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Posts tagged with "Natural Products"

  • Chemical News

    Maoecrystal V: You Poor People

    The virtues and shortcomings of total synthesis are both on display in this new paper from the Baran group at Scripps, “Total Synthesis of Maoecrystal V”. Actually, they’re on display in not only that paper, but in it and in the four previous total syntheses of the molecule, but we’ll get to that. Maoecrystal is… Read More
  • Drug Assays

    Drugs from Fungi, Or Fungi As Drugs?

    This is an interesting article, but a lay reader would probably not realize how many important things are left out of it. It’s about a mushroom grower (Tradd Cotter) who’s been studying ways to protect his desired fungi against other pathogens, and who has an idea about extending this work to human therapies. He’s co-culturing… Read More
  • Cancer

    Antibiotics: Not As Easy As They Say

    Since we were just talking yesterday about antibiotics and the misconceptions that people have about them, this is an appropriate time to take a look at an article in the popular press about antibiotic discovery. (Vice.com counts as “popular press”, for sure). The article focuses on the work of Brian Murphy at UI-Chicago, who’s do… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Screen Carefully

    This recent paper asks the question “Can Invalid Bioactives Undermine Natural-Product Based Drug Discovery?” And as any of you who’ve done any natural product screening can attest, the answer is “You betcha”. There are any number of natural products (here’s one!) that, although active in a given screening assay,… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    The Case For Non-Biogenic Tramadol

    The battle over whether tramadol is a natural product or not has been a heated one. Over the last couple of years, it was reported to be produced by a west African shrub, then this was reported to be an artifact of feeding the drug to cattle, and then this hypothesis was challenged by work… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    The Tramadol Wars

    You may recall the report of the synthetic analgesic tramadol as a natural product from Cameroon, and the subsequent report that it was nothing of the kind. (That’s the paper that brought the surprising news that local farmers were feeding the drug to their cows). Now the first group (a team from Nantes, Lodz, and… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Weirdly, Tramadol Is Not a Natural Product After All

    Last year I mentioned a paper that described the well-known drug tramadol as a natural product, isolated from a species of tree in Cameroon. Rather high concentrations were found in the root bark, and the evidence looked solid that the compound was indeed being made biochemically. Well, thanks to chem-blogger Quintus (and a mention on… Read More
  • Diabetes and Obesity

    Speaking of Polyphenols. . .

    Yesterday’s mention of “nightmare polyphenols” prompted a reader to ask about the one in this paper. That’s it over there at the left, and yeah, that sure is a polyphenol. In fact, it’s a chaetochromin, a family of mycotoxins originally isolated from moldy rice. The paper doesn’t say anything about its stereochem… Read More
  • Natural Products

    How Polyphenols Work, Perhaps?

    No medicinal chemist, in my experience, is enthusiastic about polyphenol compounds. At least, not after their first experiences with them. These things are all over the natural product landscape, and many of them have biological activities, but (1) they’re beastly to try to develop into drugs, and (2) no one understands very well what their… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Mix-and-Match Natural Products

    A lot of people in med-chem and chemical biology would like to have more natural-product-like features in their libraries of organic compounds. But realizing that idea is not so easy. Natural product structures, er, naturally tend to be more complex, with a lot of functionality and stereochemistry compared to the sorts of things you usually… Read More
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