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Posts tagged with "Natural Products"

  • Chemical News

    Anyone Still Swimming in the Chiral Pool?

    My grad school work was chiral-pool synthesis; trying to make a complex natural product from carbohydrate starting materials. There was quite a bit of that around in those days, but you have to wonder about its place in the world by now. It’s true that everyone likes to be able to buy their chiral centers… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Natural Products Continue to Weird Me Out

    Here’s a funny-looking compound for you – Ivorenolide A, isolated from mahogany tree bark, it has an 18-membered ring with conjugated acetylenes in it. That makes the 3-D structure quite weird; it’s nearly flat. And it has biological activity, too (immunosuppression, as measured by T-cell and B-cell proliferation assay in vitro).… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Sudden Onset of Promiscuity

    That title should bring in the hits. But don’t get your hopes up! This is medicinal chemistry, after all. “Can’t you just put the group in your molecule that does such-and-such?” Medicinal chemists sometimes hear variations of that question from people outside of chemistry – hopeful sorts who believe that we might have… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Bungled Structure, And How

    A lot of natural product structures have been misassigned over the years. In the old days, it was a wonder when you were able to assign a complex one at all. Structure determination, pre-NMR, could be an intellectual challenge at the highest level, something like trying to reconstruct a position on a chess board in… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Organic Synthesis: A Dead End For Graduate Students?

    Via ChemJobber, here’s a quote from the National Research Council’s Committee on Challenges in Chemistry Graduate Education. Their report has just come out, and I agree that this should be a key point for people to ponder: Whitesides believes that the question should be asked whether PhD theses are narrow technical presentations for job… Read More
  • Natural Products

    Nevirapine: Not Chiral. Paper: Not Right. Editorial Staff: Not Doing Their Job

    Readers may remember a now-retracted paper that I first blogged about here, the one that claimed to have isolated the reverse transcriptase inhibitor nevirapine as a natural product. Moreover, it claimed that the isolated material was chiral, which would have been very interesting indeed if it were true. (And, as that last post says, would… Read More
  • Drug Assays

    Kibdelomycin, A New Antibiotic. In A Way.

    We’re going to need new antibiotics. Everyone knows this, and it’s not like no one’s been trying to do anything about it, either, but. . .we’re still going to need more of them than we have. I’m not predicting that we’re going to go all the way back to a world where young, healthy people… Read More
  • Infectious Diseases

    Chiral What? Chiral How?

    Thanks to an email from a reader, I can bring you this very weird paper from Tetrahedron. The authors claim to have extracted a local plant and isolated nevirapine, (sold as Viramune by Boehringer Ingleheim as a reverse transcriptase inhibitor for HIV). That’s kind of odd. I’m no natural products expert, but I’ve sure seen… Read More
  • Academia (vs. Industry)

    And One Was Just Right?

    I’ve been reading an interesting new paper from Stuart Schreiber’s research group(s) in PNAS. But I’m not sure if the authors and I would agree on the reasons that it’s interesting. This is another in the series that Schreiber has been writing on high-throughput screening and diversity-oriented synthesis (DOS). As mentioned… Read More
  • Biological News

    Vinca Alkaloids, And Where They End Up

    The Vinca alkaloids are some of the most famous chemotherapy drugs around – vincristine and vinblastine, the two most widely used, are probably shown in every single introduction to natural products chemistry that’s been written in the past fifty years. But making them synthetically is a bear, and extracting them from the plant is a… Read More