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
Advanced Research Centre (ARC)
Level 5, Digital Chemistry
University of Glasgow
11 Chapel Lane
Glasgow G11 6EW
Tel: +44 141 330 6650
Email: lee.cronin@glasgow.ac.uk

Latest Publications

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476. An artificial intelligence enabled chemical synthesis robot for exploration and optimization of nanomaterials

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475. An autonomous portable platform for universal chemical synthesis

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474. Robotic synthesis of peptides containing metal-oxide-based amino acids

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473. Selection of assembly complexity in a space of tetrapeptides

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472. Digitization and validation of a chemical synthesis literature database in the ChemPU

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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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