This blog is my attempt to reconnect with the world of chemistry. I have a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry and make a living doing research for a large company in Michigan. As times have changed, that company has changed its focus and I no longer have as much chance to do the basic, fundamental research which I most enjoy. Through this blog, I am hoping to recapture the magic which I felt during my graduate (and undergraduate) days in college. Expect topics on chemistry and alchemy along with some non-chemistry related items which I think might be interesting.

"The chymists are a strange class of mortals, impelled by an almost insane impulse to seek their pleasure among smoke and vapour, soot and flame, poisons and poverty; yet among all these evils I seem to live so sweetly that may I die if I would change places with the Persian King."

Johann Joachim Becher (phlogistonist)
Acta Laboratorii Chymica Monacensis, seu Physica Subterranea, (1669).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Aqueous Chemistry Rules!

Apparently, polyoxometalates have been found to be "very powerful inhibitors of a specific protein kinase, CK2, an enzyme that is overactive in a number of cancers." I say apparently, since it was reported in the journal "Chemistry and Biology," a journal to which I do not have access. I only know of the study because of this press release. Polyoxometalates are large anionic clusters generally consisting of transition metals and oxygen. A good description can be found here. This study is of particular interest to me since I have worked with polyoxometalates of V, Mo, and W in the past. I admit to having lost touch with them over the years, mostly because my work at that time involved aqueous polymetalates (I love aqueous chemistry!) and subsequent research on polymetalates had begun turning to derivatives which were only soluble in organic solvents. So it was with some delight that I discovered that aqueous polyoxometalates had reappeared in the literature. Unfortunately, the press release gives very few details about the particular polyoxometalates involved or what kind of chemistry is occurring. In fact, I am only assuming that these are aqueous species since they are being used in biological systems. In any case, since aqueous chemists seem to be vastly outnumbered by non-aqueous chemists (I was definitely in the minority in the U of Illinois Inorganic Chemistry department), I am always happy to see a paper on aqueous chemistry that is at least somewhat mainstream.

Are there any aqueous inorganic chemists out there reading this blog?

My family and I will be leaving tomorrow to visit my parents in Springfield, Missouri for 5 days. I've talked about Springfield before, so it's always a fun trip, but I won't be updating the blog until next week. In the meantime, here is the previously promised picture of my garden (or at least a small part of it).


Ψ*Ψ said...

Using water as a solvent always makes me feel...dirty. *shudder*
If you can email me the DOI for that paper, I'll see if my university has access. ;)

Katie Collette said...

Wow, your garden is gorgeous!

markmier said...

I'm not technically a chemist, I'm a Chem E. I work in water/wastewater treatment. So lots of aqueous chemistry, but it's mostly of the boring oxidize-and-precipitate variety (Fe, Al with coprecipitates of As, Cd, Zn, etc). Not nearly as chemistry-y as you.

Unknown said...

Well as a former U of I organic chemist I agree working in water is weird, but as an inorganic coordination chemist working on in vivo imaging agents its become routine. A huge variety of coordination compounds are used in imaging and radiotherapy all of which are prepared and function in water.

luisbr said...

polymetalates in aqueous media have several aplications in electrocatalysis.