Getting Help with the Industry's Peripheral' Topics

May 15, 2002

The Web sites referenced in this month's column are valuable resources for information about specialized topics within the chemical industries.

Drug molecular design

The Drug Design Laboratory at the University of Milan, Italy ( is a resource for molecular modeling software. Useful links to an impressive list of information sources are available, including papers and lecture presentations (in Microsoft PowerPoint '97 format).

"Chemical Information" from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), Specialized Information Services (SIS) Web site,, lists databases of chemical records and structures available on the Internet. The substances range from helpful drugs to potentially hazardous chemicals. The site includes instructions (under "tips and recent news") to assist readers with viewing structures using free downloadable plug-ins for commonly used Web browsers. Also included are links to what is called "SuperList" ," a set of data in the NLM ChemIDplus file that references selected regulatory or scientific lists. The site's "Chemical Information Web Links,", provide general indexes, as well as U.S. government and academic resources.

Surface chemistry

The Web site for Queen Mary, University of London offers "An Introduction to Surface Chemistry,", which contains a plethora of current information about surface chemistry. The site's referenced "Surface Science Links,", offer a deeper penetration into the topic.

Mass spectrometry

The "Mass Spectrometry Facility" on the University of Heidelberg's Web site,, describes methods, equipment, literature and research related to mass spectrometry. A "Little Encyclopedia of Mass Spectrometry,", provides a glossary and definitions of terms through pull-down menus. Links to the world of mass spectrometry give access to a variety of other resources, including commercial Web sites.

Analytical separations

High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) technologies are explained in detail at Dr. Shulamit Levin's home page, Myriad resources are provided under each category, including articles, procedures, tutorials and presentations. The "Educational Materials and Utilities" section,, is particularly rich in worldwide general chemistry and biochemistry, consisting of analytical chemistry resources of use to the practicing professional. Also included is a link to an interactive statistical calculation site, html, which has powerful multi-platform statistical software packages to assist with experimental design and analytical results processing.

SDBS, an integrated spectral database system for organic compounds, is available from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan, at It provides a fully searchable database of six types of spectra. Spectra are presented as Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) images, and users may download as many as 50 per day free of charge.

Computation and visualization

The research team for techniques for organic reactions, visualization and spectroscopy (TORVS) at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg provides one-click access to a broad choice of Internet-based chemical information computation and database prototypes at Links are provided to three-dimensional coordinates, interactive watermarking, GIFs and Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) scenes. Fragmentation of chemical structure representations and calculations for visualizations and physicochemical properties are covered. Also included are links to dissertations online (in both English and German) and to the TORVS research team File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server. Each of the linked sites contains "active content."

Want more?

Many of the Web sites referenced in this month's column are entries in the "Best Chemical Web Sites Contest,", which is open to Web pages of clear, relevant interest to chemical industry professionals. More potentially useful contest entry sites are accessible through links at the Web site directory,, under the heading "Best Web site contest."

Hodel is

Chemical Processing's Internet columnist. Contact him at [email protected].

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