5. Do Research at the libraryDespite what I’d like to think, Google can’t find me every detail on every topic. Depending on what I’m researching, I often go to the public library. Many libraries maintain subscriptions to databases that cost quite a bit to access, but they also have plenty of offline information. I make a habit of chatting to one of the librarians about what I’m working on. They can often point me to references that I might not have thought of or show me connections between my topic and another that I never would have found searching for keywords on the web.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Alexander Trofimov, Natalia Chernyak, Vladimir Gevorgyan (2008). Dual Role of Alkynyl Halides in One-Step Synthesis of Alkynyl Epoxides Journal of the American Chemical Society, 130 (41), 13538-13539 DOI: 10.1021/ja806178r
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
The textbooks all say that hydronium ion is a strong acid, and the alkyl analog should also be very reactive. However, oxatriquinane turns out to be quite stable. One might think that it should be a powerful electrophile and react with even weak nucleophiles like water, but when boiled in water for 72 hours there was still no sign of decomposition.
Another thing I found rather satisfying is that all the chemistry used to prepare this compound is routine for a sophomore organic chemistry class. It starts with treating cyclonona-1,4,7-triene with MCPBA to form an epoxide. The epoxide is opened by reacting with LiAlH4 ( a nucleophilic hydride ion) . Reacting the resulting alcohol with iodine (I2) leads to an intramolecular halohydrin reaction. The iodine is removed with Raney Nickel. Finally, the compound is treated with HBr which protonates the remaining alkene. The oxygen bonds to the resulting carbocation to give the bromide salt of oxatriquinane.
Mark Mascal, Nema Hafezi, Nabin K Meher, James C Fettinger(2008) Oxatriquinane and Oxatriquinacene: Extraordinary Oxonium Ions J. Am. Chem. Soc., 130(41), 13532-13533. DOI: 10.1021/ja805686u
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
But exercise is not just for stress relief. There are several studies out there which imply that exercise can make you THINK better, too. And this paper goes one step further, and implicates exercise in helping young animals recover from brain cancer.