Chemical Plastic

October 24, 2011

Scientists form American and Japan Won the The 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry in Common


The 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to the University of Delaware’s Richard Heck, Purdue’s Ei-ichi Negishi and Hokkaido University’s Akira Suzuki for their work in developing new ways to synthesize complex organic molecules by way of what are called palladium-catalyzed cross-couplings.

Two organic compounds that ordinarily would not readily react with other easily both bond to an atom of palladium. Carbon atoms on the two molecules, now in close proximity, bond to each other, forming a new compound.

Biochemist Lars Thelander at the announcement from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: “Palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling has made it possible to synthesize carbon based molecules, for example, new medicines, agricultural chemicals and organic compounds used in the electronics industry.”

A prime example is discodermalide, produced naturally by a marine sponge, but in very small quantities. After it was found to have anti-tumor properties, large quantities were able to be made using palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling.

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