Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday's Molecule #196

Last week's molecule was tetrahydrofolate, an essential cofactor in several reactions; notably the synthesis of thymidine. The winner was Jacob Troth [Monday's Molecule #195]. He should contact me by email.

This week's molecule is a very important molecule. I'm showing you two different conformations of the same molecule. You need to identify this molecule using its full and complete common name. I'm going to be strict about this, if you give me an ambiguous name you will not win.

Post your answer as a comment. I'll hold off releasing any comments for 24 hours. The first one with the correct answer wins. I will only post mostly correct answers to avoid embarrassment. The winner will be treated to a free lunch.

There could be two winners. If the first correct answer isn't from an undergraduate student then I'll select a second winner from those undergraduates who post the correct answer. You will need to identify yourself as an undergraduate in order to win. (Put "undergraduate" at the bottom of your comment.)

Some past winners are from distant lands so their chances of taking up my offer of a free lunch are slim. (That's why I can afford to do this!)

In order to win you must post your correct name. Anonymous and pseudoanonymous commenters can't win the free lunch.

Winners will have to contact me by email to arrange a lunch date. Please try and beat the regular winners. Most of them live far away and I'll never get to take them to lunch. This makes me sad.

Comments are now open.

UPDATE:The molecule is β-D-mannopyranose. There are three winners: Bill Chaney, Dima Klenchin, and Bill Gunn. Bill Gunn should contact me if he is within range of Toronto.

Nov. 2009: Jason Oakley, Alex Ling
Oct. 17: Bill Chaney, Roger Fan
Oct. 24: DK
Oct. 31: Joseph C. Somody
Nov. 7: Jason Oakley
Nov. 15: Thomas Ferraro, Vipulan Vigneswaran
Nov. 21: Vipulan Vigneswaran (honorary mention to Raul A. Félix de Sousa)
Nov. 28: Philip Rodger
Dec. 5: 凌嘉誠 (Alex Ling)
Dec. 12: Bill Chaney
Dec. 19: Joseph C. Somody
Jan. 9: Dima Klenchin
Jan. 23: David Schuller
Jan. 30: Peter Monaghan
Feb. 7: Thomas Ferraro, Charles Motraghi
Feb. 13: Joseph C. Somody
March 5: Albi Celaj
March 12: Bill Chaney, Raul A. Félix de Sousa
March 19: no winner
March 26: John Runnels, Raul A. Félix de Sousa
April 2: Sean Ridout
April 9: no winner
April 16: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
April 23: Dima Klenchin, Deena Allan
April 30: Sean Ridout
May 7: Matt McFarlane
May 14: no winner
May 21: no winner
May 29: Mike Hamilton, Dmitri Tchigvintsev
June 4: Bill Chaney, Matt McFarlane
June 18: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
June 25: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
July 2: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
July 16: Sean Ridout, William Grecia
July 23: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
July 30: Bill Chaney and Raul A. Félix de Sousa
Aug. 7: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
Aug. 13: Matt McFarlane
Aug. 20: Stephen Spiro
Aug. 27: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
Sept. 3: Matt McFarlane
Sept. 10: Matt Talarico
Sept. 17: no winner
Sept. 24: Mikkel Rasmussen
Oct. 1: John Runnels
Oct. 8: Raúl Mancera
Oct. 15: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
Oct. 22: Mikkel Rasmussen
Nov. 12: Seth Kasowitz, Bill Gunn
Nov. 19: Michael Rasmussen
Dec. 4: Paul Clapham, Jacob Troth
Dec. 10: Jacob Troth
Dec. 17: Bill Chaney, Dima Klenchin, Bill Gunn


  1. Beta-D-mannopyranoside

  2. alpha-D-glucopyranose beta-D-glucopyranose

  3. Oops! I forgot to turn on moderation. Oh well, post your answers anyway and we'll see if there's a winner. I'll award a prize to the first ten (10) people who get the right answer.

  4. What a shame! This week, because the molecule was so distinctive, I thought I'd have a go despite not being a chemist. I'm sure I won't get the details, but it was interesting to see how far I could go just by searching. By looking for "benzine ring with an oxygen" (I did do some chemistry in high school -- well secondary school as it is here) I discovered the term "pyran". The wikipedia page told me that saturated versions are often sugars called pyranoses. An image search for "pyraonse sugars" told me that it looks like some form of D-glucopyranose, but there I got stuck. I suspect it's beta-D-glucopyranose in two conformations (C and B) but that's as far as I could get.

  5. D-Glucose ?

    (undergraduate student in agronomy)

  6. I hate sugars! This one is beta-D-mannopyranose. In a sane world known as simply mannose. I think.

  7. Yesterday afternoon I had a quick look at it an gave up. This morning I played with the projections and quickly came up came up with beta-D-mannopyranose. I then found that DK had come to the same conclusion, I hope we are both right.

    I have thought about sugarstructure for a long time and I had forgotten how difficult it could be to visualise.

    1. Sorry I meant to say "I have not thought about sugarstructure for a long time and I had forgotten how difficult it could be to visualise.