About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

Chemistry and Drug Data: Drugbank
Chempedia Lab
Synthetic Pages
Organic Chemistry Portal
Not Voodoo

Chemistry and Pharma Blogs:
Org Prep Daily
The Haystack
A New Merck, Reviewed
Liberal Arts Chemistry
Electron Pusher
All Things Metathesis
C&E News Blogs
Chemiotics II
Chemical Space
Noel O'Blog
In Vivo Blog
Terra Sigilatta
BBSRC/Douglas Kell
Realizations in Biostatistics
ChemSpider Blog
Organic Chem - Education & Industry
Pharma Strategy Blog
No Name No Slogan
Practical Fragments
The Curious Wavefunction
Natural Product Man
Fragment Literature
Chemistry World Blog
Synthetic Nature
Chemistry Blog
Synthesizing Ideas
Eye on FDA
Chemical Forums
Symyx Blog
Sceptical Chymist
Lamentations on Chemistry
Computational Organic Chemistry
Mining Drugs
Henry Rzepa

Science Blogs and News:
Bad Science
The Loom
Uncertain Principles
Fierce Biotech
Blogs for Industry
Omics! Omics!
Young Female Scientist
Notional Slurry
Nobel Intent
SciTech Daily
Science Blog
Gene Expression (I)
Gene Expression (II)
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Transterrestrial Musings
Slashdot Science
Cosmic Variance
Biology News Net

Medical Blogs
DB's Medical Rants
Science-Based Medicine
Respectful Insolence
Diabetes Mine

Economics and Business
Marginal Revolution
The Volokh Conspiracy
Knowledge Problem

Politics / Current Events
Virginia Postrel
Belmont Club
Mickey Kaus

Belles Lettres
Uncouth Reflections
Arts and Letters Daily
In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

« Outsource to China, Then Move There? | Main | Merck vs. J&J: It's Come to This, Eh? »

September 8, 2010

Ancient Chemistry Comes Back to Life?

Email This Entry

Posted by Derek

The ACS journals page has a "20 Most Accessed" list, which can be an interesting thing to examine. The current one has some articles I've read and enjoyed, such as the guide to molecular interactions that was in J. Med. Chem. earlier this year. And there are synthetic methods in there, and a review of molecular gastronomy, some total syntheses, surface chemistry, and something on wastewater treatment. All fine.

But what's the deal with all the old pyridine chemistry? There's a 1962 paper on pyridine oximes on the list, a 1955 one on pyridine mercurials, of all things, and weirdest of all, an 1897 (!) paper on pyridine periodides.

Why this stuff is showing up on the most-requested list for 2010 is a complete mystery to me. Maybe I'm just slow today, but can anyone think of a reason, since I can't?

Comments (8) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Chemical News


1. opsomath on September 8, 2010 1:15 PM writes...

CEN had an article this week featuring recent pharma research on a prodrug with an sp2 aromatic nitrogen. The prodrug form was the ArN-NH2+ salt (what is that called?) which gets reduced in the body to the free ArN species.

Maybe it has something to do with that.

Permalink to Comment

2. coprolite on September 8, 2010 1:38 PM writes...

I'd wager that a big school that farms out chem courses (that other schools use for their curriculum) had a research paper/lab on pyridines. Or someone is putting a lot of effort into plagiarism/Sokal Affair-ish business. Don't knock it, though, by all accounts 1897 was a good year.

Permalink to Comment

3. J-bone on September 8, 2010 2:48 PM writes...

opsomath, I think you're referring to a diazonium salt.

Perhaps a couple large research groups in this area happen to have several people writing their dissertations? Or maybe there's a special issue of some journal and authors are all using the same references.

Permalink to Comment

4. Curt F. on September 8, 2010 2:53 PM writes...

I think the article referred to by opsomath is this one:

It describes an "amminium" salt, not a diazonium salt.

Permalink to Comment

5. MoMo on September 8, 2010 3:45 PM writes...

This is just some prank bent on wasting yours and our time. Looks like they wasted some heartbeats for all of us.

Permalink to Comment

6. Martin on September 8, 2010 5:43 PM writes...

Looks to me that someone has a page up somewhere like Wikipedia with links to the old papers on it. One of my own most "hit" papers is one that's listed on a Wikipedia page, and it's _way_ undercited by "real" subsequent literature compared to web page hit counts

Permalink to Comment

7. Molmechanic on September 9, 2010 12:36 PM writes...

Pyridine aldoximes (e.g. 2-PAM) are effective antidotes to chemical warfare nerve gas agents including sarin and VX. Note the authors of the 1962 paper are from the U.S. Army Chemical R&D Labs. Any nation (or terrorist group?) that stockpiles sarin would have a keen interest in having plenty of 2-PAM on hand.
2-PAM binds to the active site of acetylcholinesterase and displaces the nerve agent. For more on the mechanim of action see:

Permalink to Comment

8. Kaleberg on September 10, 2010 10:42 PM writes...

It's probably because they let morons like me use the internet. I was just downloading a 1926 paper in Science which not only refuted the Michelson-Morley negative result, but actually chart the earth's absolute movement with respect to the luminiferous ether. Do you get that kind of stuff in chemistry too? It could have been an 1897 phlogiston paper complete with a structure and preparation.

Permalink to Comment


Remember Me?


Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):

The Last Post
The GSK Layoffs Continue, By Proxy
The Move is Nigh
Another Alzheimer's IPO
Cutbacks at C&E News
Sanofi Pays to Get Back Into Oncology
An Irresponsible Statement About Curing Cancer
Oliver Sacks on Turning Back to Chemistry