The small molecule 'furrowstatin' exemplifies the power of using small molecules to investigate life's processes. When applied to dividing cells, the furrowstatin halts cell division.
Without an appropriate catalyst some chemical reactions would be so slow as to appear not to occur at all on the human timescale. However, when catalyzed, these reactions can be very dramatic.
Diversity-oriented synthesis (DOS) is a strategy used by chemical biologists to create a huge diversity of small molecules with potentially useful properties. A scientist working in Dr. Stuart Schreiber's lab shows us how engineering, computer science, chemisty, and biology are all used in DOS...
Dr. Cech uses a penny and a beaker of acetone to illustrate how a catalyst works.