John A. Wass, Ph.D.
This month’s review is a bit off of the usual track, e.g. statisti- cal, mathematical and genom- ics software. However, it does
include much pertinent information for
chemists, chemical engineers and biologists.
SciFinder is a search engine for chemistry
and biology references for just about any-
thing that can be accurately described in the
search feature. It also includes information
concerning reagents, reaction mechanisms,
sources of materials, chemical structures,
molecular formulas and more. The appli-
cations include research, business patent
searches, and industrial manu-
facturing. The databases are updated daily.
From several searches, I had found that
the software concentrates on the chemical
areas, as a biological search will turn up
excellent reference lists but not too much
else. I should qualify that with the addendum of “…not too much else of interest to
me.” There are added materials and several
areas of information on which the software
will expand regarding biological questions.
In the research arena, you may query
SciFinder to answer the following types of
; Where can I find property information?
; How can I make it?
; Is there patent protection?
; Are there regulatory restrictions?
; Where can I get the reagents?
; Collaborators and competitors?
; How do I keep abreast of developments?
The experimental and predicted proper-
ties give a nice background on charac-
terizing a substance, and the experi-
mental procedure output allows the
chemist to discover the most efficient
schemes for synthesis. As per usual
for these reviews, let’s take a walk through a
As much as I would prefer an example
from basic research in the life sciences, Sc-
jFinder is so well-suited to applied projects
in the chemical sciences that this seems like
a better venue. OK, let’s look at a specific
example. The main search
screen is simplicity itself.
Merely type in the topic of
interest and hit <Search>
(here we leave the accuracy
and conciseness of the phrase-
ology to the user, but the software
is rather intelligent itself). Our example will
be Laminin synthesis and production, and
we are interested in ancillary business-relat-
ed material. We begin by typing <Synthesis Figure 1
A very efficient and extraordinarily useful tool for chemical and biological projects
References and More