Our fourth experimental paper on the chemical origins of life is published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. It is the result of an international collaboration with researchers in Germany and Japan. We show that three common iron-based minerals promote the hydrogenation of carbon dioxide to give, almost exclusively, the intermediates and end-products of the Acetyl CoA pathway. This enzyme-free chemistry maps closely onto the biological pathway, suggesting it had geochemical origins. Congrats to Kamila and Sreejith from our group and thanks to our great collaborators! Free read-only version here. Paywall version here. Also check out the accompanying Behind the Paper post here.
Florent, Vuk, Jing, Ed and Pavle’s article on the synthesis of CF3-bearing allenes, chromenes and olefins starting from propargylic alcohols has been accepted for publication in The Journal of Organic Chemistry. Congrats!
Paul and Abhijit’s article on expanding the Suzuki coupling to aryl sulfones to facilitate iterative couplings has been accepted for publication in Angewandte Chemie International Edition as a “Hot Paper”. Special thanks to the Chris Rowley (Memorial University) for the DFT calculations. Congrats!
Our third paper on the chemical origins of life is published in Nature. We show that ferrous iron promotes a one-pot reaction network that resembles the Krebs cycle and amino acid synthesis, starting from just pyruvate and glyoxylate. These enzyme-free reactions could have been a precursor to biological metabolism. Congrats to Kamila and Sreejith! Free read-only version here. Paywall version here. Also, check out the accompanying News & Views article by Robert Pascal here.
Kamila and Elodie’s invited account of our recent work on non-enzymatic metabolic pathways has been published in Bioorganic & Medicinal Letters. The special issue is in honor of the 2019 Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award to Dr. Raphaël Rodriguez.
Elodie’s collaboration with Dr. Samir Mameri (IUT Robert Schuman) and Profs. Ruhlmann (Strasbourg) and Schmitt (Dublin) on the properties of Mn clusters has been published in Dalton Transactions. Congrats, Elodie!
The second paper from our collaboration with the Ebbesen group describing how running a reaction between two appropriately-spaced mirrors can change its selectivity has appeared in Science. Congrats to Lucas from our lab and to all who participated from the Ebbesen group!
Ed, Jing and Vuk’s paper in Chemical Science shows that hexafluoroisopropanol solvent enables simple monosubstituted cyclopropanes to undergo ring-opening hydroarylation – no donor-acceptor motif required. A good chunk of this work came from Jing’s M2 internship in our group. Special thanks to the Rowley group from Memorial University in Canada for the DFT calculations. Congrats to all!
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.
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!