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Archive for the ‘chemistry’ category

May 26, 2022

New calculations of solar spectrum resolve decade-long controversy about the sun’s chemical composition

Posted by in categories: chemistry, cosmology, mapping, physics

What do you do when a tried-and-true method for determining the sun’s chemical composition appears to be at odds with an innovative, precise technique for mapping the sun’s inner structure? That was the situation facing astronomers studying the sun—until new calculations that have now been published by Ekaterina Magg, Maria Bergemann and colleagues, and that resolve the apparent contradiction.

The decade-long solar abundance crisis is the conflict between the internal structure of the sun as determined from solar oscillations (helioseismology) and the structure derived from the fundamental theory of stellar evolution, which in turn relies on measurements of the present-day sun’s . The new calculations of the physics of the sun’s atmosphere yield updated results for abundances of different chemical elements, which resolve the conflict. Notably, the sun contains more oxygen, silicon and neon than previously thought. The methods employed also promise considerably more accurate estimates of the chemical compositions of stars in general.

May 25, 2022

Cannabidiol as the Substrate in Acid-Catalyzed Intramolecular Cyclization

Posted by in categories: chemistry, innovation

Circa 2020 Lewis acids such as in some candies can active thc in cannibidiol making a room temperature thc activation. Which has been unheard of until now leading to a breakthrough in thc activation at lower temperatures even room temperature through a lewis acid catalyst.


The chemical reactivity of cannabidiol is based on its ability to undergo intramolecular cyclization driven by the addition of a phenolic group to one of its two double bonds. The main products of this cyclization are Δ9-THC (trans-Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and Δ8-THC (trans-Δ-8-tetrahydrocannabinol). These two cannabinoids are isomers, and the first one is a frequently investigated psychoactive compound and pharmaceutical agent. The isomers Δ8-iso-THC (trans-Δ-8-iso-tetrahydrocannabinol) and Δ4-iso-THC (trans-Δ-4,8-iso-tetrahydrocannabinol) have been identified as additional products of intramolecular cyclization. The use of Lewis and protic acids in different solvents has been studied to investigate the possible modulation of the reactivity of CBD (cannabidiol). The complete NMR spectroscopic characterizations of the four isomers are reported. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis and 1 H NMR spectra of the reaction mixture were used to assess the percentage ratio of the compounds formed.

Recent years have seen a dramatically increasing interest in phytocannabinoids. Isolated from Cannabis in 1940,1,2 cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most abundant phytocannabinoids in the species of Cannabis for textile uses.3,4 Despite the structural similarity between CBD and Δ9-THC (trans-Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) (Figure Figure1 1), CBD has a low agonistic effect for cannabinoid receptors; in particular, it is considered an allosteric negative modulator of CB1 and CB2 receptors (cannabinoid receptor types 1 and 2).5,6 Current evidence shows that CBD exerts pharmacological effects via specific molecular targets such as adenosine, glycine, opioid, serotonin, nonendocannabinoid G protein-coupled, nicotinic acetylcholine, and proliferator-activated receptors.7 Moreover, CBD shows anticonvulsant, antispasmodic, anxiolytic, antinausea, antirheumatoid arthritis, and neuroprotective properties.

Continue reading “Cannabidiol as the Substrate in Acid-Catalyzed Intramolecular Cyclization” »

May 24, 2022

Musical molecules: A new language for chemistry

Posted by in categories: chemistry, media & arts

Music has long been the language of love. Recent research suggests it could have many applications as the language of chemistry, too.

May 24, 2022

NASA’s Psyche Spacecraft Arrives at Kennedy Space Center

Posted by in categories: alien life, chemistry, evolution

For the past fifty years of space exploration, mass spectrometry has provided unique chemical and physical insights on the characteristics of other planetary bodies in the Solar System. A variety of mass spectrometer types, including magnetic sector, quadrupole, time-of-flight, and ion trap, have and will continue to deepen our understanding of the formation and evolution of exploration targets like the surfaces and atmospheres of planets and their moons. An important impetus for the continuing exploration of Mars, Europa, Enceladus, Titan, and Venus involves assessing the habitability of solar system bodies and, ultimately, the search for life—a monumental effort that can be advanced by mass spectrometry. Modern flight-capable mass spectrometers, in combination with various sample processing, separation, and ionization techniques enable sensitive detection of chemical biosignatures.

May 24, 2022

Planetary Mass Spectrometry for Agnostic Life Detection in the Solar System

Posted by in categories: alien life, chemistry, evolution

Circa 2021


For the past fifty years of space exploration, mass spectrometry has provided unique chemical and physical insights on the characteristics of other planetary bodies in the Solar System. A variety of mass spectrometer types, including magnetic sector, quadrupole, time-of-flight, and ion trap, have and will continue to deepen our understanding of the formation and evolution of exploration targets like the surfaces and atmospheres of planets and their moons. An important impetus for the continuing exploration of Mars, Europa, Enceladus, Titan, and Venus involves assessing the habitability of solar system bodies and, ultimately, the search for life—a monumental effort that can be advanced by mass spectrometry. Modern flight-capable mass spectrometers, in combination with various sample processing, separation, and ionization techniques enable sensitive detection of chemical biosignatures. While our canonical knowledge of biosignatures is rooted in Terran-based examples, agnostic approaches in astrobiology can cast a wider net, to search for signs of life that may not be based on Terran-like biochemistry. Here, we delve into the search for extraterrestrial chemical and morphological biosignatures and examine several possible approaches to agnostic life detection using mass spectrometry. We discuss how future missions can help ensure that our search strategies are inclusive of unfamiliar life forms.

Biosignatures are the tantalizing chemical and physical imprints associated with life, and the possibility that life exists elsewhere beyond Earth drives us to search for these biosignatures on other planets and moons. The enterprise of space exploration, galvanized by the question of “Are we alone in the Universe?”, demands a stronger understanding of the diversity of biosignatures that life could express, thereby driving payload instruments on board astrobiology missions to offer broader and more advanced detection capabilities. In tandem with cutting-edge instrument platforms, research in data processing and data analysis on Earth-based (Terran) astrobiology analogs and on extraterrestrial materials also serves to increase the breadth of interpretations possible with mission data.

Continue reading “Planetary Mass Spectrometry for Agnostic Life Detection in the Solar System” »

May 23, 2022

Sea corals are source of sought-after ‘anti-cancer’ compound

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, health

The bottom of the ocean is full of mysteries but scientists have recently uncovered one of its best-kept secrets. For 25 years, drug hunters have been searching for the source of a natural chemical that had shown promise in initial studies for treating cancer. Now, researchers at University of Utah Health report that easy-to-find soft corals—flexible corals that resemble underwater plants—make the elusive compound.

Identifying the source allowed the researchers to go a step further and find the animal’s DNA code for synthesizing the chemical. By following those instructions, they were able to carry out the first steps of re-creating the soft coral chemical in the laboratory.

“This is the first time we have been able to do this with any drug lead on Earth,” says Eric Schmidt, Ph.D., professor of medicinal chemistry at U of U Health. He led the study with Paul Scesa, Ph.D., postdoctoral scientist and first author, and Zhenjian Lin, Ph.D., assistant research professor.

May 23, 2022

Mechanism of gene mutations linked to autism, Alzheimer’s found by TAU

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, genetics, neuroscience

A mechanism that causes autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and other conditions and is shared by mutations in the genes ADNP and SHANK3 has been unraveled by Tel Aviv University researchers who developed an experimental drug they found to be effective in animal models.

The drug could also be suitable for treating a range of rare syndromes that impair brain functions, said the scientists. The researchers were led by Prof. Illana Gozes from the Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Sagol School of Neuroscience. The experimental drug, called Davunetide, had previously been developed in her lab.

The paper, which the team called a “scientific breakthrough,” was published in the scientific journal Molecular Psychiatry under the title “SH3-and actin-binding domains connect ADNP and SHANK3, revealing a fundamental shared mechanism underlying autism.”

May 22, 2022

On-Surface Synthesis of Rigid Benzenoid- and Nonbenzenoid-Coupled Porphyrin–Graphene Nanoribbon Hybrids

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nanotechnology

On-surface synthesis made the fabrication of extended, atomically precise π-conjugated nanostructures on solid supports possible, with graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) and porphyrin-derived oligomers standing out. To date, examples combining these two prominent material classes are scarce, even though the chemically versatile porphyrins and the atomistic details of the nanographene spacers promise an easy tunability of structural and functional properties of the resulting hybrid structures. Here, we report the on-surface synthesis of extended benzenoid-and nonbenzenoid-coupled porphyrin–graphene nanoribbon hybrids by sequential Ullmann-type and cyclodehydrogenation reactions of a tailored Zn(II) 5,15-bis(5-bromo-1-naphthyl)porphyrin (Por(BrNaph)2) precursor on Au(111) and Ag(111).

May 21, 2022

Programmable heating and quenching for efficient thermochemical synthesis

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy

By using a programmable electric current to allow rapid pulsed heating and quenching, a non-equilibrium, continuous synthesis technique shows improved performance in thermochemical reactions, as well as lower energy costs.

May 19, 2022

NASA Reveals Early Plans to Send Two Astronauts to Surface of Mars

Posted by in categories: chemistry, habitats, space travel

During a high-level talk on NASA’s objectives for human space exploration, we got an early glimpse of what a 30 day crewed mission to the surface of Mars could eventually look like.

It’s an exciting prospect that, while many years if not decades away, shows the agency’s commitment to fulfilling humanity’s dreams of setting foot on the Red Planet for the first time in history.

NASA director of space architectures Kurt “Spuds” Vogel outlined what such a mission could entail. The agency is envisioning a habitat spacecraft to make the months long journey there, which uses a hybrid rocket stage that combines chemical and electric propulsion.

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