Molecule of the Month at Imperial College

A number of Web sites in the UK and elsewhere have agreed to update regularly a "molecule-of-the-month" page. This is intended to be a forum where interesting stories about molecules are told. Some of the stories will be about relatively simple molecules, which perhaps have an interesting scientific history. Others will be about "state-of-the-art" molecules which represent the pinnacle of current chemical research.
Mauveine: The start of the Chemical Industry (December) "FR-900848": A natural product containing five cyclopropane rings (January) A Route to the stereospecific synthesis of the hormone vitamin D3 (February) How Photosynthesis works: The Photosystem Reaction Centre (March)
The Structure of DNA (April) Helicoidal Graphite (May)
A Porphyrin trimer catalyst for the Diels Alder Reaction (June)

We intend the molecules in this collection to be "hyperactive", ie you should be able to rotate them in 3D if you have suitable software on your computer. Proceed as follows


  1. Acquire a 3D program such as RasMol.
  2. Set the Helper types in your Browser configuration to recognise the following MIME type: chemical/x-pdb and filename suffix .pdb, and associate this with your 3D viewer. If you have configured correctly, then clicking on the images in the display should activate your viewer with the molecule in its window.
  1. Acquire Version 2.0 or higher of Netscape
  2. Acquire Chemscape Chime, which is a Netscape plug-in.
  3. Once installed, the molecule should appear already rotating in the window.

Main MOTM Collection at Bristol
Interactive Demos by David Marcey
Nature now has Hyperactive Molecules: One and two

(c) Henry Rzepa. 1995, 1996.