Free chemistry dictionary

UPDATE: Version 3.0 of the chemistry dictionary is now available. Now, with crowd-sourced, user-submitted words and an dictionary extension.

“It took me the better part of a month,” Azman told us, “but I’ve made my own and I want it to be as open-source as possible. Sciencebase is now hosting Azman’s efforts ready for free download zipped chemical dictionary file here). The chemistry dictionary is in standard “.dic” format and instructions for installing it on Microsoft Word OpenOffice can be found in the download together with licensing information (it’s creative commons).

Chemistry Dictionary

Azman concedes that it is not yet perfect and focuses mainly on organic chemistry words. “It almost certainly contains at least one error and misspelled word that sneaked through,” he confesses, “I tried to get as many of the conjugations as possible (-e, -es, -ed, -ing, -tion, etc), but probably missed several.” He also points out that it employs only US spellings.

“I don’t know how helpful it will be to an average chemist,” Azman told me, “but organic chemists should love it. From the organic perspective, I did not systematically go through and list every iterative derivative of every compound (methylbenzene, ethylbenzene, dimethylbenzene, fluorobenzene, etc.),” he adds, which could be something of a limitation compared to the paid for program which has 1,800,000 words compared to the 8000 or so entries in Azman’s dictionary. However, he did vet his list using the current ASAPs of JACS, JOC, and OL to catch some of the iterations he missed initially. “There are a surprising number of typos in those articles,” he points out.

Personally, I’ve had a medical dictionary running in my word processor for years, but this organic dictionary will complement that nicely and save me a lot of repeated add to dictionary clicks when writing around the subject of organic chemistry.

Azman is currently working on automating the iteration process with an Excel expert and as soon as that task is complete we’ll let you know so you can download the .dic file and install into your word processor.

Free Download: Chemistry Dictionary for Word/OpenOffice

Keywords: Open Access Chemistry Dictionary, Open Source Chemistry Dictionary, Microsoft Word Chemistry Dictionary, OpenOffice Chemical Dictionary.

This item originally appeared on my site and was first published on Sciencebase 2008-02-08 at 13h00 GMT.

Social networking with research data

I’d previously used the phrase “Napster for Research Papers” when thinking about Mendeley. Mendeley lets you upload your own research papers to your personal library under publishers’ fair use agreements and to share them with their peers as you might share a traditional paper reprint. So, maybe Napster was never the right metaphor…there’s nothing illegal in sharing your papers via reprints and most publishers nowadays allow their authors to do so via eprints.

Mendeley describes itself as, “Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.”

Now, personally, I have just a few papers in research journals dating back to the stone age (pre-mainstream online, you might say) but am not a research scientist so always felt what I could gain from Mendeley would be an entirely one-sided benefit without me being able to give much back. I could, I assumed (rightly), search for a paper of interest and hope to find at least one of the authors of the paper who had uploaded and shared a copy; I could access an eprint you might say. But, the benefit of my searching to the authors would be my journalistic interest in their work.

I was discussing the point with actively online scientist Ricardo Vidal. He suggested that the Napster metaphor is not strictly true and does not reflect what Mendeley is really all about.

“Mendeley is more like a super complete repository with strong recommendation features and ability to connect and collaborate with others based on your library,” he told me. So, if not Napster, then maybe it’s a or a Pandora for Papers?

“It’s social based on [research] data, not on making friends,” he explains. “The reprint aspect is an extra bonus.” He points out that the ability to self-publish is not simply about sharing the papers for free but it provides Mendeley users with near real-time statistics based on your readership. Viewed globally all those statistics can produce an approximately real-time picture of what’s “hot” and what you should probably be reading within your area of research. “It’s more than just sharing papers,” he add, “it’s improving research as we know it.”

I finally “completed” (still a few gaps but my green bar is complete) the 雷竞技官网 profile on Mendeley and will probably get around to uploading my “papers” over the next few days. Even though it’s social for data, do feel free to add me as a Mendeley contact if you’re on the system, and if you’re not, then why not tune in and check out the hits?

Even more science news

Science news snippets from the net meanderings of 雷竞技官网

  • Sir David King on climate change – King said, “We hear enough from the climate change skeptics that I have to repeat some fundamentals that you’ve probably heard before.” Fifty-five million years ago, atmospheric CO2 concentrations stood at about 1,000 ppm and global temperatures were much higher and ocean levels were about 110 m higher than they are today. Large mammals developed on Antarctica because the climatic conditions on all of the other continents were inhospitable to such development.<br />
    <br />
    In the past 500,000 years, every ice age was characterized by atmospheric CO2 concentrations around 200 ppm; every short interglacial period by concentrations around 285 ppm, which was also the preindustrial atmospheric concentration of CO2. Today, the atmospheric CO2 concentration stands at 389 ppm and is rising by 2 ppm per year.<br />
    <br />
    “Could we get back to 1,000 ppm CO2 by burning all of the fossil fuel on Earth?” King asked. “Yes.”
  • Save the Forensic Science Service – Brits are starting to get a feel for what it must have been like for US scientists under Dubya with the hacking and slashing of science that the current unelected UK government is doing. Petitions might help…
  • Switching to a standing desk – Is it time we desk jockeys made the switch to a standing desk? I wouldn't be too quick to rush into this form of working. Yes, it's not a good idea to spend 50 hours a week hunched over a desk, but your feet and the vascular system in your legs will not thank you in years to come for standing for that length of time each week. Maybe it's choice between avoiding a lardy arse now and varicose veins later…
  • Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 – Microsoft Mathematics provides a graphing calculator that plots in 2D and 3D, step-by-step equation solving, and useful tools to help students with math and science studies.
  • ScienceSeeker – ScienceSeeker collects posts from hundreds of science blogs around the world, so you can find the latest science news and discussion on any topic.
  • Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals Magazines, White Papers, Reports, and eBooks – Launched today, the Chemspy chemical and pharma resources site. Those in the industry or academia qualify for free biotechnology & pharma magazines, so-called white papers, eBooks and reports.

Science news

Science news snippets

  • Herpes target – UK scientists have used solution-state NMR spectroscopy for the first time to develop a 3D picture of a herpes virus protein interacting with a key part of the human cellular machinery. The study improves our understanding of how the virus hijacks human cells and could eventually lead to new targets for drug therapy.
  • Bacterial sense – A new biosensor platform for the detection of bacterial pathogens, specifically demonstrated with E coli, has been developed based on long-range surface plasmon-enhanced fluorescence spectroscopy (LRSP-FS). Chun-Jen Huang, Jakub Dostalek, Angela Sessitsch and Wolfgang Knoll of the Health and Environment Department, at the Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, in Vienna, explain how increasing awareness of food safety and the risks associated with various microbial pathogens carried in food and drinking water, in particular Escherichia coli O157:H7, mean identifying when such pathogens are present is becoming more and more important.
  • 7 of the biggest tobacco myths – When it comes to Big Tobacco, what we have are lies, lies, and still more lies. The myths about tobacco abound in all shapes and sizes. But being aware of these untruths can make you a better and healthier (non)consumer. More importantly, being knowledgeable about these myths can even save you life. Here are seven myths coupled with the cold, hard truth about tobacco use.
  • makes the most important chemistry search and chemical databases available – Redesigning (with graphene theme) my old ChemSpy site, adding new content, updating legacy pages, modernising, overhauling, rebuilding, reconstructing…you get the picture. Chemistry news and search.
  • 2011 conferences – Wendy Warr publishes her annual listing of conferences and meetings relevant to chemists and chemical librarians.
  • Free guide to science communication – Free ebook download of Frank Burnet’s ‘Why and how to communicate your research’

How and why to write about science

Dr Frank Burnet is Emeritus Professor of Science Communication and has kindly made available for free download his two ebooks on the subject.

Burnet began his career as a biochemistry lecturer, moving to the University of the West of England in Bristol in 1996, He was appointed the first Professor of Science Communication in the UK in 2002. He was awarded the MBE for Science on the Buses in 2000 and became the founding co-director with Kathy Sykes of the Cheltenham Science Festival, also in 2002. In 2004, he led the team that launched the Bristol based Masters in Science Communication. He set up his own Consultancy in 2009

The two handbooks, now available for download from, are a component of masterclasses he delivers around the world to scientists and science communicators. He is making them widely available to help strengthen the bridges between science and society. Feel free to download them (as PDF files) at no cost and to take inspiration from Burnet’s many years of experience in science and science communication:

Why and how to communicate your research

Taking science to the people

This week’s science news snippets

  • International Year of Chemistry, "Naturally" – Nature's take on the launch of the International Year of Chemistry 2011 (IYC11)
  • Stinging vision – A group of school children aged between 8 and 10 years old have had their school science project accepted for publication in an internationally recognised peer-reviewed journal. The paper, which reports novel findings in how bumblebees perceive colour, is published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.
  • Physical Methods – Organophoshorus Chemistry provides a comprehensive and critical review of the recent literature. Coverage includes phosphines and their chalcogenides, phosphonium salts, low coordination number phosphorus compounds, penta- and hexa- coordinated compounds, tervalent phosphorus acid derivatives, quiquevalent phosphorus acids, nucleotides and nucleic aicds, ylides and related compounds, phosphazenes and the application of physical methods in the study of organophosphorus compounds. This Specialist Periodical Report will be of value to research workers in universities, government and industrial research organisations whose work involves the use of organophosphorus compounds. It provides a concise but comprehensive survey of a vast field of study, with a wide variety of applications, enabling the reader to keep abreast of the latest developments in their specialist fields.
  • Homeopathy on the ropes – Homeopaths who recommend remedies for the prevention of serious infectious diseases are now coming under the spotlight, while vets no longer have homeopathic treatments as an option unless someone can prove they work. Homeopathy 1796-2011 RIP
  • Swine flu symptoms – If you or a member of your family has a fever or high temperature (over 38C/100.4F) and two or more of the following symptoms, you may have H1N1 flu: unusual tiredness, headache, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath or cough, loss of appetite, aching muscles, diarrhoea or vomiting. It should be emphasised that you could still have swine flu with any combination of these or even an almost complete lack of symptoms, but if you're in a vulnerable group (pregnant, asthmatic, lung disease etc) get checked out if these are manifest.

Science news with a spectral twist

Science news with a spectral twist, first 2011 issue of my now live

  • Fast-track walking pneumonia test – A new approach to testing for a common form of pneumonia using nanorod arrays to boost SERS signals can cut the time to diagnosis from several days to a mere ten minutes, according to research published in the journal Plos One.
  • Conservation conversation – Improving storage and exposure conditions in conservation of artefacts is crucial to suppressing the fading and degradation of dyes and other components of paintings. Researchers have now used several analytical techniques, including attenuated total reflectance infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, reflectance UV-Vis spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and optical microscopy, to investigate different conditions on common pigments
  • MRI by contrast – Magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents are currently designed by modifying their structural and physiochemical properties to improve relaxivity and to enhance image contrast. A new approach based on porous, disk-shaped "nests" for nanotubes could offer a way to improve contrast by increasing relaxivity through the confinement of the contrast agent within nanoporous silicon.
  • Diversity beyond compare – The crystal structure of taxadiene synthase, an enzyme key to terpene biosynthesis in many living organisms, confirms a theoretically predicted link between two enzyme classes in the evolution of compounds such as the natural product anticancer drug Taxol.
  • Metabolic insights into celiac disease – Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disorder caused by a permanent sensitivity to gluten in genetically susceptible individuals. A nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic approach to the disease could allow accurate and early diagnosis using metabonomics.
  • Well-stacked molecules – Japanese scientist Hiromitsu Maeda of Risumeikan University and his colleagues have turned to the well-known molecular motif of the pyrrole to make a new class of structured materials. By combining planar pyrrole-containing negatively charged complexes with similarly planar, positively charged organic ions they can generate fibres and soft materials, such as supramolecular gels and liquid crystals based on these organic salts.
  • Scientists use Wiimote to measure water evaporation rates – recently published report in the Water Resources Research academic journal describes an experiment undertaken by a team tasked with measuring evaporation rates by monitoring water levels. Rather than use a hypersensitive monitor or a high tech ballast system, they used a Wiimote.

Invisible hairs cause baldness

A topic close to my scalp: male-pattern baldness. Regular readers will be aware of my long, wavy locks from teenage years. But, as I got older, it all waved goodbye (my Dad’s joke! He’s even less than cranially hirsute too). Now, scientists in Pennsylvania reckon they have shown that faulty stem cells in the scalp are to blame for producing tiny, downy hairs that are essentially invisible rather than the thick tresses enjoyed by those with a normal hair pattern. They say that a topical cream might by on the way to remedy the situation for those of us with follicular challenge.

But, would I opt for what would most likely be expensive lotion to “cure” my baldness? I’m not sure I would, it would mean a bigger shampoo bill, expensive trips to the barber, which I gave up on at least a decade ago in favour of the wash-and-wear look afforded by a mini-hedge-trimmer adapted for tonsurial use. Moreover, haven’t these scientists heard? Bald men are sexier, more virile and a bigger hit with prospective partners than those with juvenile-pattern hirsuteness. For the sake of the environment (all those surfactants) and for the sake of my mojo, I think I’ll stick with the look adopted by Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise rather than opting for the alternative Kirk style (especially not the synthetic follicles of later years and certainly not that of a more infamous Enterprise Captain, Owen Honors.

Research Blogging IconGarza, L., Yang, C., Zhao, T., Blatt, H., Lee, M., He, H., Stanton, D., Carrasco, L., Spiegel, J., Tobias, J., & Cotsarelis, G. (2011). Bald scalp in men with androgenetic alopecia retains hair follicle stem cells but lacks CD200-rich and CD34-positive hair follicle progenitor cells Journal of Clinical Investigation DOI: 10.1172/JCI44478

Science books for the New Year

These are my recent science book finds for the New Year

  • The science of kissing – When did humans begin to kiss? Why is kissing integral to some cultures and alien to others? Do good kissers make the best lovers? And is that expensive lip-plumping gloss worth it? Sheril Kirshenbaum, a biologist and science journalist, tackles these questions and more in The Science of Kissing. It’s everything you always wanted to know about kissing but either haven’t asked, couldn’t find out, or didn’t realize you should understand. The book is informed by the latest studies and theories, but Kirshenbaum’s engaging voice gives the information a light touch. Topics range from the kind of kissing men like to do (as distinct from women) to what animals can teach us about the kiss to whether or not the true art of kissing was lost sometime in the Dark Ages. Drawing upon classical history, evolutionary biology, psychology, popular culture, and more, Kirshenbaum’s winning book will appeal to romantics and armchair scientists alike.
  • How Old Is the Universe? – Astronomers have determined that our universe is 13.7 billion years old. How exactly did they come to this precise conclusion? How Old Is the Universe? tells the incredible story of how astronomers solved one of the most compelling mysteries in science and, along the way, introduces readers to fundamental concepts and cutting-edge advances in modern astronomy.
  • The Wavewatcher’s Companion – Intriguing, but not nearly so much as Pretor-Pinney’s Cloudspotters book and moreover, the apparent religious undercurrent is disconcerting to say the least in a book that should be entirely scientific.
  • By Any Means Necessary!: An Entrepreneur’s Journey into Space – On October 1, 2005, Greg Olsen, a successful high-tech entrepreneur, climbed aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket and blasted off for the International Space Station. He was only the third private citizen to make that trip. In this inspiring and entertaining book we learn how a self-described “average guy” went from underachieving juvenile delinquent who almost didn’t get into college, to PhD scientist with 12 patents in electronics.
  • The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters – From Publishers Weekly: “In this educational account, professor (at the Stevens Institute of New Jersey) and scientist Parker examines the violent impact of the seas on human society, and our long struggle to understand them. Parker begins with an exploration of tidal forces and their role in major historical events, from the parting of the Red Sea to D-Day.”
  • The Human Mission to Mars. Colonizing the Red Planet – I’d like to think that this is something more than wishful thinking on the part of the authors but I am afraid it isn’t.