Category: Chemistry Videos

  • Epic First Cocaine Synthesis (Total Synthesis by Wilstätter)

    Epic First Cocaine Synthesis (Total Synthesis by Wilstätter)

    Did you know that while Coca Cola was getting consumers casually coked up in the late 19th century, chemistry titans were fighting an epic battle around cocaine synthesis? With a Nobel Prize on the line, the stakes were high, cocaine’s structural complexity was high… and everybody else was high too. Keep watching to learn more…

  • SN2 mechanism: What the Substitution Reaction looks like

    SN2 mechanism: What the Substitution Reaction looks like

    Do you struggle to comprehend the SN2 mechanism, or the difference between SN2 vs SN1? You are not alone! All of us need models and practice to understand what the molecules look like in their 3D structure. I suggest to watch the video above – the point of animations is to see them, duh! If…

  • MDMA Synthesis in 3 Steps & How it could help PTSD Therapy

    MDMA Synthesis in 3 Steps & How it could help PTSD Therapy

    The MDMA synthesis is not complex from a chemistry perspective. More interestingly, recent clinical trials have indicated MDMA-assisted therapy is highly effective for people with severe PTSD. Today we will look at MDMA’s history and its chemical syntheses. We will dispel myths about MDMA’s discovery and review the first kilo-gram scale MDMA synthesis published in…

  • Simple LSD Synthesis in 7 Chemical Steps (Organic Chemistry)

    Simple LSD Synthesis in 7 Chemical Steps (Organic Chemistry)

    In a by now ancient video we discussed the history and total syntheses of lysergic acid. This is the precursor of the psychoactive drug lysergic acid diethylamide or LSD. These old-school and new-school syntheses were quite cool but they are quite lengthy, consisting of more than a dozen individual chemical steps.Well, a team of chemists recently reported…

  • Thalidomide Tragedy: Horror Drug or Miracle?

    Thalidomide Tragedy: Horror Drug or Miracle?

    The thalidomide tragedy was the biggest “man-made disaster apart from war”. This molecule’s structure looks simple and innocent, but a chiral carbon gives rise to two enantiomers with different pharmacological effects. While one isomer was a safe sedative, the other one led to limb malformations in thousands of babies. We will check out how this…

  • This Obesity Drug Tricks Your Body Into Burning Fat (Exercise Mimetics)

    This Obesity Drug Tricks Your Body Into Burning Fat (Exercise Mimetics)

    Are you tired of dieting or pounding the pavement like David Goggins just to shed a few pounds? Imagine a future medicine that could mimic the benefits of literally running for days. Weight loss meds like Ozempic have been sending shockwaves through Hollywood and Wall Street. Advocacy by famous figures went viral on social media,…

  • How Scientists Discover New Antiviral Drugs (Medicinal Chemistry)

    How Scientists Discover New Antiviral Drugs (Medicinal Chemistry)

    When people with an IQ of 50 hate on the “evil” scientists of big pharma, they often overlook that there is relentless work and ingenious brainpower behind the discovery and optimization of medicines, including antiviral drugs. If drug discovery would be so easy, pharma companies would not spend up to billions of dollars to get…

  • What is KEKulene and is it Super-Aromatic?  Organic Chemistry

    What is KEKulene and is it Super-Aromatic? Organic Chemistry

    If you took any chemistry classes ever, you’ve heard that benzene is particularly stable due to its aromaticity. Well, benzene is cute but it pales in comparison to the massive Kekulene. It’s so apolar and insoluble that you can only dissolve it in spicily hot solvents and need to measure your NMR spectra in custom-made…

  • Cubane Chemistry: Fascinating Synthesis of 1-azahomocubane

    Cubane Chemistry: Fascinating Synthesis of 1-azahomocubane

    Molecules take very intriguing forms. You might know cubane, the literal molecular cube. Now, scientists recently reported the synthesis and characterization of 1-azahomocubane, one of the first of hopefully many more cubane analogues. Similar to weird species like Dewar benzene, these molecules can offer chemists new insights into effects and limits of ring strain. Today…

  • Synthesis of Psilocybin and How Magic Mushrooms Rewire Brain Networks

    Synthesis of Psilocybin and How Magic Mushrooms Rewire Brain Networks

    Did you know that the active chemical in magic mushrooms psilocybin can rewire and make the human brain more flexible, translating into major therapeutic benefit in depression and other conditions? This has led to Australia approving specific medicinal use of psychedelics as the first country. You will be surprised to hear that psilocybin can be…