Scientists from Ruđer Bošković Institute publish two highly significant papers

Researchers from the Laboratory for Green Synthesis (doctoral student Tomislav Stolar, Dr José G. Hernández, PhD, Dr Krunoslav Užarević, PhD), in collaboration with scientists from Xellia (Dr Ernest Meštrović, PhD, Saša Grubešić) and Dr Nikola Cindro, PhD, from the Chemistry Department of the Faculty of Science (University of Zagreb) published the paper Mechanochemical Prebiotic Peptide Bond Formation, in which they have shown that mechanochemical prebiotic peptide bond formation occurs in the absence of water. The paper was published in the prestigious journal Angewandte Chemie.

The results of this study complement the existing experimental procedures in prebiotic chemistry and offer an alternative synthetic pathway to peptides that is absent of water. In other words, they support the theory that biomolecules could have been created on the Earth’s mineral surfaces. Read more about the results and significance of this paper here.

This research was conducted within the project HRZZ-IP-2020-02-4702 “The relevance of mechanochemical reactivity in the prebiotic chemical evolution and its transfer to sustainable and low-emission chemical production” (PI: Dr Krunoslav Užarević, PhD).

The second successful story concerns a multidisciplinary team of scientists from Ruđer Bošković Institute – doctoral student Katarina Zlatić, Matej Cindrić, Dr Ivana Antol, PhD, Dr Nikola Basarić, PhD from the Department of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Dr Lidija Uzelac, PhD and Dr Marijeta Kralj, PhD, from the Division of Molecular Medicine and Dr Branka Mihaljević, PhD, from the Division of Materials Chemistry – whose most recent paper published in Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry describes the synthesis of series of fluorescent colours, whose molecular structure contains a photocemically reactive cluster. The scientists have shown that these molecules exhibit wavelength-dependent photochemical reactivity.

The significance of these results is evident in the fact the journal’s editorial board highlighted this paper on the journal’s cover, while the illustration depicting the photochemical protocol for fluorescent labelling of proteins was designed by Katarina Zlatić, HRZZ-funded doctoral student, who is also listed as the paper’s first author.

This research has been funded through the project HRZZ-IP-2019-04-8008 “Photochemistry: Reaction Mechanisms and Applications in Organic Synthesis and Biology” (PI: Dr Nikola Basarić).

We would hereby like to congratulate all authors listed above as well as all other team members of the two projects above.