Researchers visualize novel catalyst at work

A novel catalysis scheme enables chemical reactions that were previously virtually impossible. A method developed at the University of Bonn is also environmentally friendly and does not require rare and precious metals.

Advances in producing the anti-HIV compound Lancilactone C

In a study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, researchers appear to have discovered a way to produce a true structure of the rare but naturally-occurring anti-HIV compound Lancilactone C from start ...

A demonstration of substituent effects in anti-aromatic compounds

Circularly conjugated compounds with 4n+2 pi-electrons are known as aromatic compounds. They are generally stable and are found in our surroundings. Conversely, anti-aromatic compounds with 4n pi-electrons have been conventionally ...

Researchers identify new method to reverse effects of fentanyl

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 100,000 Americans die each year from an overdose, most due to the use of synthetic opiates like fentanyl. While naloxone, currently the only an antidote for opiate overdose, has ...

Underground symbiosis counters drought

When the going gets tough, we all need a helping hand, and trees are no different. Researchers in the Plant Sciences Department at the Weizmann Institute of Science have discovered that in drought conditions, cypresses get ...

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Organic chemistry

Organic chemistry is a discipline within chemistry which involves the scientific study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation (by synthesis or by other means) of chemical compounds that contain carbon. These compounds may contain any number of other elements, including hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, the halogens as well as phosphorus, silicon and sulfur.

The original definition of "organic" chemistry came from the misconception that organic compounds were always related to life processes. However, organic molecules can be produced by processes not involving life. Life as we know it also depends on inorganic chemistry. For example, many enzymes rely on transition metals such as iron and copper; and materials such as shells, teeth and bones are part organic, part inorganic in composition. Apart from elemental carbon, only certain classes of carbon compounds (such as oxides, carbonates, and carbides) are conventionally considered inorganic. Biochemistry deals mainly with the natural chemistry of biomolecules such as proteins, nucleic acids, and sugars.

Because of their unique properties, multi-carbon compounds exhibit extremely large variety and the range of application of organic compounds is enormous. They form the basis of, or are important constituents of many products (paints, plastics, food, explosives, drugs, petrochemicals, to name but a few) and (apart from a very few exceptions) they form the basis of all earthly life processes.

The different shapes and chemical reactivities of organic molecules provide an astonishing variety of functions, like those of enzyme catalysts in biochemical reactions of live systems.

Current (as of 2008) trends in organic chemistry include chiral synthesis, green chemistry, microwave chemistry, fullerenes and microwave spectroscopy.

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