NChem Research Highlights: cell metabolites, chocolate, and hydrogenation catalysis

Like Comment

Apologies to all those who logged in on Friday to read the witty and humorous NChem research highlight update but (for various reasons) they will now be brought to you on Mondays – although the highlights themselves will still go live on Fridays.

Another change this week: I’ve been called off the bench to liven things up (like Cesc Fabregas last night in Euro 2008) and replace Neil who is currently gallivanting on the west coast of America.

We all love yeast in the NChem office, (bread, beer, marmite) so before he left, Neil wrote about a mass spec method that has been developed for measuring the metabolites of single yeast cells.

We also all love chocolate and Steve had the pleasure of writing about work on its structure that could hopefully lead to prolonging its shelf-life.

The final paper is about catalysis; more specifically its about the search for cheaper ethylene hydrogenation catalysts.

Some very small versions of a couple of our favourite games caught our eye this week, first a micro version of the highly addictive game tetris and second, a superhydrophobic desktop hockey game.

And finally, if you run out of reagents in the lab this week you could always raid the liquor cabinet. Last week saw some seriously ingenious chemists make diamond out of tequila.


Gavin Armstrong (Associate Editor, Nature Chemistry)

Gavin Armstrong

Senior Editor, Nature Chemistry

I've been an editor at Nature Chemistry since April 2008 having worked at the Royal Society of Chemistry (at the Journal of Materials Chemistry and Soft Matter). I had a full head of dark hair when I joined. I graduated from the University of Leeds with an MChem in 2002, and stayed there to do a PhD in nonlinear chemical dynamics. My research focused on pattern formation and travelling waves in autocatalytic chemical systems. At Nature Chemistry I handle what would traditionally be called physical chemistry e.g. spectroscopy, theory, catalysis, reaction dynamics, photochemistry....