polymer that forms plant cell walls – into useful building blocks suitable for chemicals, including green fuels, has been developed by US scientists.
  • Pnicogens link up as new bond is discovered – German researchers have discovered a chemical oddity – a new type of intramolecular interaction between group 15 atoms, which is as strong as a hydrogen bond. These interactions could be used to build supramolecular structures.
  • Teaching an Old Drug New Tricks – Biotech companies hope to turn the practice of finding novel uses for existing compounds into big business.
  • New class of cancer drugs could work in colon cancers with genetic mutation, U-M study finds – A class of drugs that shows promise in breast and ovarian cancers with BRCA gene mutations could potentially benefit colorectal cancer patients with a different genetic mutation, a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center finds.
  • Drugs boost antibiotic function – The rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, along with the slowed rate of new antibiotic development, has prompted researchers to look for alternative therapies to fight disease-causing pathogens. New research, published ahead-of-print in Nature Chemical Biology, provides evidence that combining antibiotics with marketed drug compounds could be one answer, uncovering previously unknown antibacterial functions of drugs that boost the effectiveness of antibiotics.

Chemist and writer Robert Slinn picks six of the best for his regular web column on Reactive Reports – Slinn Pickings.