Copyright©2009 Antony Williams
In the blogpost regarding Wikipedia Services yesterday I discussed “Domoic Acid“. Domoic Acid is very well documented in the literature and I would expect the structure to be well known. On ChemSpider the structure has been curated and is believed to be that shown below.
On Wikipedia the structure is lacking the stereocenter on the side chain as shown below
The April 6, 2009 issue of C&E News had an article on Page 27 in the Science and Technology Concentrates about “Algal Neurotoxin Lingers in the Ocean“. Unless you are an ACS member and have an ACS ID you won’t be able to read the article. However, the structure from the article is shown below. Do you notice a similarity between the structures?
Unfortunately, both are wrong. They are both lacking the side chain stereocenter for the methyl group based on my research. Previously I had been using C&E News as a source of news about chemical compounds and association with records on ChemSpider. On a couple of occasions however I observed that the structures were wrong. Since C&E News is an ACS magazine I had assumed that the writers would have access to Scifinder to get the correct structures. Since the structure is wrong maybe it’s wrong in Scifinder (!).
In theory the presence of an article on Wikipedia means a related page will exist on CommonChemistry.org. Unfortunately the CommonChemistry.org does NOT have all Wikipedia structures. The estimated overlap is somewhere between 50-70%. Fortunately someone had already checked the structure of Domoic Acid on Scifinder and confirmed to me that the curated structure on ChemSpider is “consistent” with that on Scifinder…let’s assume that this means its correct. I did actually confirm that structure at MANY other sites too.
So, the structure in C&E News is identical, both in layout and in chemistry, to that on Wikipedia but is NOT consistent with that in SciFinder. Surely C&E News is not sourcing their chemical structures from Wikipedia when they have access to the most highly curated compound database available?
Note to C&E News reporters…there is a LOT of work going on to validate and curate the ChemBoxes and DrugBoxes on Wikipedia but the work is not complete yet. I recommend using SciFinder to source your chemical structures for now.Stumble it!