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Nature Chemistry Contents November 2018 Volume 10 Number 11

Nature Chemistry

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November 2018 Volume 10, Issue 11

News & Views
In Your Element

Travel grants for early career researchers 

The Communications journals (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) are pleased to introduce their first travel grants for early career researchers. The programme aims to help promising researchers travel to an international scientific meeting of their choice. 

The application period is open until 5th November.

A growing school with big ambitions

Japan needs to embrace strategic research and globalization to remain at the forefront of innovation. Learn more about Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University's (OIST) rapid growth and what it means for science in Japan and beyond.

Learn more >>


Something's fishy    pp1075 - 1077
Bruce C. Gibb

News & Views

What tangled webs we weave    pp1078 - 1079
Edward E. Fenlon

Crumple zones in MOFs    pp1079 - 1081
Jürgen Senker

Easy as one, two, three    pp1081 - 1082
Laura Castoldi & Vittorio Pace

ICECB 2018 7th International Conference on Environment, Chemistry and Biology (ICECB 2018)
Seville, Spain
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Stereoselective synthesis of a composite knot with nine crossings    pp1083 - 1088
Liang Zhang, Alexander J. Stephens, Alina L. Nussbaumer, Jean-François Lemonnier, Pia Jurček et al.

A composite knot with nine crossings of the same handedness has been prepared from a hexameric circular helicate in 41% yield in a two-step synthesis. An isomeric cyclic [3]catenane topologically constrained to always have at least three twists within the links is also formed. Both topologies have a high degree of writhe, analogous to that of supercoiled DNA.

Narrow-band single-photon emission through selective aryl functionalization of zigzag carbon nanotubes    pp1089 - 1095
Avishek Saha, Brendan J. Gifford, Xiaowei He, Geyou Ao, Ming Zheng et al.

Aryl functionalization of carbon nanotubes generates sp3 defects capable of quantum light emission. A multiplicity of possible binding configurations, however, leads to spectrally diverse emission bands. Now, it is shown that the structural symmetry of zigzag nanotubes and a high chemical selectivity for ortho configurations results in defect-state emission from a single narrow band.

Hydrolytic stability in hemilabile metal–organic frameworks    pp1096 - 1102
Lauren N. McHugh, Matthew J. McPherson, Laura J. McCormick, Samuel A. Morris, Paul S. Wheatley et al.

The promise shown by metal–organic frameworks for various applications is somewhat dampened by their instability towards water. Now, an activated MOF has shown good hydrolytic stability owing to the presence of weak, sacrificial coordination bonds that act as a 'crumple zone'. On hydration, these weak bonds are cleaved preferentially to stronger coordination bonds that hold the MOF together.

Chromopynones are pseudo natural product glucose uptake inhibitors targeting glucose transporters GLUT-1 and -3    pp1103 - 1111
George Karageorgis, Elena S. Reckzeh, Javier Ceballos, Melanie Schwalfenberg, Sonja Sievers et al.

New natural-product-inspired molecules are often limited by their only partial coverage of biologically relevant chemical space. Combining fragments of natural products has now been shown to yield pseudo natural products, which — while still being inspired by natural products — populate previously unexplored areas of chemical space and have novel biological activities.

Micrometre-long covalent organic fibres by photoinitiated chain-growth radical polymerization on an alkali-halide surface    pp1112 - 1117
Franck Para, Franck Bocquet, Laurent Nony, Christian Loppacher, Michel Féron et al.

On-surface polymerization is a promising technique to prepare organic functional nanomaterials, but it has remained difficult to carry out on insulating surfaces. Now, the photoinitiated radical polymerization of dimaleimide on KCl, initiated from a two-dimensional gas phase and guided by molecule–substrate interactions, has led to polymer fibres up to 1 μm long.

A fluorescent membrane tension probe    pp1118 - 1125
Adai Colom, Emmanuel Derivery, Saeideh Soleimanpour, Caterina Tomba, Marta Dal Molin et al.

Lipid membranes—which separate cells and organelles from their environment—experience tension during various cell processes; however, measuring membrane tension is notoriously difficult. Now, a new fluorescent, mechanosensitive membrane probe called FliptR has been developed. FliptR enables simple, direct membrane tension measurements in cellular and artificial membranes.

Activation of diverse carbon–heteroatom and carbon–carbon bonds via palladium(ii)-catalysed β-X elimination    pp1126 - 1133
Van T. Tran, John A. Gurak Jr, Kin S. Yang & Keary M. Engle

Traditionally, strong-bond activation by transition metals has been achieved through an oxidative addition pathway. Now, a redox-neutral palladium(ii)-catalysed β-elimination strategy has been shown to activate alkyl C–O, N, C, F and S bonds to give an alkene that can be trapped with various nucleophiles. This functional group metathesis allows upgrading of amino acid derivatives and ring-opening of saturated heterocycles.

Thiophene and its sulfur inhibit indenoindenodibenzothiophene diradicals from low-energy lying thermal triplets    pp1134 - 1140
Justin J. Dressler, Mitsuru Teraoka, Guzmán L. Espejo, Ryohei Kishi, Shota Takamuku et al.

A paradoxical case of a well-defined diradicaloid that has an unusually large singlet–triplet energy gap (ΔES-T) imparted by the thiophene sulfur atom is reported. Quantum chemistry, organic synthesis, molecular spectroscopies, X-ray crystal analysis and high-temperature magnetic measurements help account for the dichotomy between the large diradical character and large ΔEST.

Gas-phase sugar formation using hydroxymethylene as the reactive formaldehyde isomer    pp1141 - 1147
André K. Eckhardt, Michael M. Linden, Raffael C. Wende, Bastian Bernhardt & Peter R. Schreiner

The simplest sugar—glycolaldehyde—has recently been detected in space and now a mechanistic rationale for its formation is presented, which includes its onward reaction to the next higher aldose, glyceraldehyde. The key species in the chemistry at play is the formaldehyde isomer hydroxymethylene, which reacts with the carbonyl component in an essentially barrierless carbonyl–ene-type reaction.

Non-intuitive rotational reorientation in collisions of NO(A 2Σ+) with Ne from direct measurement of a four-vector correlation    pp1148 - 1153
Thomas R. Sharples, Joseph G. Leng, Thomas F. M. Luxford, Kenneth. G. McKendrick, Pablo G. Jambrina et al.

Measurements of vector correlations provide insight into the forces acting during molecular collisions, and are a stringent test of electronic-structure calculations. Now, non-intuitive dynamics of molecular collisions have been revealed by measuring the correlation between the relative velocities of the colliders and the molecular rotational angular momentum—before and after the collision—for NO(A 2Σ+) + Ne.

Enzyme-powered motility in buoyant organoclay/DNA protocells    pp1154 - 1163
B. V. V. S. Pavan Kumar, Avinash J. Patil & Stephen Mann

Organoclay/DNA semipermeable microcapsules with catalase-powered oxygen gas bubble-dependent buoyancy are prepared and exploited as synthetic protocells capable of programmed motility and sustained oscillatory movement.

Efficient and stereodivergent synthesis of unsaturated acyclic fragments bearing contiguous stereogenic elements    pp1164 - 1170
Jeffrey Bruffaerts, David Pierrot & Ilan Marek

A rapid, modular, stereodivergent and diversity-oriented strategy for constructing acyclic molecular frameworks bearing up to four contiguous and congested stereogenic elements has been developed. This approach can yield the target compounds with remarkably high levels of stereocontrol in only three catalytic steps from commercially available alkynes.

In Your Element

Targeting tennessine    p1172
Elizabeth Williams

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