Sustainable chemistry, medieval skeletons, and a free molecule editor in JavaScript: Research highlights in May

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Last month saw the launch of our latest open access journal, Sustainable Chemical Processes, which covers all aspects of sustainable chemistry from laboratory to industry. The launch papers cover a wide range of topics, and a pair of review articles looking at ionic liquids for biomass fractionation, and microwave energy for biodiesel production have proved to be particularly popular.null


New research published in Heritage Science examines the mercury content in soil surrounding medieval human skeletons. Studying skeletons can be a useful way of obtaining information about life in medieval societies in the absence of other information. The authors measured the amount of mercury in the soil surrounding seven skeletons and found that five had soil Hg concentrations higher than the background level. This mercury would have originated from the decomposed soft tissue, and the results provide information about the history of exposure to mercury throughout the lives of the individuals.


nullJournal of Cheminformatics has published a new software paper describing JSME – a free molecule editor in JavaScript. In their article Bruno Bienfait and Peter Ertl describe the background to the research: “A molecule editor, i.e. a program facilitating graphical input and interactive editing of molecules, is an indispensable part of every cheminformatics or molecular processing system. Today, when a web browser has become the universal scientific user interface, a tool to edit molecules directly within the web browser is essential. One of the most popular tools for molecular structure input on the web is the JME applet. Since its release nearly 15 years ago, however the web environment has changed and Java applets are facing increasing implementation hurdles due to their maintenance and support requirements, as well as security issues. This prompted us to update the JME editor and port it to a modern Internet programming language – JavaScript”. The software is freely available from http://peter-ertl.com/jsme/ under the terms of permissive BSD license.


Other research highlights from May include:

nullRecent developments in an ongoing project converting data from the ChEMBL database into RDF triples (Willighagen et al.)

nullAn investigation into the oxidation of progestagenic steroid hormones by KMnO4 in ultrapure water and wastewater effluents (Fayad et al.)

nullEvaluation of corrective measures implemented for the preventive conservation of fresco paintings (Merello et al.)

nullNovel Gold(I) and Silver(I) Complexes of Phosphorus-1,1,-dithiolates (Solak et al.)

nullLinking NWChem and Avogadro with the syntax and semantics of Chemical Markup Language (de Jong et al.)

nullA review of tephra studies and their methodologies, which makes a case for better linking of tephra research to archaeology (Riede and Thastrup)

nullThe nature of the heteroatom substitution in the nitrogen of a 3-aza-Cope system (Gomes et al.)