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Showing posts from August, 2012

My longest project so far

Just today we were told that a paper of us has appeared online:
Chem. Eur. J. 2012, 18, 12372-12387
(UPDATE: it has been published with page numbers at 24-9-2012)

It is a collaboration with the groups of Prof. Wijmenga (Nijmegen, NL), Prof. Bickelhaupt (Amsterdam, NL), Sychrovsky (Prague, CZ) and Prof. Sponer (Brno, CZ), which started in 2006 when I was still in Amsterdam in the group of Matthias Bickelhaupt.

A few years before we had published a Communication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society:
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 16718-16719
that dealt with the calculation of NMR chemical shifts of DNA base pairs. As a result, Sybren Wijmenga contacted us if we could do something for the calculation of NMR chemical shifts as a function of the glycosidic torsion angle. This angle determines how the DNA base rotates over the sugar moiety, as shown in the following figure:

This rotation has a profound effect on the NMR chemical shifts, as shown in the paper, but exactly how was not c…

Preparations for CECAM workshop on Spin states

In a few weeks time, I'll be organizing a CECAM workshop on "Spin states in biochemistry and inorganic chemistry", with an impressive line-up of speakers: Larry Que, Jeremy Harvey, Per Siegbahn, John Perdew, Kara Bren, Martin Kaupp, Ulf Ryde, Eckard M√ľnck, Kristine Pierloot, Miquel Costas, Bob Scheidt, Markus Reiher, etc. etc. See:
http://www.cecam.org/workshop-1-671.html
(and note, it will be highlighted in Nature Chemistry)

I have prepared a Google Maps with the most important places for the workshop, and interesting things to visit in Zaragoza:
http://goo.gl/maps/mymsp

The hotel for the participants is the *****-star hotel Palafox in the city center:
http://www.palafoxhoteles.com/hotel.aspx?id=17
The workshop will be held at the Z-Cam center (Calle Mariano Esquillor s/n, Edificio I+D, 50018 Zaragoza), and transportation will be arranged for the participants from the hotel to Z-Cam in the morning and evening.

There is a fast train connecting Barcelona and Zaragoza, for wh…

This is what a scientist looks like

A few months ago, I saw on Twitter a fascinating page to show that scientists are not nerds, geeks, un-social people, but instead are normal people:
http://lookslikescience.tumblr.com/

And of course, I decided to send a picture of myself to be added. It took a while (some months), but this weekend my entry was present:
http://lookslikescience.tumblr.com/post/28758450479/marcel-swart-theoretical-bio-chemist-icrea
(update: I sent the picture on March 17 and was thus posted on August 6)

The picture is from somewhere in France, and shows me enjoying some paintings.


A thing I found very surprising is the large amount of belly dancers on these pages; especially when I saw it for the first time, something like half of all entries were with belly dancers. Searching quickly, I found only one:
Belly Dancing Scientists