Enthalpy-entropy compensation

In thermodynamics, enthalpy-entropy compensation is a process, reaction, or interaction in which increases in decreases in standard enthalpy and entropy sum to make zero contribution to the standard Gibbs free energy. [1]

In a 2010 study entitled “Thermodynamics of RNA melting, One Base Pare at a Time”, researchers Evgenia Nikolova and Hashim Al-Hashimi claimed to have observed ‘microscopic’ enthalpy-entropy compensations across base pairs within the same RNA. [2]

The etymology the theory of 'enthalpy-entropy compensation' is difficult to track down. In 1981, however, it was being reported that the phenomenon called “enthalpy-entropy compensation” had been observed in a wide variety of chemical reactions and is said to be manifested in and diagnosed by the use of linear plots of enthalpy change verses entropy change, where by the slope has dimensions of temperature, and is called the compensation temperature. [3]

1. Grunwald, Ernest. (2001). “Enthalpy-Entropy Compensation and Solvent Reorganization” in Drug-Receptor Thermodynamics (pgs. 553-74) by John Raffa (editor). John Wiley & Sons.
2. Nikolova, Evgenia and Al-Hashimi, Hashim. (2010). “Thermodynamics of RNA melting, One Base Pare at a Time” (abstract), RNA, Jul 21.
3. Heftmann, Erich. (1983). Fundamentals and Techniques, Volume 22 (pg. A-90). Elsevier.

Further reading
● Grunwald, Ernest and Comeford, Lorrie L. (1995). Protein-Solvent Interactions (ch. 10: Thermodynamic Mechanisms for Enthalpy-Entropy Compensation, pgs. 421-). CRC Press.
● Raffa, Robert B. and Tallarida, Ronald J. (2001). “Basics of Correlations: Relevance to Enthalpy-Entropy Compensation” in Drug-Receptor Thermodynamics (pgs. 575-80) by John Raffa (editor). John Wiley & Sons.
● Fiedor, Joanna, Pilch, Mariusz, Fiedor, Leszek. (2009). “Tuning the Thermodynamics of Association of Transmembrane Helicles” (abstract), J. Phys. Chem. B. Sept. 01.

External links
Enthalpy-entropy compensation – Wikipedia.

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