The group of Professor Osamu Kobayashi of the University of Tokyo and others found that higher catalytic activity can be obtained by intentionally making the catalyst and raw materials insoluble rather than dissolving them.

 Some compounds cannot be exactly overlapped, such as the relationship between the right hand and the left hand, even if the elements of the components are the same.Curiously, the body of an organism accepts only one of these substances.For example, one menthol has a refreshing scent of mint, while the other has a moldy scent.The only difference is that the relationship is reflected in the mirror, but the effect on the body of living things changes.The same thing happens with drugs.One has medicinal properties but the other does not, and in the worst case it can be poisonous.Moreover, the trouble is that when humans try to synthesize chemically, it is difficult to make them separately.A special catalyst called an asymmetric catalyst has solved this problem.It is known that Professor Ryoji Noyori won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, but it has become possible to make only one of the compounds related to the mirror.

 In the conventional synthesis using an asymmetric catalyst, the reaction was carried out by dissolving the substance used as the material and the catalyst in an organic solvent.This will cause the catalyst and material to stick together once.Then, with the help of the catalyst, it changes to the target substance.At this time, the catalyst and the material dissolve in the solvent and move around, making it easier for them to meet.However, in this research, water was used instead of the solvent, and the reaction became possible with high efficiency without dissolving the catalyst.

 It is a discovery that conventional wisdom overturns the fact that insoluble things react efficiently with each other.It is a fact that has just been discovered and it is not known why it will happen, but in addition to the possibility that it can be applied to many reactions used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, it also makes substances that could not be synthesized until now. It is hoped that you may be able to do that.

Tokyo University

Established in the 10th year of the Meiji era.A university with the longest history in Japan and at the forefront of Japanese knowledge

The University of Tokyo was established in 1877 (Meiji 10) by integrating the Tokyo Kaisei School and the Tokyo Medical School.Since its establishment, it has developed education and research in a unique way in the world as a leading university in Japan and an academic center for the fusion of East and West cultures.As a result, many human resources have been produced in a wide range of fields, and many research achievements […]

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