The origami molecule on the cover art of this blog is mechlorethamine, a DNA alkylating agent that is used to treat various kinds of cancer. Mechlorethamine was used successfully in clinical settings in the 1940’s and those successes led to the development of anticancer chemotherapy as a field. Folding origami and learning organic chemistry are similar in that they initially appear to be complex but are built on fundamental and straightforward principles. To do either well requires consistent, hands-on practice applying these principles.

Fun fact: The origami featured on the cover art is not computer generated but, in fact, paper created by hand by Fernando Torres Perez.

One thought on “What do origami and organic chemistry have in common?

  1. It’s a cool example of biological SN2 (mechlorethamine) as well. I was able to tie that in to students that were taking genetics at the same time as my organic chemistry course and teach them the mechanism for DNA alkylation.

    How did you find someone to make you molecular origami?

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