There were a lot of papers that I read last year and really liked. I would like to write a full critique, but I just don't have time. So here is my twitter critique (<150 words - I know that twitter uses characters, but give me a break.)
The quiet renaissance of protein nuclear magnetic resonance
Paul Barrett and a cast of thousands
Super well-written review. A call to arms to NMR spectroscopists to embrace NMR as a broad problem-solving tool rather than machine that generates PDB files.
Mycalol: A natural lipid with promising cytotoxic properties against human anaplastic thyroid carcinoma cells
Adele Cutignano and co-workers
A great natural products structure elucidation paper. This paper is what really inspired me to start this blog. The authors isolated a lipid from a sponge they found in Antarctica. The molecule has five stereocenters and it would have been a pain in the ass to assess stereochemistry using NOE and J coupling. The authors use CD and Mosher's method and a lot of clever logic. A+
Characterization of Cyclopentyllithium and Cyclopentyllithium Tetrahydrofuran Complex
Su, Hopson and Williard
The first of three JACs papers published by these authors this fall. Good grief. I won't get three JACS papers in a lifetime. These guys got three during the football season! This one is probably my favorite for the cool use of DOSY to explore the equilibrium between a hexameric and tetrametric molecule.
The influence of electronic modifications on rotational barriers of bis-NHC-complexes as observed by dynamic NMR spectroscopy
Kolmer, Kaltschnee, Schmidts, Peeck, Plenio and Thiele (so many Germans and no umlauts!)
A great physical organic chemistry paper regarding Grubbs catalysts. Quantitative dynamics to measure rotational barriers and a clear relationship between redox properties and rotational barrier. Nice work.
Direct Measurements of the Mn(II) hydration state in metal complexes and metalloproteins through 17O NMR linewidths
Gale, Zhu and Caravan
NMR tricks to assess the hydration state of metal complexes. Relaxivity measurements. Sign me up.