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Chemetix
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[*] posted on 15-2-2018 at 13:45
Click chemistry


I was fortunate to attend a lecture by the redoubtable and renowned chemist Barry Sharpless recently. His comment about the untold millions of chemical reactions that can potentially occur yet only a handful of them can be used as real workhorses was something obvious but it resonated. 'A few good reactions is all I need' he said.

His more recent chemical love is the azo-acetylene reaction, because it reacts so completely and irreversably, that he was able to use it as part of a drug therapy study to modify acetylcholine esterase in femtomolar amounts.

My jaw hung for a second too!

This was the first chemical pairing he played with that has such powerful affinity, and is one that a bit of amateur chemistry might make some inroads with as a synthetic tool.

The Copper mediated Azo-Acetylene reaction. This reaction is so close to100% efficient and bullet proof it can be an amateurs dream reaction to work with. It just goes "click"! Hence the catchy title he coined. Sharpless also insists that all good chemistry occurs at the water interface, so aqueous phases is where we should be looking to do good chemistry.

I thought this might serve as a bit of a spring-board for new ideas.



[Edited on 15-2-2018 by Chemetix]
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ELRIC
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[*] posted on 15-2-2018 at 14:05


I had never heard of this guy till now. He seems like an impressive fellow. You wouldn’t happen to have any links to any pod casts with him in it would you?

Maybe the lecture has an audio file. It sounds interesting

[Edited on 15-2-2018 by ELRIC]
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[*] posted on 15-2-2018 at 14:24


"renouned" should be "renowned"

Basically he's saying we know jack shit, and he's right.

There is so much more to Work On and Find Out.

Sadly the most privileged portion of the human race has rapidly descended into a virtual-only existence, with Reality existing on a screen of some kind (interactive if they are lucky).

Reality is still there, just waiting to be discovered.

Many times i wish to be back in the 1700s when people communicated less and discovered more by Doing.

On the other hand, there is much more Known now, and far fewer people Doing anything, so maybe this is a better time to do stuff.

Much easier to Shine when there is absolutely no competition.




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ELRIC
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[*] posted on 15-2-2018 at 14:58


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
"renouned" should be "renowned"

Basically he's saying we know jack shit, and he's right.

There is so much more to Work On and Find Out.

Sadly the most privileged portion of the human race has rapidly descended into a virtual-only existence, with Reality existing on a screen of some kind (interactive if they are lucky).

Reality is still there, just waiting to be discovered.

Many times i wish to be back in the 1700s when people communicated less and discovered more by Doing.

On the other hand, there is much more Known now, and far fewer people Doing anything, so maybe this is a better time to do stuff.

Much easier to Shine when there is absolutely no competition.


I hear you. But I can’t DO anything for a while, as my house burned down about a year ago and I lost all my gear. I’ve been living in a motel ever since. The only thing I get to do is hit the text books and get on SM. An “armchair chemist”, if you will
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Chemetix
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[*] posted on 15-2-2018 at 15:14


umm edited out the typo...thanks.

The Sharpless name is attached to quite a few reaction names, his epoxidation reaction is where I heard his name first.
I do have an audio file of the lecture but the one thing about the Professor is that he communicates in stream of consciousness style and can be hard to follow. I'll try turning into a downloadable file.

In the meantime I shall don my ruff, codpiece and tights and get on with less communicating and more doing....

That's not sarcasm....I mean it!
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[*] posted on 15-2-2018 at 15:16


Quote: Originally posted by Chemetix  
umm edited out the typo...thanks.

The Sharpless name is attached to quite a few reaction names, his epoxidation reaction is where I heard his name first.
I do have an audio file of the lecture but the one thing about the Professor is that he communicates in stream of consciousness style and can be hard to follow. I'll try turning into a downloadable file.

In the meantime I shall don my ruff, codpiece and tights and get on with less communicating and more doing....

That's not sarcasm....I mean it!

That would be very much appreciated ;)
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[*] posted on 15-2-2018 at 19:41


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
Many times i wish to be back in the 1700s when people communicated less and discovered more by Doing.

I read "Doing" as "Dying" on my first read of this comment. I guess both are true. But there's less to learn now, and most of the easy stuff has already been discovered. Most of the discoveries being made these days are in the field of microelectronics and computer science, so it makes a certain amount of sense to focus our attention in that direction.

For some reason, articles I read about how fast technology is made obsolete, always villainize smartphones. This is so pants-on-head stupid that I never even know how to respond. It's like people all somehow forgot about all the electronics that smartphones have replaced. I mean, do they even sell clock radios anymore?

To stay on topic, I'd love to have a lab, but cannot afford one right now. However, I did get a job interview for a company that facilitates the production of online courses. I'm really quite excited at the prospect of working there. But that means I have to brush up on my coding skills.

[Edited on 2/16/18 by Melgar]




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[*] posted on 16-2-2018 at 06:56


I wouldn't defend any armchair science against aga. He didn't ramble about his strange ideas for quite some time now, but I guess he couldn't bear it anymore and cracked.

I'm pretty sure aga wouldn't even know two compounds could form a third if he were living in the 1700s.
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[*] posted on 16-2-2018 at 07:30



Quote:

Sharpless also insists that all good chemistry occurs at the water interface, so aqueous phases is where we should be looking to do good chemistry. 


I know solution chemistry, specifically WATER born and mediated reactions are the 900 pound gorilla in this room, plus nearly all of the elephant parts identified by the 3 blind men so far.

BUT:

You need to consider a few other areas. Look at Chertier, Tessier and some others before the German dye industry (and the profits to be had there) shaped so much of what most are familiar with as chemistry today.

Lots of worthwhile things to do and learn where water is not. (Yes, I'm just as predisposed towards high energy/flame born reactions as some are towards aqueous- What you do, you know).

You liked Iron? Kind of sucked to just look for it native, would have been hard to make suffficient for the industrial revolution with wet chemistry... How about synthetic diamond as an accessible engineering material, is THAT going to be worthwhile?

Just saying.

[Edited on 16-2-2018 by Bert]
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[*] posted on 16-2-2018 at 14:41


"You liked Iron? Kind of sucked to just look for it native, would have been hard to make suffficient for the industrial revolution with wet chemistry... How about synthetic diamond as an accessible engineering material, is THAT going to be worthwhile?

Just saying."

I hear ya, a blast furnace or a tailing dam is not the realm of the synthetic chemist, that needs to be put in perspective. And yet the treatment of slag heaps and mining waste with modern leaching chemistry is becoming an avenue of research again. i.e https://publications.csiro.au/rpr/pub?pid=csiro:EP134690
aqueous is where it's at. Chironex's work with hydrothermal processes has remained interesting, there's bound to be more to be discovered with this technology too. Ultra hi temp and pressures with water and carbon could just be a way of doing large scale diamond plating- not beyond the realms of reality there....

Food for thought, it's not often you get to hear a Nobel laureate talk about their passion and it's rare to dismiss their views as less than insightful.
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[*] posted on 16-2-2018 at 15:08


Water! So handy when the chemist lives in an environment where it is usually liquid.

I'm quite fond of water for many reactions, some of my best friends are solution chemists, heck, I admit to being about 80% water myself.

It was the words "All GOOD chemistry occurs at the water interface" that set me off. Trigger words!

Damn liquid fascist!

He COULD have said something like "although some of my best friends are involved in socially useful work advancing the formerly repressed and exploited fields of solid state, gaseous or plasma state chemistry out of the ghetto and into the main stream of science, I believe that chemistry accomplished at the water interface is going to be the field producing the most interesting discoveries and development of significant new chemical processes, as it has for many years".

And he could have added when safely among his own sect: "Because God clearly likes water better than all the others, he made it first". It's OK. We are happy that your generation at least acts socially progressive in public, regardless of the prejudices infused into you in your early years. Someday, your grandchildren will find it quite odd that anyone would ever have been so parochial and prejudiced as to discount out of hand the importance of the other 3 states of matter comprising most of the known universe!

Baby steps. It's all progress-

















(that was NOT a serious post, m'K?)
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[*] posted on 8-10-2022 at 18:06


Quote: Originally posted by Chemetix  
I was fortunate to attend a lecture by the redoubtable and renowned chemist Barry Sharpless recently. His comment about the untold millions of chemical reactions that can potentially occur yet only a handful of them can be used as real workhorses was something obvious but it resonated. 'A few good reactions is all I need' he said.

His more recent chemical love is the azo-acetylene reaction, because it reacts so completely and irreversably, that he was able to use it as part of a drug therapy study to modify acetylcholine esterase in femtomolar amounts.

My jaw hung for a second too!

This was the first chemical pairing he played with that has such powerful affinity, and is one that a bit of amateur chemistry might make some inroads with as a synthetic tool.

The Copper mediated Azo-Acetylene reaction. This reaction is so close to100% efficient and bullet proof it can be an amateurs dream reaction to work with. It just goes "click"! Hence the catchy title he coined. Sharpless also insists that all good chemistry occurs at the water interface, so aqueous phases is where we should be looking to do good chemistry.

I thought this might serve as a bit of a spring-board for new ideas.



[Edited on 15-2-2018 by Chemetix]


Barry Sharpless and crew just won the Nobel Prize for their work on click chemistry, and while I'm far from an expert, it seems deserved. Their results on ultra-selective and high-yielding reactions were absolutely amazing.

Also, it's Sharpless' second Nobel Prize, which I suppose puts him in league with Frederick Sanger.

Anyway, a cool bit of chemistry news.

Although I can understand why some like Bert are inclined to favor high-energy chemistry (which is indeed very cool).

I guess it's kind of the chemistry equivalent of a watchmaker versus an ironworker - both building and trimming molecules, but very different ways of going about it.
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[*] posted on 9-10-2022 at 10:12


A helpful review I've seen going around:

Attachment: Angew Chem Int Ed - 2001 - Kolb - Click Chemistry Diverse Chemical Function from a Few Good Reactions.pdf (471kB)
This file has been downloaded 144 times



Barry Sharpless had a close call when an overpressurized NMR tube exploded, driving shards of glass into his face, blinding him in one eye:

Quote:


The pain was terrific, but my fear was even greater: I had been warned that when my eyes were uncovered there was a small chance I might blind in both eyes due to "sympathetic ophthalmia." Because eyes are walled off from the rest of the body in utero, eye protein driven into the blood stream can raise an immune response that leads to the "killing" of the uninjured eye. My disappointment at having no functional vision in my injured eye was, needless to say, surpassed by my joy at retaining full vision in my good eye.

The lesson to be learned from my experience is straightforward: there's simply never an adequate excuse for not wearing safety glasses in the laboratory at all times.



https://news.mit.edu/1992/safety-0311




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