Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I recently presented a group meeting on Hallucinogens and Phil wanted me to do a little write-up to promote it.  As a brief overview, I cover different classes of hallucinogenic natural products and synthetic compounds.  It starts with a historical overview of the hallucinogenic natural and synthetic compounds.  Then I cover pharmacology and synthesis of a variety of structurally unique hallucinogens.  You can read the group meeting for all of the details on that, but what I wanted to cover here is some of the interesting legal and social issues surrounding research with hallucinogenic compounds.

Friday, October 4, 2013

New Balloons

Although I have long believed balloons to be mostly ineffective (in a laboratory setting), sometimes I use them for the placebo effect. In fact, I've made the following claims to our lab: 

1. Balloons are permeable to O2!  
Source - Knowledge accrued through chemistry - Ni(0). 

 2. Balloons are not permeable to moisture!  
Source - Knowledge accrued through chemistry.  

3. How do I really be air free in the lab? 
-Degassing by argon sparging (15m) or freeze pump thaw? I've never seen a real difference here... the rumor is freeze-pump-thaw is more effective... (but sparging worked fine for Ni(0).) 
-The solvent system solvents are oxygen free. I used to pull fresh ether straight from the solvent system and wash my Ni(cod)2
-Schlenk flasks and use proper shlenk technique 
-Use the golvebox 

4. Remember, most of what we (BaranLab) do isn't that O2 sensitive, so don't worry too much. (However, we do a lot that needs to be water free!) 

5. But Dane, you've got 3 balloons in your hood right now! 
-yes, I know, they make me feel emotionally stable; we stir our homogenous reactions too, which is also unnecessary.

 It is with all this in mind that I say: these new balloons are sweet as hell.