Dr. Miquel A. Pericàs, Director of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) and of the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ) was featured today in El País for techniques used at ICIQ that allow for discoveries to be made in days that before would have required years.
The article explains that in their quest for new compounds that cure diseases or that may be useful to industry, ICIQ researchers work with a kind of puzzle. Knowing how the atoms of a molecule are organized, it is possible to predict how they will fit together and what properties will have the best results.
In the article, Dr. Pericàs is quoted with:
“In chemistry, today we are working on a type of processes that we call magic bullet, in which you get in one step what previously required several. For example, the great workhorse of synthetic chemistry is the activation of the carbon-hydrogen bond. Thus, from a hydrocarbon provided by the petrochemical industry we can obtain a very elaborate product. To reach that end, chemists could test hundreds of catalysts and the conditions under which reactions could take place, but if they had to do so sequentially, that would take years. And in today’s chemistry world that time is not available.”
The full article (available in Spanish) can be found on the El País website.