I am the Blogroll, Cu Cu Ca CHoO

Here’s a reproduction of my recent Blogroll article which appears in this month’s issue of Nature Chemistry.

Bloggers combine chemistry and the arts for striking results.

‘Creative’ may not be the first adjective that comes to mind when describing chemists. Despite comparisons one might make between chemical synthesis and the ‘dark arts’, the stereotype of a chemist is that of a methodical, analytical thinker rather than a creative and artistic one. Several chemistry bloggers are helping to dispel this myth, however, by sharing their science in the form of photographs, digital art or poetry.

Kristof Hegedüs blogs at Pictures from an Organic Chemistry Laboratory, where each day he shares a photograph of something from his lab. Subjects range from crystals, to experimental set-ups and interesting reagents. Each post is accompanied by a short description to explain what is shown in the picture. Nevertheless, the focus is primarily on the photography, with the simple aesthetics of laboratory glassware a recurring theme.

A recent post from the Picture it… Chemistry blog featured the opium poppy Papaver somniferum, popularly known for its psychoactive alkaloids. The blog post begins on a surreal note, with a picture of a poppy growing out of an Allihn condenser used to demonstrate a laboratory extraction of opioids. The post concludes with discussion of total syntheses of morphine and codeine, incorporating some classics of synthetic chemistry such as the Diels–Alder reaction and reductive amination.

Finally, to transition from pictures back to words, Mark Lorch at Chemistry Blog recently hosted a number of limerick poems written by Nicholas Dawson. With topics ranging from Viagra to the vulcanization of rubber to phlogiston theory, it was a refreshing and whimsical way to rediscover some of the milestones of chemical history.

As an addendum to this post, I’d like to mention two more blogs with great creative representations of chemistry. I was frustrated that I discover both of these blogs LITERALLY in the one or two days after the submission deadline for the Nature Chemistry article. The first is Compound Interest which has featured a series of infographics on the elements, and is now expanding into molecules. The second is James Kennedy, whose infographics on the chemicals in food, have been an absolute hit on the internet, and even made it to the mainstream media. The chemistry blogosphere is a wonderful place to be!

New Sister Journal to Nature Chemistry

Nature Publishing Group today announced that it was launching a new journal in 2014 to keep up with current trends in chemical sciences. The journal, to be known as Nature Buzzchem, will be launched later this month. I’ve obtained an advance copy of the cover and table of contents.


Nature Buzzchem

February 2014, Volume 1, Issue 1 pp1-124













Feel like having your teeny tiny mind blown? Start reading. This won’t take long.

O. Verhiped Akademik



8 weird nitrogen atoms that will make you question everything

This is what a silicon microparticle anode can do for your high energy lithium ion battery

Roses are red, violets are blue, growing nanoparticles, non-stoichiometrically in situ

You won’t believe this interstellar hydroxyl reaction with methanol

10 reasons sp3 defects brighten carbon nanotube photoluminescence

Is it just me or does this thiamine-utilising ribozyme decarboxylate pyruvate-like substrates?

14 reasons you wish you were a computational nanobiozeptophotochemist

The 6 almost-chemistry sexy subdisciplines people hate the most

The anti-Markovnikov reductive functionalization reaction you’ve always wanted

Bad day in the lab? 5 high yield, facile, sterocontrolled, metal-catalysed cycloadditions you really should try

The most powerful cloud-based simulation of ligand modulation activation pathways you will see today

How a little diversity-oriented synthesis can help change macrocyclic scaffolds forever

I’m starting to think about PET imaging and broadly applicable [18F]trifluoromethylation of aryl idodides makes a lot of sense

9 surprising facts you didn’t know about β-Carbon activation through N-heterocyclic carbene organocatalysis




*This is a joke. Apologies to NPG, Nature Chemistry and the authors of the original papers.