New publication

Our second paper on the chemical origins of life is published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. We show that metallic iron powder fixes carbon dioxide as acetate and pyruvate much like the Acetyl CoA pathway, an ancient biological pathway used by microbes to build themselves. It represents a rare “chemistry-up” experiment that connects with the current “biology-down” understanding of early life. Congrats to Sreejith, Kamila and Paul! Free read-only version here. Paywall version here. Also check out the accompanying Behind the Paper post here.

WL graphic cropped

New publication

Ed and Vuk’s paper on the accelerating effect of HFIP solvent on nucleophilic ring-opening of donor-acceptor cyclopropanes has been published in Organic Letters. Congrats!

Donor Acceptor TOC

Paul, Florent and Shaofei join the group

The fourth incoming class of PhD students joins the group. Paul Chatelain (MRT fellowship) returned this October to continue his MSc work on protometabolism. Florent Noel (Région Alsace fellowship) and Shaofei Zhang (CSC fellowship) arrived in November to initiate a new project on directed Brønsted acid catalysis. A warm welcome to all three!

New publication

Our paper on the chemical origins of life is published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. We show that more than half of the reverse Krebs cycle can occur without enzymes. Congrats to Kamila, Sreejith, Elodie, Lucas and Guang for an amazing team effort! A free link to the paper is here. The journal’s paywall version is here. Also check out our Behind the Paper blog post on the journal’s web site here.

hurricane rTCa