A recent NPR article discussed the business of fentanyl synthesis in China. But it's not just fentanyl. There is a cottage industry in making and selling some of the chemicals that are used to synthesize the drug. What would happen if some of the chemicals that are used to synthesize the drug were banned? Would this shut down its production?
Remdesivir, the most promising anti-coronavirus drug at this time is no fun to synthesize. But Gilead, the drug's maker, is synthesizing a whole bunch of it. Does this tell us anything about whether the drug works? Maybe.
Two of the experimental coronavirus drugs, chloroquine, and hydroxychloroquine are a breeze to synthesize. But remdesivir, possibly the most promising candidate, is anything but. It's a royal pain. Here's why.
Two Arkansas professors were recently charged with making methamphetamine. But the chemical that police found was a simple reagent called benzyl chloride. Are these guys guilty? It all depends on the chemistry.
Some chemicals are so dangerous that even experienced chemists hate to use them. Here's a real doozy. Diazomethane is an explosive, highly toxic gas, which is a carcinogen. It is made from another toxic carcinogen and the chemical that makes Drano work. Aside from that, it's just fine.
A Chinese group just pulled off something that has eluded chemists for decades. Chemists made and isolated a simple, but highly-unstable creation called pentazole for the purpose of studying it as an explosive. And they didn't even blow themselves up.