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Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday's Molecule #85

This week marks the beginning of a new term at many colleges and universities in the USA. To mark the occasion, I've chosen a simple molecule that should be familiar to every undergraduate taking an introductory biochemistry course. Your task is to indentify the molecule and give me its correct common name—the one required on an exam—and the complete, correct IUPAC name.

There's a direct connection between today's molecule and a Nobel Prize. We are looking for the single person most responsible for identifying this molecule as part of a metabolic pathway. This person didn't know the exact structure but got the basic chemistry correct. Be careful, there are several possible candidates who haven't already been featured on Sandalk. I want the one person who best meets the criterion.

The first person to correctly identify the 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 four ineligible candidates for this week's reward. You know who you are.


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 Laureate(s) so you might want to check the list of previous Sandwalk postings by clicking on the link in the theme box.

Correct responses will be posted tomorrow. I reserve the right to select multiple winners if several people get it right.

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

UPDATE: This week's winner is Bill Chaney of the University of Nebraska. He correctly identified the molecule as β-D-fructofuranose 1,6- bisphosphate and he chose [(2R,3S,4S,5R) -2,3,4 -trihydroxy-5- (phosphonooxymethyl) oxolan-2-yl] methyl dihydrogen phosphate as the correct IUPAC name [but see IUPAC]. That's probably more information than we needed but Chaney was the first to reply (by several hours). The Noble Laureate is Arthur Harden.

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