Monday, April 29, 2013

Mechanisms, End of April

Well, its Monday morning and the hoods are down at The Scripps Research Institute. Here's a picture of the lab sitting in the hall, reading papers. I decided it was high time to post the past two week's mechanisms.

April 20, 2013:

April 27, 2013:

Answers inside.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

On Benzene

Figure 1. Snaaaaaakeeeee, a snaaaaaakeeeee!

Ahh benzene! Europeans fear it, I love the smell of it, and it can look like a snake (Figure 1)! What isn't there to love? Not to mention its qualities as a solvent, and its utility in the azeotropic removal of water from ethanol. But what I'm here to discuss today is how we draw benzene (dude, lets be honest, the Armstrong benzene is fantastic). This came up over coffee a few years ago and I decided to formalize it a little bit. If you want to play along, go ahead and draw a benzene yourself, don't think too hard, but pay attention to how you draw it. Twenty-five graduate student and postdoctoral chemists were surveyed for this blog post and the results were compiled and analyzed for your pleasure (after the jump).

Mechanism, Apr. 13, 2013

As usual, click onward for the solution.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The difluoroethylator?

Over the past few years our laboratory has become interested in the radical functionalization of heterocycles. This started with arylboronic acids as radical precursors but recently developed into alkylsulfinate chemistry. The latest addition to our list of commercialized reagents is sodium difluoroethanesulfinate (DFES-Na), a difluoroethylating agent.

According to Sigma-Aldrich, DFES-Na sold out of stock within 1 week of being listed, and due to the incredible demand, they are targeting multi-kilo quantities. Metric tons of DFES-Na will likely be needed in the next 10 years. This is, of course, exciting news for us but we would also like this blog post to be exciting for you as well. So, we have put up another video. This one is about Qianghui (first author of the paper describing DFES-Na) running a difluoroethylation reaction and hopefully after watching this video, you will be running your own difluoroethylation, too!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Portable Chemist's Consultant

This is my first ever blog entry, let alone the Baran lab blog but on all blogs web-wide. I thought this would be a suitable entry to celebrate this landmark of mine. I (Yoshi) came to the Baran Lab in 2007 and obtained my PhD last year but I'm staying here longer for a pet project of mine. And Ana's. And most importantly for those of you who visit this page for Baran lab news: Phil's vision. Case in point: we have been writing a book mostly on heterocyclic chemistry and today is our official launch date. The book is called "The Portable Chemist's Consultant." This is not a hardcover book but is only offered on the iBookstore; we also have a website dedicated to it.  While you can find the book itself and the sample book in the former, and cool graphics and a comments page in the latter, on this blog I decided to put up a quick video of myself talking through the features of this electronic book while holding up my iPad. 

Here is an impromptu video taken by Phil using his iPhone... he just stormed into my working area, brought me into his office and said "let's take a video of you talking about the interactive features of this book. Starting... now." 

Maybe one day I'll take a better version of this video that has my iPad on a more stable platform and without me stuttering, but for now this will do. I just wanted to showcase here that this is a highly interactive book with all sections hyperlinked to each other and all references hyperlinked to the original literature source on the internet. As well as a lot of Phil Baran videos for those of you who are not fortunate enough to be in San Diego to attend his heterocycles class (which started today, coincidentally... or not). Check it out!  --Yoshi

Monday, April 1, 2013

Baran Lab to move to Wyoming

In light of recent blog posts, we would like to formally announce that our lab is moving to an abandoned home depot somewhere in rural western Wyoming.

Young Brando is "excited to have two full hoods to himself," and Taycoh said, "with the new space and low overhead costs, we should be able to have a lab of two- to three-hundred students."

The ATF will be providing funding for new research on the novel chemoselective syntheses of ethan-1-ol and ethan-2-ol.

Phil's children's love of adorable farm animals may have influenced the move.

Stay tuned for more information!