Chemistry news archives

UPDATE: 2017-06-02 It’s a long time since I took over the running of There are still active resources here for you to use, but I only very rarely update the news pages. You should head for my main Sciencebase site for my latest writings and other creative output. I am on Twitter and Facebook as @sciencebase and

Pre-Wordpress Chemspy news archive: Chemical Aggregation
Last updated 21. May 2007 08:35

Chemspy has added a new chemistry news section to bring you the latest and greatest chemistry newsfeeds from around the globe. This is very much a “beta” project and the format and feeds aggregated are likely to change as we receive feedback on the new service. We are currently aggregating five chemistry RSS feeds from major news outlets. We are not scraping blogs to create a splog, but are using the format of really simple syndication (RSS) to provide visitors with a single entry point to chemistry news. If you know of a newsfeed you think we should aggregate in this service, please let us know at If you would like to subscribe to our meta feed, please use the following link:

Organic Lectures Reach Drexel Island
16. May 2007 17:17

Jean-Claude Bradley at Drexel University has taken his second life persona to his professional bosom and is now providing organic chemistry students not only with obelisks on the dragon-shaped island of Drexel (Drexopia, perhaps?), but they can now see orgaic chemistry lectures there too. It is an incredibly innovative use of SL, but I wonder whether students are going to feel like they are being monitored not only in the real world of university lecture rooms and study areas, but in the escapist virtual spaces of SL too. Scary thought.

DBPedia for Chemists
15. May 2007 14:01

Cambridge chemist Peter Murray-Rust recently alerted me to the DBpedia service. is a community effort to extract structured information (semantics) from Wikipedia and to make this information available on the Web. DBpedia allows you to ask sophisticated questions of Wikipedia rather than carrying out simple searches. “DBPedia is a semantic distillate of Wikipedia and soon all the chemistry will be in semantic form,” asserts Murray-Rust, “It will then be possible to ask questions like: “find compounds which were discovered by a Russian chemist in the 19th Century”. That is a simplistic example, of course. He believes that such efforts form part of a new information philosophy of “linked data” and points out that Open chemical resources, such as Pubchem, DBPedia, CrystalEye, ChEBI, etc. will soon become part of that philosophy.

InChI Hash
10. May 2007 13:27

You may have noticed the advent of strings of alphanumerics appearing on chemistry blogs such as Spinneret Chemistry News and many chemistry journals recently, they are also abundant in the chemistry databases including PubChem, ChEBI, and ChemSpider. Apparently, the average length of an InChI string, which uniquely represents a single molecule, is about 146 characters. Such a string length can often be too long for many search boxes, which limit entries for security reasons, and also causes serious spillover in blogs and publication pages. Thankfully, IUPAC has come up with a proposal to create an InChI hash. A standard-length codified version of the InChI format that might also embed a checksum character to ensure integrity. Such an InchiHash discussed by Rich Apodaca on Depth-First could quickly lead to the widespread of adoption of the invaluable InChI format. Watch this space.

Sex attractants
08. May 2007 08:35

Apparently, the most commonly searched molecular structures lie among those compounds found in the drug discovery field of ED. According to Antony Williams at viagra, cialis and levitra are searched again and again. “How many of these searches are by lay people and how many by chemists?” he asks, If these searches are by non-chemists what are they trying to find out about these chemicals at ChemSpider? Are they looking for side effects, consumer reports, suppliers or prices? It could prove a lucrative avenue of funding for the site, which by Williams own admission, is currently running mainly on devotion and adrenalin.

Journal Greasemonkeys
02. May 2007 13:15

Greasemonkey is a Firefox scripting device that allows you to hack (within the browser window), the layout and format of a website you are visiting. Do not worry it does not touch the actual pages, just your view of them. Now, Noel OBoyle has posted on the PMR blog about a new Blue Obelisk greasemonkey that allows you to see what bloggers are saying about a particular journal article, while you are browsing the journal table of contents. If you want to see any other journals added to the list, post a comment on the PMR blog.

Almost Visible Nanotubes
03. May 2007 14:13

You might think that an 18mm long single-walled carbon nanotube would somehow be visible to the naked eye. Well, naked or not your eyes simply cannot resolve objects that are mere nanometres across, regardless of their length. So, what have SWNT’s got to do with chemical informatics, searching and databases? Well, only insomuch as they are being touted as the future cabling and devices for molecular scale computers.

Charitable Status of OA
25. Apr 2007 13:59

Supporting OpenAccess? Fashion conscious scientist? Feel like giving to charity but want something in return? Then check out BMC’s range of attractive tee-shirts emblazoned with their various logos. On his blog, Cambridge U coding trombonist Jim Downing, says that the merchandising approach is probably not a good business model for OA because the money goes to charity, but according to the BMC site a mere 2 euros from a 27.40 euro tee-shirt is going to Computer Aid International. I’d be more inclined to buy a white tee-shirt from Oxfam, print my own logo and give the remainder of the cost to the charity direct.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2007
22. Apr 2007 19:07

Paul at the fabulous ChemBark blog (not so sure about the dog-cat hybrid with benzene in its eyes) is laying down odds for this year’s Nobel chemists. At 15:1 he reckons Molecular Studies of Gene Recognition (Ptashne) and Nuclear Hormone Signaling, Chambon/Evans/Jensen. So basically molecular biology rather than chemistry. Longest odds are Molecular Machines, Stoddart/Tour/+/? at 499-1 and then Studies in the Origin of Life, Miller/Orgel/+/?, 99999-1. Obviously Miller and Orgel will never, but I’d have put my good friend Sir Fraser at much shorter odds than 499-1. In fact, I’ve been tipping him as my hot tip for the last decade at least and now that he’s a knight of the realm isn’t it time he got his invitation to Stockholm? I think so.

Molecular Passwords
18. Apr 2007 13:26

A few weeks back I came up with what I think is perhaps a simple but potentially uncrackable passwords, especially for chemists. You will have to visit the Sciencetext site to find out more, but in the meantime, you should install Chemspider Search for Firefox to help you come up with inspiration.

Depth of Feeling
13. Apr 2007
Depth-First is not a new blog, at the time of writing the site, which is apparently “walking the web of chemical informatics” has archives stretching back to August 2006 and some 121 posts. A nice tag cloug gives you an idea of their content – inchi, 2d, cdk, opensource, ruby, pubchem, and with popular posts on hacking PubChem, free chemistry databases, the aesthetics of chemical structure diagrams, and converting IUPAC names to molecular formula with Ruby CDK it is quite likely that this blog will continue to grow in strength and populaity.

5. Apr 2007
ChemSpy’s good friend and cheminformatician Wendy Warr emailed to alert us to a new resource for drug discoverers – for which Dr Warr is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board.

QSAR World is a free, comprehensive web-based portal for the Quantitative Structure Activity Relationship (QSAR) modeling community and offers a free forum to share ideas and knowledge via articles, posters and datasets.

Chemists invade second life
1. Apr 2007
The team at the UsefulChem blog have invaded virtual reality world Second Life. Apparently, they’ve already dug a cemetary and filled it with blue obelisks (don’t ask…it’s for organic chemistry class quizzes) and are working with fellow SL’ers on a virtual molecular gallery that allows others to walk around compounds, such as cholesterol. You can discover more by following this slurl

Chemspider Searching
published on Fri, 30 Mar 2007 13:32:06 GMT
There’s a new chemical search engine on the block. The ChemSpider search, has access to 10million+ molecules and growing and is structure and substructure enabled. If you have ChemSketch from ACD/Labs, you’ll have the perfect tool in hand for accessing the database.

Physical Plagiarism
published on Wed, 21 Mar 2007 20:32:36 GMT
If you’re a chemical physicist, a physical chemist, or just a plain vanilla physicist, you will almost certainly know about the arXiv preprint server. Well, as of this summer, arXiv will have built-in anti-plagiarism software, so just make sure all your words are original before you submit.

Chemistry Pipe
published on Thu, 22 Mar 2007 22:04:21 GMT
My good friend Mitch Garcia at Berkeley is a great proponent of Yahoo Pipes, the relatively new system that allows you to create sophisticated search algorithms based on RSS feeds (for search results). I asked him to look into creating a Pipe to allow anyone to search all the chemistry journals for ASAP papers, so here it is, give it a try and let us know what you think. The really useful part of creating such a pipe is that once you carry out a specific search, the results produce their own rss feed as output, which you can subscribe to in your newsreader as you would with any normal rss feed.

Open Access to MIT Chemistry
published on Wed, 07 Mar 2007 15:21:56 GMT
For those who haven’t already heard MIT has made hundreds of its course available online in various forms. This item links to the Chem Eng section but there are so many more.

All new IUPAC Gold Book
published on Fri, 01 Dec 2006 07:38:36 GMT reports that the infamous IUPAC Gold Book has finally been brought into the 21st Century and is now taking “full advantage of new technologies based on eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and provides efficient ways of browsing, searching, and simply using this reference.” We’ll be updating our Gold Book search tool shortly.

published on Tue, 28 Nov 2006 14:48:11 GMT
New from the Genome Campus in Hinxton, Cambridge – CiteXplore – cross-linking the biomedical scientific literature with molecular databases.

Bio joins Ruby on the Rails
published on Thu, 02 Nov 2006 22:24:50 GMT
BioRails is a new open source study & test management solution designed for biologists working in drug discovery research. It has been specifically designed to support biologists working in in vivo and therapeutic research areas.

Chemistry Central Journal Launches
published on Thu, 14 Sep 2006 11:30:30 GMT
A new open access outlet for chemists? peer reviewed research was launched today. Chemistry Central Journal. Publisher BMC says, the journal is the first international open access journal covering all of chemistry and will publish its first issue early in 2007.

Top Ten Chemical Searches
published on Mon, 04 Sep 2006 16:39:00 GMT
The top searches on Chemspy reflect some of the fairly obvious interests of our readers as well as some of the more esoteric: imidacloprid formulations, anthracene, sulfuric acid, basic information of stereospecific compound, m-CPBA, terpenoids, Dynacco Inc, Polyvinyl Alchohol manufacturer, stoichiometry lab activity, chemical prices, ammonia, imidacloprid solubility, naphthalene, methanol, isooctanol, ketanserin, stoichiometry/labs, metformin, trichloromethane… The list goes on. At some point we may produce a page to point to detailed information on each of these. In the meantime, feel free to use our specialist search engines such as, pubchem etc and of course Chemspy’s own internal search facilities.

Nice Web Site
published on Sat, 02 Sep 2006 08:52:28 GMT
Chemspy was featured as a “Nice Web Site” this month by the Internet Resources Newsletter. “There’s a great deal of information available through this site…All databases included in this service are free of charge and available without login”. So, there you have it. Take a look at for all your chemical info needs.

Chemical Search
published on Thu, 31 Aug 2006 14:27:45 GMT
We’ve upgraded the Chemspy chemical search page to purge obsolete search tools and to update the system. Give it a try, you can search for chemical prices, chemical companies, MSDS data sheets, chemistry journals, patents, dictionaries, acronyms, spectral data, physical properties, chemistry jobs, and more.

Chemistry Central
published on Tue, 22 Aug 2006 09:04:59 GMT
A new Open Access chemistry portal launches today. We will be keeping a close eye on how the system progresses and keep you informed of updates as well announcing the imminent launch of the organisation’s new chemistry journal. Read the press release and commentary from David Bradley in the Sciencebase scienc blog.

Chemistry World Newsfeed
published on Thu, 10 Aug 2006 14:25:27 GMT
We’re now running the RSC’s Chemistry World newsfeed on the ChemSpy site, to provide you with the latest breaking news from this award-winning magazine.

8 million PubChem entries
published on Thu, 10 Aug 2006 13:16:06 GMT
According to Steve Heller, writing in CHMINF-L, the recent addition of chemical structures from Spain’s Prous Science’s Drugs of the Future database, and additional structures from the NIH-funded UC-SF ZINC project now means the open access PubChem chemical structures database containes almost 8 million unique chemical (7,995,841 at the time of posting). You can search PubChem direct from your favourite chemical database and search site right now, for free.

Chemical Literature Search
published on Thu, 06 Jul 2006 11:29:25 GMT
Now you can search the full-text scientific literature from dozens of publishers courtesy of Google. We have embedded the appropriate tags on this test page. Enter your search term and hit Go. The results returned will filter out those you’d get from a normal web search and give you journal articles from each publisher site with the convenience of a single 100-entry search engine results page (SERP)

Periodic Table Game
published on Tue, 27 Jun 2006 15:08:26 GMT
If you’re called Frank, Nina, Tiberius, Asimov, Nicholas, or Hepburn, and you’re a chemist, you’re probably well aware that you can construct your name from periodic table element symbols, e.g. AsIMoV (arsenic, iodine, molybdenum, and vanadium), or if you’re not that way inclined you may not have tried this periodic game with your monicker. Chemspy now presents a periodic table compliancy test for all visitors, c/o VIReN over at Check it out! It’s fun and if you can’t remember your own name, pick your favorite movie or pop star, or a well-known chemist! The periodic table name game featured in SEED magazine’s Daily Zeitgeist on June 27th.

Chemistry Conferences
published on Fri, 23 Jun 2006 13:23:18 GMT
Chemspy now brings you regularly updated listings of forthcoming chemistry conferences and meetings, chemical symposia, and industry trade shows and other events.

Chemspy Updates
published on Tue, 13 Jun 2006 19:30:25 GMT
We’ve made a few changes to the site’s front page, giving our what’s new section it’s own box, adding the free chemistry magazines portal, and running the chemistry blog headlines too. We’ve also adopted the new ChemRefer search standard for speedier searching of the open access chemical literature and switched our Chmoogle references to their new name – e-Molecules. We’ve also fixed some minor niggles such as the failure of our science events page to render, this has been repaired now. Visit soon and find out what’s new in chemical searching!

KMT Simulator
published on Thu, 06 Jul 2006 11:25:17 GMT
You’ll need Java enabled to work this chemical machine, but visit to have a play with the Gas law Program. Basically, lots of little green dots bouncing around, move the sliders to change temperature, pressure and volume and find out what happens when you squeeze or heat a gas. It’s an oldie but a goodie.

Chmoogle Oogled
published on Fri, 26 May 2006 08:15:02 GMT
Sadly, a higher power has decreed that the chemical search engine Chmoogle not be called -oogle any more. Can you guess who brought the suit against them? No? Really? So, now Chmoogle is eMolecules, and the group of scientists who run the site have decided not to fight on even though they think they’re right. You can still search Chmoogle, sorry eMolecules, through the Chemspy tools. I’ll await the final outcome before switching over to the new name…

Molecular Formula Search
published on Wed, 24 May 2006 18:50:15 GMT
A query on the site regarding whether it were possible to reverse engineer a high-resolution molecular weight to work out a likely molecule with that particular weight with no additional information sent me on a search for an appropriate tool. Thanks to Jonathan Goodman at the University of Cambridge I discovered that just such a tool does indeed exist. Now with Jonathan’s permission we are enabling the tool on the ChemSpy site.

PubChem Growing
published on Wed, 03 May 2006 12:26:02 GMT
PubChem is growing rapidly day by day according to the latest news out of NIH. Recently added are chemical structures and bioassay data from the Structural Genomics Consortium at Oxford, and bioassay data from the San Diego Center for Chemical Genomics. ChemSpy users can search all of this and more with just a couple of clicks using the Search PubChem applet.

ChemSpy on Your Website
published on Thu, 27 Apr 2006 13:27:32 GMT
You can add a ChemSpy search box to your site that gives your visitors quick and easy access to a range of chemical searching tools, including,, chemfinder, NIST, and Google Scholar. Download the code now. Also available MSDS search box!
published on Thu, 27 Apr 2006 09:20:07 GMT
Chemspy is proud to announce an updated search tool for the chemical industry. Visit the homepage enter your search terms in the Chemical Search box and click “ChemIndustry” to search this vast online resource quickly and easily. is also host to ChemWeb and David Bradley’s excellent fortnightly chemical news column, The Alchemist.

Open Access Chemistry Toolbar
published on Thu, 25 May 2006 21:47:28 GMT
Chemspy is proud to present the FREE ChemRefer Toolbar. This fast Internet Explorer add-in allows you to search all the available OpenAccess (OA) chemistry literature at the click of a mouse. You don’t need know which sites are offering OA chemistry journals, just plugin in your keywords and search. Visit ChemSpy to download the ChemRefer Toolbar, and while you’re there try out our other inline search engines – PubChem, Chmoogle, Google Scholar etc.

Elementalist News
published on Thu, 30 Mar 2006 08:50:21 GMT
You can now read the latest news from the Sciencebase group of science websites on ChemSpy! Get chemistry news headlines straight from Reactive Reports, SpectroscopyNOW, PSIgate Spotlight, Sciencebase Science Blog and more.

PubChem Interview
published on Tue, 21 Mar 2006 12:00:37 GMT
Award-winning British science writer David Bradley recently interviewed Steve Bryant for the chemistry webzine Reactive Reports (Issue 53, March 20, 2006). Bryant who is a Senior Investigator in the Computational Biology Branch of the National Center for Biotechnology Information at NIH revealed the inspiration and some of the ongoing developments in the PubChem database.

Useful Chemistry Blog
published on Sun, 19 Mar 2006 14:55:18 GMT
Chemspy is now syndicating the Usefulchem Blog newsfeed. Follow the links to enter the chemistry forum where chemistry matters and questions of potentially global import are being answered.

ChemRefer Partners ChemSpy
published on Fri, 17 Mar 2006 08:18:06 GMT
Chemrefer, the chemical search engine for the Open Access literature has joined forces with ChemSpy to bring you a quick and easy way to find the latest publications in the field of chemical sciences that are available with free access. Just visit the ChemSpy homepage tap in your query in the search box (bottom right) and hit ChemRefer. The ChemSpy search system also offers similary convenient access to ChemFinder, the NIST WebBook, Google Scholar, the ChemIndustry database, as well as Chmoogle. Don’t forget to click the “Set Chemspy 2 Home” to be sure you have instant access to Chemspy from your browser.

Chemical Industry and Trade Publications
published on Wed, 01 Mar 2006 15:00:00 GMT
ChemSpy is now offering readers access to a wide range of free subscriptions to quality trade and industry magazines, including Chemical Processing, LG*GC, Nature Methods, Small Times, Spectroscopy and many more. Pick and choose your free subscriptions by visiting ChemSpy now.

Download Spectroscopy Software Tutorial
published on Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:13 GMT now offers a direct link and a little background information on the spectroscopy software tutorial WinTorg. Grab the latest version (v4.2) right now and get to grips with those spectral lines.

Google Chmoogle
published on Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:12 GMT
Fed up with poor chemistry results from the search engines? then try Chmoogle from eMolecules, you can now access this fast chemistry searching tool direct through and with the ChemSketch addon from ACD/Labs it’s a simple matter to search from within your favorite drawing package too.

ACS Directory of Graduate Research
published on Wed, 01 Mar 2006 09:14:58 GMT
The ACS is now offering its Directory of Graduate research – DGRweb – the most comprehensive source for information on chemical research and researchers at academic institutions in North America – on the web for FREE. You can find direct links to their faculty search and institution search forms via the site.

Chemical Industry News
published on Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:10 GMT
Akzo Nobel aims for China sales 1 billion usd by 2010, Forbes… BASF India to hike capacity… DuPont And Kronos Announce Settlement Of Patent Litigation… …more from Chemical Industry News

Science Current Events
published on Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:09 GMT now supports the SpectroscopyNOW science current events newsfeed, bringing you the latest information on the scientific conference circuit, including

Current Science Events
published on Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:08 GMT now brings you current science events on a month by month basis with help from – worlwide conferences, scientific exhibutions, and trade shows. View this month’s listings, next month’s events, and the month after next via the site

Search PubChem
published on Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:07 GMT users can now carry out text string searches of the massive Pubchem database of more than 5 million small molecules. Thanks to the PubChem team for permission to port the Pub Chem search form on

Chemical Searching
published on Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:06 GMT offers a whole range of ways to search for MSDS, chemical information, and chemical databases on the web

Chemical Industry News
published on Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:05 GMT offers regularly updated news headlines from the chemical industry, plastics industry, petrochemical (oil and gas) industry, engineering, biotech industry, metals industry, and the pharmaceutical industry

Chemical Sciences Portal
published on Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:03 GMT provides visitors with free access to a wide range of chemistry resources on the web including ChemDex, AskaChE, the EnviroLink Network and much more through the ChemSpy portal service.

Chemical Tutorials
published on Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:02 GMT links you to comprehensive tutorials in the field of chemistry and chemical engineering – providing chemistry tutorials in thermochemistry, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, molecular visualization, organic chemistry, atomic structure and much more.

Download Chemistry Software
published on Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:01 GMT offers visitors free chemistry software downloads including KinDis, Kinbat, and other free chemistry programs, coming soon…

MSDS Sheets
published on Wed, 01 Mar 2006 00:00:00 GMT
MSDS (material safety data sheets) are available via the ChemSpy homepage. Search MSDS for information on materials potentially hazardous to health.

Material Safety Data Sheets
published on Fri, 21 Apr 2006 10:31:01 GMT
MSDS sheets are an essential part of any risk assessment exercise for students, educators, researchers, and basically anyone else working with chemicals and materials. We’ve added a specific search page to the Chemspy site to allow visitors to get to this crucial information easily and with minimum fuss. Just for the record, we’ve also fixed the CSS style sheet for this page!

Author: David Bradley

David Bradley is owner-operator of sibling site to He is a Chartered Chemist (CChem), Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC). Has experience of QA/QC with a food and beverages company and has been in science communication for more than a quarter of a century. His latest book Deceived Wisdom is on sale now.