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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471. Formalising the pathways of life to using assembly spaces

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470. Engineering Highly Reduced Molybdenum Polyoxometalates via the Incorporation of d and f Block Metal Ions

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469. Effective Storage of Electrons in Water by the Formation of Highly Reduced Polyoxometalate Clusters

468. A Probabilistic Chemical Programmable Computer

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467. Digitizing Chemical Synthesis in 3D Printed Reactionware

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466. Hydrogen from water electrolysis

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465. Investigating the autocatalytically driven formation of Keggin-based polyoxometalate clusters

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464. Exploring the sequence space of unknown oligomers and polymers

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463. Exploring the Hidden Constraints that Control the Self-Assembly of Nanomolecular Inorganic Clusters

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462. Facile and Reproducible Electrochemical Synthesis of the Giant Polyoxomolybdates


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