News Article | April 17, 2017
NC State analytic chemist Nelson Vinueza is working on digitizing and analyzing the library so that its contents are accessible to the public. "Each vial has the chemical structure written on it, so we must first digitize those molecular structures and then select candidates to do further characterization," Vinueza says. "Obviously with a library of this size, the time and expense associated with characterizing each dye would be prohibitive, so we needed a faster, more efficient way to be able to analyze these dyes." Vinueza partnered with NC State computational chemist Denis Fourches to create a cheminformatics map of the 2,700 dyes that had their molecular structures already digitized. The computer models allowed the researchers to compare dyes with similar chemical structures and properties. The cheminformatics analysis also enabled the identification of 150 chemically unique dyes representative of the library. In order to assist researchers in developing dyes with desirable properties, these sampled chemical structures are now publicly available in the ChemSpider database. "There are 58 million chemicals in the ChemSpider database, and 143 of the dyes have completely unique chemistry, which is really fantastic," Vinueza says. "We believe that this addition can prove invaluable to researchers who are looking for particular characteristics in these chemicals, such as antibiotic or anti-cancer properties, or for dyes that absorb light in ways that could lead to better solar-cell technology," Vinueza continues. "This dye library could prove invaluable in creating cutting-edge solutions to problems ranging from human health to the environment." "The chemical maps and the other cheminformatics modeling techniques we used here provide a cheaper and faster way to screen for chemical dyes with the desired properties," Fourches says. "Doing that same analysis by experimentally characterizing and testing all samples in a lab would take decades. "And since these dyes were constructed sequentially over time, it is straightforward to pinpoint where structural changes led to properties of interest. We actually show that small modifications of the dyes' chemical structures can lead to dramatic changes of their properties. This library is a real treasure trove for chemists." Explore further: Computer simulations first step toward designing more efficient amine chemical scrubbers More information: MelaineA Kuenemann et al, Weaver's Historic Accessible Collection of Synthetic Dyes: A Cheminformatics Analysis, Chem. Sci. (2017). DOI: 10.1039/C7SC00567A
Williams A.J.,ChemSpider |
Williams A.J.,SUNY College at Oneonta |
Pence H.E.,SUNY College at Oneonta
Journal of Chemical Education | Year: 2011
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.
Little J.L.,Eastman Chemical Company |
Williams A.J.,ChemSpider |
Pshenichnov A.,ChemSpider |
Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry | Year: 2012
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.