N – Live peer review by blog

An organic chemist commented “WTF is going on here?” on an unrelated post in the blog Totally Synthetic, after seeing a paper in a respected chemistry journal that didn’t make sense (http://totallysynthetic.com/blog/?p=1896). The paper, in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, claimed that the strong reductant sodium hydride could act as an oxidant in converting an alcohol to a ketone (2009 Jul 21, doi:10.1021/ja904224y). Less than a day later several chemists replicated the experiment live on the blog, showing that the chemistry was right but that the paper’s authors had probably made a mistake in their mechanism (http://totallysynthetic.com/blog/?p=1903). See www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2009/July/27070901.asp.