Issue Date: September 19, 2016
Relativistic effects govern methyl transfer to mercury
Aquatic microbes convert inorganic mercury to methylmercury enzymatically by transferring a methyl group from a porphyrin-like cofactor called a corrinoid. A computational study now shows that such transfer occurs in a concerted fashion via a methyl radical, a mechanism influenced by relativistic effects in the mercury ion (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201606001). Relativistic effects arise in heavy elements from fast electron . . .
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