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News Stories from the Department of ChemistryRSS

Hottest Articles in Journal of Magnetic ResonanceHottest Articles in Journal of Magnetic Resonance

Work by Hannah Hogben in collaboration with Ilya Kuprov and colleagues in the Oxford e-Research Centre has been ranked No. 1 in the Top 25 Hottest Articles published in the Journal of Magnetic Resonance between January and March 2011. The article, Spinach - a software library for simulation of spin dynamics in large spin systems describes efficient algorithms for simulating the behaviour of 40 or more coupled spins in NMR, EPR and Spin Chemistry experiments.

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2011Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize2011Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize

Dr. Philipp Kukura of the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory is the recipient of the 2011Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry. It is awarded for the most promising original investigations in chemistry and published results of those investigations. The prize was given for Philipp's original contributions to ultrafast and single molecule spectroscopy and consists of £5000 and a medal.

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Research Students Win Presentations RSC AwardsResearch Students Win Presentations RSC Awards

Two Chemistry DPhil students were awarded prizes for oral presentations at the "RSC Electrochemistry Group London and South East Region Postgraduate Electrochemistry Meeting and ISE Satellite Student Regional Symposium on Electrochemistry" held at University College London on 17th May 2011. Yige Zhou in Richard Compton's group was awarded first prize for her talk entitled "The electrochemistry of single silver nanoparticles via nanoparticle-electrode collision processes". Zulkifli Idris in Kylie Vincent's group was joint runner-up for his presentation "NAD+/NADH-cycling by a catalytic moiety of the Soluble Hydrogenase from Ralstonia eutropha studied by Protein Film Electrochemistry".

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RSC 2011 Sir George Stokes Award RSC 2011 Sir George Stokes Award

Professor Richard G Compton is the recipient of the 2011 Sir George Stokes Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry which recognises outstanding and sustained contributions to analytical science by someone working in a complementary field, which has led to developments of seminal importance for chemical analysis. Compton's citation is for his 'work in translating original and fundamental insights in interfacial charge transfer mechanisms and their kinetics into innovative and robust analytical sensing protocols [which has] revolutionised the field of electroanalysis. The award consists of a medal and £2,000

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RSC Interdisciplinary Prize for 2011RSC Interdisciplinary Prize for 2011

Professor Carol Robinson, Royal Society Professor in Chemistry, has been awarded an RSC Interdisciplinary Prize for 2011. Interdisciplinary prizes are awarded for work at the interface between chemistry and other disciplines. Carol is awarded the prize for her development of a new area of research, gas phase structural biology, using highly refined mass spectrometry techniques. The prize itself consists of a medal and £5000.

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Hagan Bayley elected to the Fellowship of the Royal SocietyHagan Bayley elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society

Professor Hagan Bayley is Professor of Chemical Biology at the Department of Chemistry and a Fellow of Hertford College. He uses a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the fundamental properties of biological transmembrane protein pores and their applications in nanotechnology. His approach to single-molecule detection with engineered pores is being used by the company he founded, Oxford Nanopore. Hagan on receiving the award said 'Oxford Chemistry has been a wonderful place to work over the last 7 years and the fellowship reflects, not just the talents of my research group, but also the strengths of our department.'

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David Manolopoulos elected to the Fellowship of the Royal SocietyDavid Manolopoulos elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society

Professor David Manolopoulos is a Professor of Theoretical Chemistry in the Chemistry Department and a Tutorial Fellow of St Edmund Hall. His research has contributed to many different aspects of chemical dynamics, ranging from the exact quantum mechanical description of elementary chemical reactions in the gas phase to the approximate inclusion of quantum mechanical zero point energy and tunnelling effects in dynamical simulations of condensed phase systems.

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2011 Synthetic Organic Chemistry Award2011 Synthetic Organic Chemistry Award

Professor Tim Donohoe is the recipient of the 2011 Synthetic Organic Chemistry Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry. The award, which consists of £2000 and a medal, is given for the development of new methods or strategies employed in the construction of organic molecules. The prize was awarded for Tim’s contributions to organic synthesis using both redox and metathesis processes.

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RSC Perkin Prize 2011RSC Perkin Prize 2011

Professor Steve Davies, Waynflete Professor of Chemistry and Chairman of Chemistry has been awarded the prestigious RSC Perkin Prize for Organic Chemistry 2011. The Perkin Prize for organic chemistry is awarded for sustained originality and achievement in research in any area of organic chemistry. The prize consists of a medal and £5000. It is awarded this time for Steve’s fundamental contributions in the areas of stereocontrol in organometallic chemistry, asymmetric synthesis and total synthesis.

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Hot paper from the Compton and Donohoe groupsHot paper from the Compton and Donohoe groups

A paper from Professor Richard G. Compton's group, in collaboration with Professor Timothy J. Donohoe, has been highlighted as a Hot Article by the New Journal of Chemistry. In this paper the electrochemical hydrogenolysis of various protecting groups has been performed in an ionic liquid for the first time.

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RJP Williams Lecture for 2011RJP Williams Lecture for 2011

The RJP Williams Lecture for 2011 was presented on April 28th by Professor Malcolm H Chisholm FRS, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Ohio State University. Professor Chisholm's lecture was the concluding element of this year's highly successful Inorganic Chemistry Graduate Symposium at which 30 final year graduate students in Inorganic Chemistry present highlights of their research to the Department.

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Hot article in Journal of Materials ChemistryHot article in Journal of Materials Chemistry

The article "High-temperature redox chemistry of La1.5+xSr0.5−xCo0.5Ni0.5O4+δ (x = 0.0, 0.2) studied in situ by neutron diffraction", describing research carried out by a team including Peter Battle, has been identified as a "hot article" by Journal of Materials Chemistry . The team found the first structural evidence for the coexistence of both anion vacancies and interstitial anions in a material that could be used for the anode in a solid-oxide fuel cell. Neutron powder diffraction was used to study the redox behaviour of two n = 1 Ruddlesden–Popper oxides in real time as the sample was heated and exposed to H2.

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Core@shell chemistry published in Nature ChemistryCore@shell chemistry published in Nature Chemistry

Research by Professor Paul Beer's group has recently been published in Nature Chemistry. The work covers the chemistry of bimetallic core@shell nanoparticles which often have properties that are different from those of single-metal or alloy nanoparticles. The work shows a route to such nanoparticles that bind the second metal to the core surface prior to reduction. The unique catalytic properties of the nanoparticles are demonstrated in the selective production of chloroaniline.

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Stephen Wallace wins symposium prizeStephen Wallace wins symposium prize

Stephen Wallace, a final year DPhil student from Martin Smith's group has won the SCI regional postgraduate organic chemistry symposium at the University of Bath. This is Stephen's third major prize this year, having already won the Royal Society of Chemistry Younger members' poster symposium (at the University of Manchester) and the Eli Lilly national postgraduate prize in organic chemistry (as judged by Prof Barry Trost).

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Chemical Science Top 10 Accessed ArticlesChemical Science Top 10 Accessed Articles

A research paper by Paul Beer's group entitled Cation-induced molecular motion of spring-like [2]catenanes has appeared in the top 10 articles most accessed for March 2011 in the RSC journal Chemical Science.

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Learned Society of WalesLearned Society of Wales

Professor Graham Richards CBE has been elected to the Learned Society of Wales. The Learned Society of Wales was formally launched on 25 May 2010, and will not only recognise and rejoice in Wale's great talent, it will also harness and channel that talent for the good of our country. It will act as a defender of and protagonist for the very activities and functions that necessarily underpin the notion of Welsh cleverness.

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Exploiting EpigeneticsExploiting Epigenetics

Work from Kai-Hsuan Chang, Oliver King and colleagues in the Schofield group, together with collaborators at the Structural Genomics Consortium, has been highlighted as a Very Important Paper in ChemMedChem. This article reports the most potent inhibitors of histone demethylases identified to date. Histone demethylases are important enzymes in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression, and play key roles in various aspects of development. Several have been identified as potential targets for the treatment of oesophageal, breast, prostate and colon cancers.

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BCA/CCG Poster Competition PrizeBCA/CCG Poster Competition Prize

Jasper Adamson a first year DPhil student in Dr Andrew Goodwin's group has won the poster prize at the recent BCA meeting - The 2011 Spring Meeting of the British Crystallographic Association held at the University of Keele between 11th and 14th April 2011. The poster was titled 'A Curious Case of Hexahydroxytriphenylene' and prize the book 'International Tables' Volume A, shown with Jasper in the photo.

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Molecular SwitchesMolecular Switches

Work by Ian Jones from the Hamilton group describing an anion-dependent switch is reported in Angewandte Chemie. The addition of chloride to a diphenylacetylene causes the conformation of the H-bond acceptor to switch from the urea protons to the amide proton, suggesting the use of such systems as fluorescent anion sensors.

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Professor John Albery’s 75th BirthdayProfessor John Albery’s 75th Birthday

To celebrate Professor John Albery’s 75th Birthday, a conference was held in the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory on the 5th April. John was most recently the Master of University College having previously been the Professor of Chemistry at Imperial College following many successful years as Lecturer in Physical Chemistry in Oxford and a Fellow of Univ. All the lectures were given by friends and students of John: the opening talk was by Professor Rudy Marcus who had been a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford in 1975-76 and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1992. Some 120 people attended.

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RATIONAL DESIGN OF CATALYSTSRATIONAL DESIGN OF CATALYSTS

Edman Tsang and his team have developed a new method to evaluate adsorption strength of substrate molecule on surface of metal nanoparticle by 13C NMR, which can guide industry for rational design of supported metal catalysts for some important catalytic and electrocatalytic reactions in energy and chemical sectors. The initial results have been published in Science (8 April 2011, 332, 224).

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RSC Faraday Division Awards Symposium RSC Faraday Division Awards Symposium

On Tuesday April 5th, the PTCL hosted an Awards Symposium on behalf of the RSC's Faraday Division. Previous Division President, Professor David Clary (himself the RSC Liversidge Prize winner) presented the Faraday Lectureship to 1986 Chemistry Nobel Laureate, Professor John Polanyi; the Bourke Award to Professor Michael Bowers and the Chemical Dynamics Award to the PTCL's own Professor Gus Hancock.

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BBC WorldService highlights work from the Compton GroupBBC WorldService highlights work from the Compton Group

The recent Science in Action program had a section on the science of food tasting and how companies make sure that every meal tastes good and every dish tastes the same week in week out. People with refined palates and a great sense of taste can help, but science and technology also play an important role, and for this last part Professor Compton and Dr Neil Rees were interviewed about their research on electrochemical methods to measure the strength of chilli and garlic.

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Teaching enzymes how to catalyse stereoselective enolate formation and reactionTeaching enzymes how to catalyse stereoselective enolate formation and reaction

Work by Dr Refaat Hamed, Ruben Castellanos and Armin Thalhammer from Schofield group describing engineering studies on crotonase superfamily enzymes has been reported in Nature Chemistry. Active site variants are able to catalyse the stereoselective formation and reaction of trisubstituted enolates to produce functionalized N-heterocycles in high diastereomeric excesses. The work reveals the potential of crotonases as adaptable biocatalysts for controlling enolate-chemistry.

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Biophysical effects of the sixth DNA baseBiophysical effects of the sixth DNA base

Recent research by Armin Thalhammer and Anders Hansen from the Schofield group has investigated the impact of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) on DNA stability.

In collaboration with Prof. Tom Brown in Southampton, the team found that the known thermodynamic stabilisation of the DNA double helix by cytosine methylation can be reversed in 5hmC-containing DNA; spectroscopic and calorimetric analyses revealed similar duplex stabilities for hydroxylated and unmodified DNA. The study suggests that there could be a biophysical component to the biological function of DNA hydroxylation, by reducing DNA melting temperature to enable re-activation of transcription after methylation-induced gene silencing, possibly without a requirement for active DNA demethylation.

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Salters' Festival of ChemistrySalters' Festival of Chemistry

On 15 March 63 students aged 11-13 from 16 schools in the Oxfordshire area tested their science skills at the Salters' Festival of Chemistry. In the morning they played chemical Cluedo, where teams took the role of forensic scientists solving a crime by analysing samples found at a crime scene. The experiments included a flame test to identify different metal ions and chemical tests to identify non-metal ions. Guest of honour Lord Butler of Brockwell, from the Salters Company, joined one of the teams looking to identify the culprit.

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2011 MLH Green Lecture Symposium2011 MLH Green Lecture Symposium

The MLH Green Lecture Symposium for 2011 took place on the 14th March. The keynote lecture was given by Richard R Schrock, the Frederick G. Keyes Professor of Chemistry and winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize. Supporting lectures were given by Fraser Armstrong FRS (RSC Joseph Chatt Award winner 2010) and Simon Aldridge (RSC Main Group Chemistry Award winner 2010). In addition to the full lecture theatre, 60 people watched the event streamed live to the Abbot's Kitchen.

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Tagging the TB bacteriumTagging the TB bacterium

Recent work that comes from a collaboration between the Barry group at the US NIH and the Davis group has described the first small molecule that can be used to detect TB. The work, published in Nature Chemical Biology has been featured in Chemistry World, the university's science blog and and in Nature's Research Highlights.

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Highlighted in The EconomistHighlighted in The Economist

Research by Professor Hagan Baylay's group and the University spinout company Oxford Nanopore has been highlighted in the technology sections. The article discusses nanopore sequencing and focuses on pulling strands of DNA through tiny holes, called nanopores, which could dramatically speed up the sequencing of human genomes.

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Oxford Catalysts Announce £21m Fund RaisingOxford Catalysts Announce £21m Fund Raising

Oxford Catalysts spun-out from the University of Oxford by Isis Innovation Ltd in 2006, has announced a further funding round to progress from operating as a research and development company to a commercial product company. The company designs and develops technology for the smaller scale production of clean synthetic fuels from conventional fossil fuels and renewable sources such as biowaste.

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