50 million chemicals and counting

By Janet Raloff, 13:53 PM September 4, 2009

Bring out the helium balloons, confetti and a noisemaker or two. Today, researchers the world over have reason to raise a toast. This afternoon, the Chemical Abstracts Service — an American Chemical Society subsidiary —  identified the 50 millionth compound known. Arylmethylidene heterocycle — the molecule that qualified for the momentous spot during the long holiday weekend — is a future candidate for reducing neuropathic pain.

Since 1907, the Columbus, Ohio-based Chem Abstracts has mainta...

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