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How to Draw Newman Projections

How to Draw Newman Projections

You probably don’t want me designing your house. I can’t look at floorplans and ‘see’ what the finished building will be like. Similarly, when it came to understanding molecules in 3D, I wasn’t a natural. I particularly remember being bad at Newman projections! And yet, as a research organic chemist, my specialty was stereochemistry. How…

Benznote vs ChemPaper – Review of Hexagon Template Paper for Organic Chemistry

Benznote vs ChemPaper – Review of Hexagon Template Paper for Organic Chemistry

How to Draw Neat Organic Chemistry Structures? There’s a lot of students that I talk to who are interested in hexagon graph paper as templates that will help them draw better organic chemistry shapes. Particularly hexagons like for benzene or chair cyclohexanes when you get to chair conformations. There are two options: 1) Benznote – available online…

MEL Science Review by a Professional Chemist (With 3 Kids!)

MEL Science Review by a Professional Chemist (With 3 Kids!)

Are you one of those parents who isn’t very fond of subscription boxes? Neither am I! And yet I’m here to tell you why MEL Science, MEL Chemistry in particular, is different (as in: better) from most other subscriptions on the market. But first, here’s a little bit of background. I’ve loved science, and chemistry…

Acids and Bases – How to Determine Which Acid is Stronger

Acids and Bases – How to Determine Which Acid is Stronger

One of the most common questions in organic chemistry is ‘which of these two compounds is more acidic?’ Here are the 4 most important factors to consider. How to determine the stronger acid In Organic Chemistry, acids and bases is really quite qualitative. We’re often looking at whether a compound is even acidic or basic at all….

Esters – Functional Group Spotlight

Esters – Functional Group Spotlight

Esters are such a ubiquitous and important functional group, and they’re often one of the first to be encountered in preparative chemistry labs, since they are so readily formed. Hot on the heels of his recent Acetals and Ketals Functional Group Spotlight, MedChemProf has returned to the world of carboxylic acid derivatives with this overview of…

Acetals and Ketals – Functional Group Spotlight

Acetals and Ketals – Functional Group Spotlight

Acetals and Ketals have a special place in my OChem-loving heart! Not least because I spent most of my PhD trying to make spiroacetal structures that were part of a natural product called spongistatin. In fact, I like them so much that my last major research project before leaving academia was about trying to synthesize spiroacetals…

How to Study Organic Chemistry – A Pre-Med Survival Guide

How to Study Organic Chemistry – A Pre-Med Survival Guide

I’m SO excited by today’s post! I’ve brought onboard McKenna, who runs the gorgeous and hugely popular instagram account @magnolia_med, documenting her pre-med study journey. McKenna shares her secrets for how to study organic chemistry – how she turned a 65 into an A in Organic Chemistry, and her top tips for the ACS final exam! How I…

Amides – Functional Group Spotlight

Amides – Functional Group Spotlight

Amides are one of the most important functional groups in Organic Chemistry. They’re ubiquitous in biology and medicine and understanding their structure and properties is vital to understanding what gives proteins their shapes. Here with a special guest Spotlight on Amides is MedChemProf, an Associate Professor in a School of Pharmacy, with strong interest in…

2 Mistakes with Chair Conformations (and How to Avoid Them!)

2 Mistakes with Chair Conformations (and How to Avoid Them!)

Once you’ve mastered the art of drawing chair conformations, it’s time to stick some axial and equatorial substituents on those beautiful chairs. In marking thousands of exam papers, there’s 2 mistakes that I’ve seen over and over again. Here’s how to avoid those mistakes ace any chair conformations in your OChem exams. The 2 biggest mistakes…

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