Press It! Plug It! Play It!
A new automated chemical synthesis machine aims to remove some of the repetitive processes from a scientist’s day
The laboratory: the place where scientists collaborate, develop groundbreaking technologies and overhaul our understanding of life. It goes without question that the lab can be an exciting environment, but chemists can also vouch for the fact that many of the essential processes required to advance their field are repetitive... Monitoring reactions and iterative optimization are crucial processes, but they prevent scientists from focusing on the more innovative aspects of science.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a continuous-flow chemical synthesis system that makes it easier for scientists to identify the conditions for making their molecules of interest. “The technology makes use of optimization algorithms and works while scientists do other things,” says Timothy Jamison, professor of chemistry at MIT. “It’s so important for scientists to be able to be able to work creatively and think of new areas to investigate; and this automated system will free up time, enabling them to focus on the human parts of research. This can cut the amount of time required to optimize a new reaction from weeks or months down to a single day.”
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