Friday, February 7, 2014

My Recommended Model Sets

My Model Set in a Toolbox
Do you want to understand conformational analysis and how to draw 3D organic molecules on paper? If you answered yes, then it is imperative that you purchase a molecular model set. I remember that "Ah, Ha!" moment I had in college when I finally began to build models to help me with my homework. I only wished then that I had started sooner. Any model set will work, but I recommend the Molecular Visions kits (#1, #1A or #1B) from Darling Models. They are available at three different price points, depending on the container you choose:

In a Plastic Case ($24)

In a Corrugated Box ($22)

In a Plastic Bag ($21)

These model sets are plastic, durable, and easily constructed. I particularly like how easy it is to rotate around bonds once you get them worked in a little. They superbly demonstrate how a cyclohexane chair flips from one chair conformation to another. That's a tough concept to understand until you can feel it in your hands.

I started with Kit #1A in grad school (I'm old; these fancy plastic models didn't exist when I was in college) and have slowly added pieces over the years so that I could build larger molecules like a protein alpha helix and a full turn of DNA. When I need to understand a complex structure, a physical model is still my first tool.

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