“Gay bomb” research facility urges caution about “love hormone”

The laboratory facility that long ago won honors for doing research and development on the so-called “gay bomb” is casting a skeptical eye at widespread claims about oxytocin, a substance some people call “the love hormone”. The Neuroskeptic blog reports: A new study offers two reasons to be cautious about some of the claims made for the role of […]

Surface tension, obsessive-compulsively

Ian Hopkinson talks about the need to attend obsessively, compulsively to detail when measuring surface tension: Langmuir trough experiments are ideal for obsessive-compulsives: before you start your actual experiment you have to get the surface of the liquid you’re using absolutely clean. To do this you clean your trough, add in the ultrapure water, compress the […]

Moronic acid

Yes, there is a moronic acid: “Moronic acid, a simple triterpenoid keto acid with antimicrobial activity isolated from Ozoroa mucronata,” M. Hostettmann-Kaldas and K. Nakanishi, Planta medica 37.12 (1979): 358-60. Unwhimsically, it is not unstructured. The structure looks more or less like this: (Thanks to investigator Deborah Blum for bringing this substance to our attention.) […]

Some say strychnine

Chemistry Blog muses about names: (4aR,5aS,8aR,8a1S,15aS)-4a1,5,5a,7,8,8a1,15,15a-octahydro-2H-4,6-methanoindolo[3,2,1-ij]oxepino[2,3,4-de]pyrrolo[2,3-h]quinolin-14(4aH)-one. Imagine if Agatha Christie had to write that every time she had to mention the poison used in the murder, or if Hitchcock’s leading man had to vocalise it in the courtroom. Well they’d never get the book or the film down to a manageable size. It’s much easier […]

The Clever Lab’s Catalytic Coordination Chemistry

Few would say that the construction of multiple nano-engineered cavities for the immobilization of catalytically active transition metals was a non-trivial task. We are talking clever technology here. And appropriately perhaps, such is the domain of Junior Professor Dr. Guido Clever (of the Inorganic Chemistry Dept., Göttingen University, Germany) who has his own laboratory at the […]