Barnacle-like crystals formed overnight when Davide Ceradini left out a flask containing a solution of two parts ethyl acetate to one part petroleum ether left over from a reaction. Ceradini is an organic chemist at the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis. His research focuses on scaling up the synthesis of serine protease inhibitors, which prevent certain enzymes from cleaving peptide bonds, for topical treatment studies in mice. Ceradini believes the round shapes formed because the solution contained impurities from the reaction, such as small polymers.
Submitted by Davide Ceradini
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