Nature Chemistry | The Sceptical Chymist

NChem Research Highlights: π interactions, field-effect transistors and ion recognition

Tuesday already! How time flies… Wait no longer, here are this week’s Research Highlights.

The role of aromatic π-π interactions mustn’t be underestimated — they contribute to many biological functions, including pretty crucial ones like the stability of DNA, or drug binding. In previous studies benzene rings had received most of the attention, but you can now find out how heteroatoms affect these interactions.

How about a high-performance, photosensitive, nanoscale field-effect transistor? It is all possible thanks to the self-assembly of organic molecules into columns within the nanogaps of a carbon nanotube…

When it comes to ion recognition, selective binding to chloride (essential to human health) versus, say, cyanide (notably harmful) is essential. Steve tells us about a receptor that captures chloride and determines its concentration even in the presence of significant amounts of water, like in sports drinks.

And finally… although no metric can really quantify the value of scientific research, how can we estimate the importance of a particular paper? The number of citations? The Impact Factor of the journal? It looks like Google’s PageRank algorithm might be able to help

Anne

Anne Pichon (Associate Editor, Nature Chemistry)

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