Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday's Molecule #68

This is an easy one. Your task for today is to identify the molecule shown on the right. Be as specific as possible.

In addition you have to identify the Nobel Laureate who was awarded a Nobel Prize for—among other things—working out the chemical structure of this molecule.

The first person to correctly identify the specific molecule and name the Nobel Laureate wins a free lunch at the Faculty Club. Previous winners are ineligible for one month from the time they first collected the prize. There are two ineligible candidates for this week's reward.


Nobel Laureates
Send your guess to Sandwalk (sandwalk (at) and I'll pick the first email message that correctly identifies the molecule and names the Nobel Laureate(s). Note that I'm not going to repeat Nobel Laureates so you might want to check the list of previous Sandwalk postings.

Correct responses will be posted tomorrow along with the time that the message was received on my server. I may select multiple winners if several people get it right.

Comments will be blocked for 24 hours. Comments are now open.

UPDATE: This was much harder than I expected. The winner is Marc Perry, co-author of the textbook from which the drawing is taken. He recognized it as a strand of DNA—I assume everyone got at least that far. Marc figured out that the Nobel Laureate had to be Sir Alexander Todd. He adds,
This was an excellent quiz because it forced me to learn a relevant fact that I was previously ignorant of. I never recall learning of this individual and his work, but based on the fact that there would be no repeats on the list of Sandwalk Laureates, _and_ on my intimate use of the website for (for my course on personalities in science, HMB305--shameless plug here), I was able to use the power of a search engine and the process of elimination to inform my guess.
If you're a student at the University of Toronto take Marc's course next year. You can also take the course that we teach together: HMB210H "Popular Scientific Misconceptions."


  1. "Popular Scientific Misconceptions"

    That sounds like a heck of a class. Could you grace us with a course summary?

  2. Cody,

    Here you go (I copy-pasted from the UofT undergrad calender):
    Students engage in a variety of current, high profile misconceptions in human biology to change and extend incorrect common beliefs; to become familiar with the process of scientific inquiry; and to develop thinking, analytical and communication skills. Scientific misconceptions will be sourced from current issues.

  3. That course sounds really interesting, it makes sense that it's being offered next year because I graduate this year. Good things always happen after you graduate.