Enigmatic astatine

When we think of the halogens, F, Cl, Br and I are generally those that spring to mind. Yet there is, of course, another one — astatine. In contrast to the first four, ubiquitous on earth and which serve in numerous reactions, astatine is rare and has remained a bit of a mystery. It is the topic of this month’s ‘in your element’ article (subscription required), written by Scott Wilbur from the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Washington.  Read more

Barium bright and heavy

Barium bright and heavy

This month’s ‘in your element’ article (subscription req’d), written by Katharina Fromm from the University of Fribourg, is about barium — an element infamous among those who have ingested it as a ‘barium meal’ for an X-ray of the stomach and bowels.  Read more

Reactions: Richard Payne

Richard Payne is in the School of Chemistry at the University of Sydney, Australia and works on the synthesis and biological evaluation of peptides and proteins containing post-translational modifications and the development of new drug leads for the treatment of neglected diseases (tuberculosis, malaria and African sleeping sickness).  Read more

Reactions: Henry Rzepa

Henry S. Rzepa is professor of computational chemistry at Imperial College London. Trained as a physical organic chemist, he adopted the use of computers to try to get answers to deep questions in molecular behaviour at a time when a molecule with more than about 40 atoms was considered unreachable in this manner. His research, which nowadays covers unravelling on a computer the mechanisms of catalysed reactions and polymerisations, is balanced by his interest in using new mediums such as the Internet to communicate this science both visually and in a data-rich manner. He also writes a blog where he explores some of the interesting nooks and crannies of chemistry.  Read more

Reactions: Matthew Todd

Matthew Todd is in the School of Chemistry at The University of Sydney, and works on organic synthesis, asymmetric catalysis and chemical sensing. He has a particular interest in the use of open source methods in research, particularly for open source drug discovery. He can also be found on Twitter at @mattoddchem.  Read more

Reactions: Jan Hartmann

Jan Hartmann is in the Department of Chemistry at RWTH Aachen University, and works on organocatalytic asymmetric synthesis — he is also one of the winners of our In Your Element essay competition, for which he wrote about plutonium (here is a write-up of his article by yours truly) .  Read more

The allure of aluminium

The allure of aluminium

In the first issue of the year, Daniel Rabinovich from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte shares with us anecdotes about an element we use on a daily basis (subscription required). But just because aluminium serves to package food and drinks, we shouldn’t overlook its grander history and rich chemistry.  Read more