The Cronin Group

Research in the Cronin Group is motivated by the fascination for complex chemical systems, and the desire to construct complex functional molecular architectures that are not based on biologically derived building blocks.


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Complex molecules hold the secret to finding aliens

In a new paper published in Nature Communications, titled “Identifying molecules as biosignatures with assembly theory and mass spectrometry”, Cronin Group researchers describe Assembly Theory, a new way of quantifying molecular complexity, which can be used to determine if a molecule required a biological system to create it. The complexity of molecules was also measured experimentally through mass spectrometry fragmentation, opening the door for the creation of a life detection machine. Since Assembly Theory relies on molecular complexity alone, the life detection process is agnostic, with no assumptions that alien life will be chemically similar to life on Earth.

The paper is open access, and can be accessed on the Nature Communications website

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Prof. Leroy (Lee) Cronin

Prof Leroy (Lee) Cronin
Regius Chair of Chemistry
Cronin Laboratory
School of Chemistry
Joseph Black Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ
Tel: +44 141 330 6650
Email: lee.cronin@glasgow.ac.uk

Latest Publications

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452. [Fe15]: a frustrated, centred tetrakis hexahedron

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451. Robotic Stepwise Synthesis of Hetero-Multinuclear Metal Oxo Clusters as Single-Molecule Magnets

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450. Standardization and Control of Grignard Reactions in a Universal Chemical Synthesis Machine using online NMR

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449. A robotic prebiotic chemist probes long term reactions of complexifying mixtures

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448. Identifying molecules as biosignatures with assembly theory and mass spectrometry

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447. A molecular computing approach to solving optimization problems via programmable microdroplet arrays

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446. Influence of the Contact Geometry and Counterions on the Current Flow and Charge Transfer in Polyoxometalate Molecular Junctions: A Density Functional Theory Study

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445. Elucidating the Paramagnetic Interactions of an Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Radical-Functionalized Mn-Anderson Cluster

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444. Automatic Generation of 3D-Printed Reactionware for Chemical Synthesis Digitization using ChemSCAD

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443. Optimization of Formulations Using Robotic Experiments Driven by Machine Learning DoE


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