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InChis, Theses and Stuff   

23 September 2007 4,616 views 26 Comments

A bit of house-keeping is being/about to be/might be done on Tot. Syn., so I thought I’d ask you lovely readers out there for a your opinions.

1. First off, and already implemented is InChi-ification of the structures on Tot. Syn. A nice introduction to InChi can be found here, but the jist of it is that they (InChi and the shorter InChiKey) are text identifiers for structures. You can use the InChi keys at the bottom of the post to quickly grab a copy of the structures.

I’ve done this not just so that you folks can steal the drawings (and not have to redraw them like me), but also to allow google (and it’s inferior peers) to index this data. Then, using an InChi search, you can find pages referring to those structures. Basically, SciFinder for the web. Nice. However, there’s still be bit of optimisation to be done with my implementation of this data, so I’d appreciate opinions. Currently, the InChi data is kept hidden in the tags for the relevent images (see the Diazonamide A post), and the InChiKeys in a separate “Read More” section. I dunno – do they get in the way?

2. Also of note is my lack of blogging. One post per week is pretty poor, but y’see, I kinda writing up (cue American whining about the brevity of UKian Ph Ds…). My fingers hurt…

3. I’m going to upgrade the blog to WordPress 2.3 later this week. Sorry if I break it; do email me if it doesn’t work!

4. Lastly, and without wanting to blow my own trumpet excessively, the nice people at UCB felt me worthy of the lecture prize at their “Excellence in Postgraduate Research” symposium. I won’t go on about that (though I am quite smug :)), but look at the prize:


How awesome is that? It’s a glass model of their drug, Levetiracetam, inside a 500 mL RBF. Cheers, guys!

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  • TWYI says:


  • Congrats indeed! It’s a beautiful glass award indeed!

    Great to see InChIKey included… I will update Chemical blogspace asap to pick them up.

  • albert says:

    Congratulations! Are you also going to come up with a new look for this blog?

  • Rich Apodaca says:


    And good work on figuring out the InChI stuff. Looks like Google has already picked them up (even at least one w/ line breaks… interesting). Google doesn’t seem to have indexed the InChIKeys yet, though.

    That’s got to be the coolest-looking chemistry prize I’ve ever seen.

  • albert says:

    Work in progress right now eh? What I’ve just seen was rather cool, by the way.

  • Tot. Syn. says:

    Some theme development are indeed in progress…
    Developing these things is a pain in the arse. Grrr…

  • rosko says:

    Congratulations on the award!

    It seems though that something happened with the link–it directs to the Wikipedia page for the antihistamine levocetirizine, not the anticonvulsant levetiracetam.

  • Wavefunction says:

    Congratulations. I can’t see clearly…are the two nitrogens protonated?

  • mevans says:

    I think you might as well include the keys with the main entry, without blocking them off into a “Read More” section. They don’t bother me at least.

    Congratulations on the award! And kudos to whomever put together that model inside the RBF!

  • milkshake says:

    Congrats to the award and I have a modest proposal: since your trophy has a functional stopper and a bottom maybe you could add few ounces of pure mercury metal as a liquid mirror on the bottom – it would reflect the molecule above. And it is a reversible modification. (Just don’t shake the flask as mercury is heavy and could break the bonds.)

  • Rof5 says:

    BTW,#10: What an idea!

  • albert says:

    Paul, when I restyled my blog I created another (test-)blog (very similar to the “real” one) where I could get an instant preview of how the template would have eventually looked like.

    This gave me the opportunity to unveil only the final work in the end.

    Mind you, I like your current layout very much.

  • Tot. Syn. says:

    Some changes have been made…. and more need to be made! I need to add a full links section and tidy up a few other things, but it’s getting there!

  • ZAL says:

    Congrats on the award! The new theme looks very good, but it’s kind of strange to open the page and not to see the familiar “Tot.Syn.” look, maybe I just have to get used. Please don’t be disappointed at this comment, I know you put a lot of effort in the restyling!

  • round and round says:

    Indeed, first I thought I mistyped in the address bar…but it’s nice to see a brand new look of ur blog, hopefully it will be as user friendly as the old one. BTW, congrats for the award !

  • jimbo says:

    The colors hurt my eyes. The new layout/toys are awesome, but the black on white on dark is reminiscent of the eye pain I feel in lectures.

  • HPCC says:

    With regards to #2 in your blog entry, don’t feel bad, dude! You’re WAAAAAAAAAY more productive as far as blogging is concerned than anyone I know who’d write a thesis.

    Oh, hold on… Blogging IS more fun, nevertheless, than any thesis writing I’ve been involved in, fortunately in a previous life. :D

    Keep cheeri-io-ing, there’s a life after the doggone Ph. D.

  • milkshake says:

    I find your new style pretty stylish and rather annoying. It hurts my eyes.

    I saw a nifty feature on Dreamingspirals blog, the NIGHT/DAY version of the page – it toggled the white on black /black on white styles.

  • PG says:

    I agree with Milkshake. The contrast between the black background and the white boxes is a bit annoying. Another downside of this redesign is that the transition between posts is less obvious when scrolling down the page, i.e. harder to see where one post finishes and the next start since the titles (molecule names) get lost in all this darkness…

  • gm says:

    congrats…i m follower of this site from long time. this black/grey backgroung bit annoying and confusing..much better if you workit out on background..nice website..

  • lemi says:

    haha now “totallysynthetic” seems so coollllll…..

  • Tool says:

    I have to say, what you have done to the site is NOT an improvement ! It was really great before the changes – please, go back !

  • albert says:

    Come on, lads: this may not be the final result yet. When I designed the them for my blog it took me approximately a week (given that you often have a lab to work at and a social life to cultivate, hopefully) and the first version was really rubbish (and I’m not joking: it really sucked).

  • excimer says:

    Oh I like the new format. I prefer to read white on black, so this is much better. =)

  • milkshake says:

    ooh – so much nicer now

  • HPCC says:

    I much prefer black letters on white-grayish background. Keep it please! Maybe it’s me but I preferred the old font. I guess I’ll get used to it. :D