Chemists are racing to create 'robo-chemist,' a synthesis machine

Chemists are racing to create 'robo-chemist,' a synthesis machine

There is a growing interest paired with attempts in creating a synthesis machine or a ‘robo-chemist’ that would take over the traditional organic chemistry. Such a device would offer a diversity of compounds for investigation by researchers developing drugs, agrochemicals, or materials. A project called Dial-a-Molecule is working towards the making of such a machine, which would deliver a host of reactions that work as continuous processes, rather than one step at a time; algorithms that can predict the best way to knit a molecule together; and important advances in how computers tap vast storehouses of data about the reactivity and other properties of chemicals.

Although many labs use automated machines or tools like Chematica for automating chemical synthesis discovery, further developments are required. Inventing a robo-chemist would mean overcoming many technical hurdles, monetary limitations, and the barriers that hinder information recording and sharing among the chemists. Many chemists are working towards this and dream to build a machine that can synthesize any organic compound. 

Read more in Nature

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