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Angewandte Chemie Hot PaperAngewandte Chemie Hot Paper

Work of Matthew Tredwell and Marie Schuler from Véronique Gouverneur’s group published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition was selected by the Editor as a 'Hot Paper'. This work carried out in collaboration with Professor K. N. Houk at UCLA (USA) reports on how an 'inside fluoro effect' controls the stereochemical outcome of iodocyclisations involving allylic fluorides.

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Oxford Catalysts Group plc - Winner in the Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement AwardsOxford Catalysts Group plc - Winner in the Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Awards

Oxford Catalysts Group PLC, the leading catalyst innovator for clean fuels, is pleased to announce that the Company received an innovation award at the 39th biennial Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Awards for its work on Instant Steam. The Instant Steam technology enables the generation of steam immediately on demand, using a compact, simple and portable device. The technology incorporates a proprietary catalyst that initiates a chemical reaction in a liquid fuel (consisting primarily of water along with other common chemicals), that produces steam instantaneously starting from room temperature.

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Enzymes on a wireEnzymes on a wire

Research from the group of Fraser Armstrong published in December's edition of Nature Chemical Biology is highlighted in Chemistry World. The paper describes the catalytic properties of conducting particles activated by attachment of two enzymes. Action of the first enzyme, a hydrogenase catalysing oxidation of hydrogen, provides a continuous supply of electrons for the second enzyme catalysing a reduction process.

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Obesity Research Published in ScienceObesity Research Published in Science

British scientists have made a second breakthrough in under a year in understanding why some people are more liable to gain weight than others. The Oxford University team, led by Professor Chris Schofield, has been studying FTO, a gene that earlier this year was linked to obesity. In a report of their research, published online this week in Science, the scientists show that the protein corresponding to the FTO is an enzyme, or biological catalyst, that modifies DNA.

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3M Euros for a European Union Project3M Euros for a European Union Project

Under the EU Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) for Research and Development 3.2 million Euros have been awarded to the DeZnIT research project. DeZnIT (Design of zinc metalloenzyme targeted drugs using an Integrated Technology approach) is a collaborative project between partners in Finland, Italy, The Netherlands, Latvia, Denmark and UK. The project team includes Professor W. Graham Richards and our spin-out company InhibOx Ltd.

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Hot ArticleHot Article

Work by Jingping Hu in John Foord's laboratory has been published in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics as a Hot Article. The work is concerned with hot filament chemical vapour deposition of boron-doped diamond for the fabrication of ultramicroelectrodes. By employing a novel ultrasonic nanodiamond seeding technique and an electrical bias, it is possible to control the nucleation rate and renucleation during growth to produce electrodes with a controlled crystalline structure on the nanoscale. The electrochemical properties are correlated with the physicochemical properties of the fabricated electrodes

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UCB AwardUCB Award

Paul Docherty, a final year doctoral student working in the Chemistry Research Laboratory, has won the prize for best post-graduate student talk at the inaugural 'UCB Awards for Excellence in Postgraduate Chemistry Research'. His talk 'Manganese Acetate(III) Mediated Radical Cyclisations: Towards a Synthesis of the Prostaglandin Family' given at the meeting in Cambridge, featured results from his recent work in the Burton group

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Former Chemistry Student wins Nobel PrizeFormer Chemistry Student wins Nobel Prize

Oliver Smithies, an Honorary Fellow and former student of Balliol College, shares the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine with Briton Martin J Evans and American scientist Mario R Capecchi for developing a technology for manipulating genes in mice. Oliver Smithies gained a First in his BA Chemistry degree in 1946 before completing his master's degree and doctorate in biochemistry from Oxford in 1951. Professor Smithies is now Excellence Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine in the United States.

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PRS to DPhil Transfer AwardsPRS to DPhil Transfer Awards

The following students were awarded a commendation for their work on transfer from PRS to DPhil status: Sophie Boldon (Supervisor: Dr Veronique Gouverneur) Jess Kershaw (Supervisor: Professor Tim Donohoe) Peter Lindsay-Scott (Supervisor: Professor Tim Donohoe) Thomas Parsons (Supervisor: Dr Antony Fairbanks) Simon Sprague (Supervisor: Dr Jonathan Burton) Karl Thorley (Supervisor: Professor Harry Anderson) David Williamson (Supervisor: Professor Steve Davies)

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Lilly Prizes for Excellence in Organic Chemistry ResearchLilly Prizes for Excellence in Organic Chemistry Research

The three Lilly Prizes for Excellence in Organic Chemistry Research are awarded by Eli Lilly and Company Ltd. They are awarded for excellence in the first year of postgraduate study and are assessed on the quality of experimental work, written submission and viva voce at the point of examination for PRS transfer of status to DPhil status. The winners of Lilly prizes for the year 2006-2007 are: Justin Chalker (Supervisor: Professor Ben Davis) Brian Mnangat Ptoton (Supervisor: Professor Tim Donohoe) William Unsworth. (Supervisor: Dr Jeremy Robertson)

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Oxford's Knack For Spinning GoldOxford's Knack For Spinning Gold

An article in the recent C&EN (September 2007) highlights how Oxford offshoots from University's Chemistry Department make their mark in the world of commerce. Blame it all on a chemistry research laboratory. The decision in the 1990s by the University of Oxford's chemistry department to build a $130 million laboratory concentrated minds on the need to raise money. Part of the department's solution involved a pioneering agreement with the intellectual property commercialization company IP2IPO, now known as IP Group.

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RSC 2006 Industrially Sponsored Award WinnersRSC 2006 Industrially Sponsored Award Winners

Harry Anderson has received the Supramolecular Chemistry award. Harry won 'for his study of synthetic routes to new supramolecular structures and the design of new structural classes with specific properties'.

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RSC 2006 Industrially Sponsored Award WinnersRSC 2006 Industrially Sponsored Award Winners

Peter Battle has received the Solid State Chemistry award. This is sponsored by Johnson Matthey plc, for the Materials Chemistry Division. Peter won 'for his wide-ranging contributions to the synthesis and characterisation of complex functional oxides'.

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RSC Longstaff Medal and PrizeRSC Longstaff Medal and Prize

The Royal Society of Chemistry has agreed that Professor Sir Jack Baldwin, FRS be awarded the Longstaff Medal and Prize for 2008. The Longstaff Medal, first awarded in 1881, was instituted to commemorate the name of Dr George Dixon Longstaff, an original Fellow and benefactor of the then Chemical Society. In accordance with the terms of the bequest, the Medal is awarded every three years to the member of the Society who, in the opinion of the Council, has done the most to promote the science of chemistry by research. The award has been made to Jack Baldwin for his distinguished contributions to natural product chemistry and synthetic methodology.

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Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry Cover for Prof D M HodgsonOrganic & Biomolecular Chemistry Cover for Prof D M Hodgson

The cover highlights work from Prof Hodgson's laboratory on the synthesis of azabicyclic systems using nitrogen-directed radical rearrangements, set against a background of the river Cherwell in recent flood. The stabilisation of alpha-nitrogen radicals is shown to be a useful effect for the control of radical rearrangements and is applied to the synthesis of a variety of azabicyclic frameworks, including the synthesis of bioactive targets. The cover was designed by Karl Harrison

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Royal Society University Research FellowshipRoyal Society University Research Fellowship

Dr Kylie Vincent has been awarded one of the 2007 Royal Society University Research Fellowships which will enable her to pursue independent research for up to 10 years. Since 2002, Kylie has worked with Fraser Armstrong on H2 catalysis by microbial metalloenzymes known as hydrogenases, and since 2004 she has held a ‘RJP Williams’ Junior Research Fellowship at Wadham College. She will take up her new post on October 1 when she will also become a Senior Research Fellow at Wadham College.

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Academics can claim many significant commerical successesAcademics can claim many significant commerical successes

An article in the FT highlights a survey of chemistry spin-outs from UK universities, by the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Chemistry Leadership Council. In the article it mentions Oxford University has been most active in commercialising its research, with 16 spin-out companies formed so far (12 since 2000). Graham Richards, head of Oxford chemistry until last year, says the department 'has contributed over £80m to the central university as a result of its spin-out activities'

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Dalton Cover for Dr S PascuDalton Cover for Dr S Pascu

Work by Sofia Pascu and co-workers at Cambridge, published in Dalton Transactions, has been selected as a frontispiece. Lithium and sodium-linked donor-acceptor pseudorotaxanes have been prepared to show formation of interesting supramolecular architectures. Small structural modifications in the host or guest geometries affect the relative kinetic stabilities in the series. Significant differences in behaviour in solution between the two donor molecules, coupled with output in visible renders this system renders this system suitable to forming molecular switches. The cover illustration was designed by Karl Harrison.

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Insertion reactions of dicyclohexylcarbodiimide with amino boranes, boryls and  borylenesInsertion reactions of dicyclohexylcarbodiimide with amino boranes, boryls and borylenes

Recent work by Glesni Pierce, Simon Aldridge and co-workers in the CRL and at Cardiff University on the fundamentals of small molecule insertion into metal-ligand bonds has been highlighted as a ‘hot paper’ in Dalton Transactions. The paper is entitled ‘Insertion reactions of dicyclohexylcarbodiimide with amino boranes, boryls and –borylenes

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Mechanism of Unusual Antibiotic highlightedMechanism of Unusual Antibiotic highlighted

Work from Tom Brown and Delphine Fischer from Chris Schofield's group, published in Nature Chemical Biology, and highlighted in Nature and Chemical and Engineering news, has revealed the mechanism by which the antibiotic lactivicin inhibits penicillin binding proteins (PBPs). Lactivicin is unique because it is the only known naturally occurring PBP inhibitor that doesn't contain a beta-lactam ring. In collaboration with European partners, including Andrea Dessen from IBS (CEA/CNRS) Grenoble, they obtained crystal structures of lactivicin and an analogue, complexed with the PBP from Streptococcus pneumoniae. In both complexes, both the lactam and lactone lactivicin rings are open, and the antibiotics are covalently bound to a nucleophilic serine. The lactivicin-PBP complexes were surprisingly analogous to the complex formed by reaction of the PBP with a cephalosporin.

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Structure of histone demethylase in NatureStructure of histone demethylase in Nature

A collaboration between Chris Schofield's group in Chemistry and the group of Udo Oppermann at the Structural Genomics Consortium has resulted in the first structure for a histone demethylase complexed with its substrates, recently published in Nature. Post-translational histone modification has a fundamental role in chromatin biology and is proposed to constitute a histone code in epigenetic regulation. The work provides a structural rationalisation of how one histone demethylase is able to select for different methylation states at histone lysyl residues; it also provides a starting point from which to develop chemical tools to dissect the roles of specific histone modifications.

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RSC Postgraduate PrizeRSC Postgraduate Prize

Natalie Coombs, a final year doctoral student working in the Chemistry Research Laboratory has won the prize for best post-graduate student talk at the 2007 RSC Main Group Chemistry national meeting. Her talk ‘Transition Metal – Group 13 Element Multiple Bonds,’ given at the meeting in Bristol, featured results from her recent work in the Aldridge group.

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The Royal Society Davy MedalThe Royal Society Davy Medal

The 2007 Davy medal was awarded to Professor John Simons FRS for his many innovative experimental contributions to a broad area of chemical physics, including molecular reaction dynamics, molecular spectroscopy and most recently, biophysical chemistry. This medal is awarded annually for an outstandingly important recent discovery in any branch of chemistry. When first awarded in 1877, the medal was jointly awarded to Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff, for their researches and discoveries in spectrum analysis.

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Angewandte Chemie International Edition FrontispieceAngewandte Chemie International Edition Frontispiece

Work of Colin Lam from Veronique Gouverneur's laboratory published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition has been selected as a frontispiece. Enantioenriched, densely functionalized fluorinated carbocycles have been made accessible using a short synthesis featuring an operationally simple reverse cycloaddition-fluorination sequence. The late introduction of fluorine is advantageous as this avoids the complications associated with the synthesis and reactivity of fluorinated reactants. This study offers a unique platform to delineate the effects responsible for the level and sense of stereocontrol of the fluorination as the substitution pattern of the adducts varies.

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Cover Picture for ChemPhysChemCover Picture for ChemPhysChem

The cover picture of ChemPhysChem this month show-cases the work of DPhil student Meng Chen, working with Jacob Klein in the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory of Oxford University. Chen and Klein and co-workers have succeeded in growing robust polyzwitterionic brushes directly from an atomically-smooth planar mica substrate using ATRP. Synthesis of this type allows the generation of atomically-smooth biomimetic substrates for nanometre-resolution studies of their surface and lubrication properties.

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Encaenia Honorary Degree Ceremony 2007Encaenia Honorary Degree Ceremony 2007

Professor Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra, Rao, Ms, DSc, PhD, FRS, is a research chemist, Commonwealth Visiting Professor to our Chemistry Department, Member of University Chemistry Review Panel, National Research Professor and Honorary President and Linus Pauling Research Professor of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India. He is best known for his work on transition metal oxides that has led to an understanding of the relationship between the structures of these materials and their properties.

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Sensing light with ‘liquid Lego’Sensing light with ‘liquid Lego’

Scientists at Oxford University and Duke University in the United States have used tiny water droplets to build a unique microscopic light sensor. Their approach turns water droplets into protocells: empty artificial cells that can be filled with different cellular components. In theory, networks of protocells could be used to simulate biological systems – such as heart muscle or brain tissue. 'Each millimetre-sized water droplet in our network acts as a protocell. Chains of droplets are put together like liquid Lego, and are just as easily taken apart or reorganised,' said Dr Matthew Holden of Oxford University’s Department of Chemistry who conducted the research with Oxford’s Professor Hagan Bayley and Professor David Needham at Duke University. A report of the research is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society

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Resarch Article Highlighted Resarch Article Highlighted

Work from Hagan Bayley's laboratory published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society is featured in a news article in the current issue of Analytical Chemistry. The group has been developing engineered protein nanopores for applications in single-molecule sensing and ultrarapid DNA sequencing. The paper shows how the fragile lipid bilayer containing the nanopore can be stabilised so that the technology can be taken outside the laboratory. Kang, X.-f., Cheley, S., Rice-Ficht, A.C. and Bayley, H. A storable encapsulated bilayer chip containing a single protein nanopore. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127, 4701-4705 (2007). DOI: 10.1021/ja068654g

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Top Cited Paper in OrganometallicsTop Cited Paper in Organometallics

A research paper titled 'A Stable Crystalline Imino-N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligand and Its Corresponding Palladium(II) and Rhodium(I) Complexse' published by Organometallics and written by Sarim Dastgir, Karl S. Coleman, Andrew R. Cowley, and Malcolm L. H. Green in 2006, has become one of the ten most cited papers for that yearl.

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ChemComm cover picture for research paperChemComm cover picture for research paper

Recent work by Harriet Teare in Véronique Gouverneur's group is featured on the front cover of Chemical Communication. A novel [18F]NF reagent and two novel radiochemical transformations have been developed for applications in Positron Emission Tomography.

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