A ‘Google’ for chemistry invents best path to new compounds in seconds

Northwestern University scientists have connected 250 years of organic chemical knowledge into one giant computer network called Chematica — a chemical “Google” on steroids.

A decade in the making, the software optimizes syntheses of drug molecules and other important compounds, combines long (and expensive) syntheses of compounds into shorter and more economical routes, and identifies suspicious chemical recipes that could lead to chemical weapons.

The number of possible synthetic pathways leading to the desired target of a synthesis can be astronomical (1019 pathways within five synthetic steps).

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