The rest of the #realtimechemcarnival posts

Hi again,

Apologies for the delay in posting the last #realtimechemcarnival roundup. It has been a hectic time in the lab and at home!

@Fluorogrol contributed with his post on the oddities of scientific publishing, by reminding us that ” there’s free, and then there’s free“.

Katherine (@KJHaxton) then gave us a glimpse into her outreach life with her summary of a Chemistry at Work event for schools.

So that is it for the 2014 #realtimechemcarnival. See you again next year for another superb #realtimechem week.



#Realtimechemcarnival 2014 Day 2 and 3 Roundup

This year’s blog carnival has shone the light on a few chemistry blogs that I previously did not know existed. It is great to see so many new (to me) bloggers in the chem-blogosphere. Keep it up all. The more the merrier!

Here are the posts from Tues 24th and Weds 25th June.

1) Tom (@TRBranson) started us off with his awesome take on the supervisor-student relationship during thesis writing time.  I had many a comment on my thesis drafts, but I don’t think I was ever told that I was “fundamentally wrong”! Thanks for sharing, Tom.

2) Jess (@chemicaljess) wasn’t far behind her with post on intentions during a PhD. Her blog is a great place to read about the trials and tribulations of a PhD. Definitely worth a read for those just starting their PhD journey.

3) One of the prolific bloggers from last year’s  #realtimechemcarnival, Joaquin (@JoaquinBarroso), has again joined in with his post on his summer interns. It will be great to see the progress that these students make over the summer. Please do keep us up-to-date Joaquin!

4) Since the kind guys over at ChemDraw were kind enough to let me try out their new 2014 version, the least I could do was let them know what I thought of it.

5) Julia (@ochemprep) joins the party with her post on Praying for an Epiphany where she shares her story from undergrad to start-up founder.

Keep up the excellent #realtimechem work everyone and remember to let me know if you think I have missed any carnival posts.

#realtimechemcarnival – New ChemDraw: What do I think?

A slightly different post in aid of the #realtimechemcarnival but hopefully useful to someone!

I currently use ChemDraw 13 Pro at work. This has very basic features and is really only useful for drawing out reaction schemes and checking molecular weights. At my previous workplace, I had ChemDrawUltra 2010. This had a lot of useful features like “convert name to structure” and NMR prediction, which were really useful tools, especially as I was writing my PhD thesis at the time.

Recently, I was given the chance to trial the new ChemBioDrawUltra 14.0. I expected this to be a better, flashier version of ChemDrawUltra 2010 and, indeed, it is. It has pretty much all the same useful tools as ChemDrawUltra 2010 but it also has some new features, which I have had fun playing around with.

What do I particularly like about this new version?

1) BioDraw tools – our group is very interdisciplinary. We currently have people working with biocatalysts and we were very pleased to see updated BioDraw tools (a lot more choice and much more detailed) and a Biopolymer tool bar so that peptide/DNA chains can be drawn. I have a feeling the bio people in the lab will be wanting to borrow my laptop in the coming months!


2) Structure Tool bar – this is a useful addition as it means I don’t keep having to go up to the structure menu. It contains the commonly used NMR prediction, naming and clean-up icons, amongst others.


3) Scifinder addition – I thought this was a bit of a gimmick but it has made my life easier. I am currently writing a literature review and this has certainly made that quicker to write. It is as simple as drawing the structure, clicking on search > search SciFinder (via my library login page).

What I would like to see in future versions?

A tool bar for flow chemists – synthetic chemists are embracing flow chemistry more and more so it would be great to see some tools which would allow us to draw schemes of detailed flow set-ups.

Overall, I really liked this version. I will keep updating this post as I find more features that I like (or dislike). I got this version on a free trial, I am not sure, however, that I would pay the full price for it but I hope some employers do!


#Realtimechemcarnival 2014 Day 1 roundup

Hi all,

I hope you are all enjoying #realtimechem week! My week started with a house move and trip to Ikea so I am a little behind but from what I have seen so far, there has been a huge variety in the content of the tweets from people all over the world. Keep it up tweeps.

Monday gave us some really amazing blog posts, so thank you, bloggers, for getting involved and contributing.

1) Harm reduction – an interesting post on the rise of ecstasy derivatives by Craig (@Sci_McInnes).

2) The ever wonderful Laura-Jane (@laurajane0103) has started up her first chemistry-themed blog in aid of #realtimechem week. Her introductory post is a video snapshot into a day in the life of Laura Jane.

3) At The Dose Makes the Poison, Kevin (@forensictoxguy) gives us an overview of drug detection in urine.

4) A new (to me) blogger, Martin (@MartinStoermer), from Chemistry and Computers, shares their views on The trouble with Cha, (aka cyclehexylalanine).

5) Ellen (@ChemistLN) joins in on the video blogging by giving us a tour of her lonely lab.

Thanks to all that contributed to the awesome blog posts for day 1 of #realtimechem week. Do let me know if you think I have missed any or if you want to host a post of your own here. I shall be writing some of my own this week, so do watch this space.

Back to the lab for me.


#Realtimechem Blog Carnival



As Dr Jay has mentioned, we shall be doing #realtimechemcarnival during #realtimechem week again this year. For more information about #realtimechem week, read Jay’s FAQ.

You can blog about absolutely anything chemistry related – the stranger, the better!  Once you have blogged, either email me the link at theorganicsolutionblog at gmail dot com or link on Twitter using the hashtag #realtimechemcarnival. If I can, I will then post the day’s carnival posts here but if not I will definitely do a roundup at the end of the week. For some inspiration, do take a look at the 2013 entries .

If you have any questions about the carnival, don’t hesitate to get in touch!


P.s Thanks to Jay for all his artwork!


#Wherescarmen at ACS Indy

As you may know, the ever awesome ACS reporter @carmendrahl is headed to ACS Indy in September. She has decided to crowd-source her conference attendance in the theme of Carmen Sandiego. Where would you like to see Carmen go?

Monday 9th Sept:

(a) Undergraduate Speed Networking with Chemistry Professions
(b) Advances in Analytical Techniques for Chemical Forensics
(c) Lightweight Materials from Biopolymers
(d) Opportunities and Challenges of U.S.-China Intellectual Property Agreements
(e) What’s Your Number? A Centennial Remembrance of Henry Moseley


Sunday 8th Sept:

(a) Advanced Bioanalytical Technologies for Genetic Modification Detection
(b) Making Demos Matter
(c) CO2 Conversion: Thermo-, Photo- and Electro-Catalytic
(d) Indianapolis Motor Speedway–Celebrate Science Indiana & College Challenge Race
(e) What You Need for the First Job, Besides the Ph.D. in Chemistry

Head to the C&EN Facebook page to found out more and vote.

Carmen sandiego ACS

“You wouldn’t want to get in touch with some pitohuis. It’s the world’s first known poisonous bird. Contact with its feathers or skin causes a numbing sensation”


* This post will be updated, as and when new polls come up on the C&EN facebook feed.

#Realtimechem Carnival Round up: The weekend

So today is my final #realtimechem week round up post, well, because #realtimechem week is pretty much over and done with.

A BIG thank you to everyone who has blogged this week, you have all been super.

This weekend has had some posts for new and old bloggers alike. Chad even started blogging just for the #realtimechemcarnival. How fabulous is that?

Right, enough with the chinwag, here are the weekend #realtimechemcarnival posts.

1) Andrew gives us a #realtimechem week and #chemclub round up. It is great to see two twitter hashtags so lovingly intertwined.

2) Kat completes her week’s blog diary with a bit of an NMR mystery…

3) Chad gives us a tour or his lab and a sneaky peek into the life of an analytical chemist.

4) Over at Just Like Cooking, SAO closes up his #chemmoviecarnival series. He has had many a blog entry on a huge range of movies all have which have been a delight to read.

5) The Collapsed Wavefunction does a lovely round up of the blog posts from this #realtimechem week.

Don’t forget that Jay continues to announce the winners of the #realtimechem tweets of the week. There are many winners so be sure to check out the results. You could be in the chance of winning a free ChemSpider lab coat!

#Realtimechem Carnival Round up: Day 4 and 5


Here are the #realtimechemcarnival posts for Thursday and Friday (so far). If you haven’t blogged yet, you have until Sunday evening to get something written. Feel free to write about your thoughts on #realtimechem week or anything chemistry related.

If I have missed anyone’s blog posts on any of the days, then just holler.

The great bloggers who have been blogging every day have proven themselves again. Thanks Andrew, Joaquin, Kat and Penny!


1) Joaquin celebrates DNA’s birthday. How serendipitous that #realtimechem week landed on such a special birthday.

2) Kat continues to share her open experiments with us. It is great to see such clean NMR spectra and the start of crystal formation.

3) Alasdair over at At the Interface blogs about his favourite PhD result. I love the carbon NMR spectrum.

4)  Some great pictures on Penny’s blog today. Another great post by her, this time on fossil teeth.

5) Andy guest blogs here on his favourite chemicals. Do you have a favourite chemical, if so why is it your favourite?

6) Todays “Chemistry Classics” posts is errr another classic! Today’s posts is on X-ray diffraction.

Friday (So far):

1) A new blog, Chemically Cultured by Tom, to add to the list of #realtimechemcarnival-ers. He shows his artistic side by writing us an awesome #realtimechem themed poem

2) Another new #realtimechemcarnival-er, Fragment-Based Drug Discovery & Molecular Design, reviews a publication on non-additivity of functional group contributions to affinity especially for ‘#realtimechem week.

3) It is lovely to see Penny round up her #realtimechem week experiences. She points out that, like most of us, she is fuelled by caffeine and “we’re just ordinary people with jobs that are slightly off the beaten path”. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

4) Andrew rounds up his blog series nicely with a post on the Foundations of Organic Chemistry. If you haven’t read all of his posts, then go, now! As an aside, he also has the best chemistry blogroll ever.

5) Here at The Organic Solution, I summarise some of the #freehandrings tweets that started yesterday. Do you think you can do a better job?


Any more for any more? You have two days and counting…


#Realtimechem Carnival: Friday #Freehandrings

On Thursday morning a lab mate asked me how good my freehand drawings were. I obviously accepted the challenge and gave the drawings of benzene and cyclohexane a go. As I often do, I then tweeted about it to see if anyone else was up for the challenge (#freehandrings)



@Realtimechem and I were then inundated by tweets with people giving #freehandrings a go. Here are a selection of the attempts. If you haven’t had a go at drawing, then feel free to tweet a pic using #realtimechem and/or #freehandrings




Again, the @Naturechemistry gang and @Carmendrahl show us how it is really done and even throw in some 7-membered rings




Only to be shown up by @seearroh and then @Reedroberts


We have had a lot of different #freehandrings from many a tweep. Please continue to have a go at the simple and more complex rings!




#Realtimechem Carnival Round up: Day 3

It is great to see even more blog posts in aid of #realtimechem week. So many of you are tweeting and blogging some awesome chemistry.

Here is a run down of Wednesday’s blog posts. If I have missed any then just let me know.

1) Ferniglab’s Blog shares a more serious point of view with a post on “Data re-use warrants correction at Nature Materials”

2) Joaquin gives us yet another excellent post on life in the day of a computational chemist. I particularly like the picture of the electrstatic potential surface of a calix4arene.

3) Over at The Collapsed Wavefunction there are a lot of pretty calculations that I don’t understand and some really cool pictures!

4) Andrew continues his superb Chemistry Classics series with a lesson on prebiotic chemistry. He really is teaching us something new everyday.

5) Penny over at Paleopix continues her geological chemistry theme with a post on powdering rocks.  I warn you, fish scales meet their doom 😉

6) Kat continues to wow us with her open lab book posts.  It is a fabulous post on the joys of column chromatography.

As an aside, make sure to keep an eye on Doctor Galactic’s place as he is showcasing the top tweets of the day. Who knows? You could be a prize winner!