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Williams A.J.,ChemSpider | Williams A.J.,SUNY College at Oneonta | Pence H.E.,SUNY College at Oneonta
Journal of Chemical Education

Cell phones, especially "smart phones", seem to have become ubiquitous. Actually, it is misleading to call many of these devices phones, as they are actually a portable and powerful computer that can be very valuable in the chemistry classroom. Currently, there are three major ways in which smart phones can be used for education. Smart phones include a Web browser, which gives access to the wealth of material on the World Wide Web (WWW); inexpensive applications (commonly called apps) expand this usefulness even further; and two-dimensional barcode labels can be used to create "smart objects". Taken together, these capabilities are creating a world of mobile computing that may have an impact on society, including chemical education, that may be even greater than the changes brought about by the personal computer. Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc. Source

Little J.L.,Eastman Chemical Company | Williams A.J.,ChemSpider | Pshenichnov A.,ChemSpider | Tkachenko V.,ChemSpider
Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry

In many cases, an unknown to an investigator is actually known in the chemical literature, a reference database, or an internet resource. We refer to these types of compounds as "known unknowns." ChemSpider is a very valuable internet database of known compounds useful in the identification of these types of compounds in commercial, environmental, forensic, and natural product samples. The database contains over 26 million entries from hundreds of data sources and is provided as a free resource to the community. Accurate mass mass spectrometry data is used to query the database by either elemental composition or a monoisotopic mass. Searching by elemental composition is the preferred approach. However, it is often difficult to determine a unique elemental composition for compounds with molecular weights greater than 600 Da. In these cases, searching by the monoisotopic mass is advantageous. In either case, the search results are refined by sorting the number of references associated with each compound in descending order. This raises the most useful candidates to the top of the list for further evaluation. These approaches were shown to be successful in identifying "known unknowns" noted in our laboratory and for compounds of interest to others. © 2011 American Society for Mass Spectrometry. Source

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