Chemical Informatics Letters

Volume 14, Issue 3; March 2007

Editor: Jonathan M Goodman

Japanese chemistry
A list of Japanese Chemistry databases is available from the Science Links Japan portal.

Reasons for open access publishing
The University of Alberta library blog has an article on reasons for open access. The Office of Scholarly Communication and Publication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison also has a view, and a response from the libraries director. The Belarussian State University has a directory of free full-text journals in chemistry.

CAS anniversary
Since 1907 (PDF), CAS has indexed and summarized chemistry-related articles, and has reported on over thirty million substances (statistical summary PDF). This impressive achievement attracts speculations about the next developments.

Submission, Preservation and Exposure of Chemistry Teaching and Research Data (SPECTRa) is a project to develop tools to deposit chemistry data in digital repositories. Other spectral databases are available, including KnowItAll, FDM Library, Spectral Database for Organic Compounds (SDBS), Coblentz data from the Coblentz Society and NMRShiftDB

Is the Wikipedia reliable enough? If not, try the Scholarpedia or the Citizendium, which may have systems to be more reliable, but have dramatically less information.

Machines that can make anything
Fabbers aer machines which can construct three-dimensional objects on the desktop. Unfortunately, they are a long way from fabber-molecular.

Novo Nordisk drops small molecules
Novo Nordisk announced it wil focus all of its research and development efforts on protein-based therapeutics, a market that is projected to increase from about fifty billion dollars in 2005 towards a hundred billion dollars according to Drug Discovery News.

Lavoisier's notebooks
Thirteen of the fourteen laboratory notebooks by Lavoisier are now available on the website of Panopticon Lavoisier.

Metabolome database
The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB) is a freely available electronic database containing detailed information about small molecule metabolites found in the human body (press release), developed by David Wishart and his research group at the University of Alberta.

Source Code for Chemistry
How much source code is available for chemistry-related programs? How much of this can be retrieved easily? SourceForge currently has more than 260 chemistry projects. Google code search finds thirty thousand hits on a search for "Chemistry". Krugle finds only twelve thousand. All The Code finds fewer than four hundred. There is no simple relationship between the number and the quality of the hits.

Unsolved problems in chemistry
The Wikipedia has a list of unsolved problems in chemistry. Some of these problems, at the time of writing, are simply misunderstandings or so general that no single insight or group of insights will lead to satisfying solutions. Can the page be edited to contain serious challenges? Linus Pauling (here pointing to the incorrect structure of diborane) lectured on unsolved problems of his time.

Simple XML
How simple is XML? XML::Simple is available to interface Perl and XML, as does XML::LibXML and other resources. The large number of XML tutorials which are available (eg a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, etc) suggest it is important but not simple.

© 2007 J M Goodman, Cambridge; Chemical Informatics Letters ISSN 1752-0010
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