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Encyclopedia > Total synthesis

A total synthesis is the complete chemical synthesis of complex organic molecules from simple, commercially available (petrochemical) precursors. Total syntheses are often used as a playground for the development of new chemical reactions and routes. In chemistry, the phrase chemical synthesis appears to have one of two meanings. ... An organic compound refers to any member of a large class of chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon, with exception of carbides, carbonates and carbon oxides. ... In science, a molecule is the smallest particle of a pure chemical substance that still retains its chemical composition and properties. ... A petrochemical is any chemical derived from fossil fuel. ...


Classical examples are the total syntheses of quinine, cholesterol, cortisone, strychnine, lysergic acid, reserpine, chlorophyll, colchicine, vitamin B12, and prostaglandin F-2a by the Nobel Prize winner Robert B. Woodward between 1945 and 1976. Molecular structure of quinine Quinine, C20H24N2O2, is a natural white crystalline alkaloid having antipyretic, anti-malarial and analgesic properties and a bitter taste. ... Cholesterol is a steroid lipid, found in the cell membranes of all body tissues, and transported in the blood plasma of all animals. ... In physiology, corticosteroids are a class of steroid hormones that are produced in the adrenal cortex. ... Strychnine (pronounced strik-neen (British) or strik-nine (U.S.)) is a very toxic (LD50 = 1 mg/kg), colourless crystalline alkaloid used as a pesticide, particularly for killing small vertebrates such as rodents. ... Lysergic acid, also known as D-lysergic acid and (+)-lysergic acid, is a precursor for a wide range of ergoline alkaloids that are produced by the ergot fungus and some plants. ... Reserpine is a drug known to indirectly stimulate dopamine release in the brain. ... Chlorophyll is a green photosynthetic pigment found in plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. ... Colchicine is a highly poisonous alkaloid, originally extracted from plants of the genus Colchicum (autumn crocus, meadow saffron) with the chemical formula C22H25NO6. ... Cobalamin or vitamin B12 is a chemical compound that is also known as cyanocobalamine. ... A prostaglandin is any member of a group of lipid compounds that are derived from fatty acids and have important functions in the animal body. ... Photographs of Nobel Prize Medals. ... Robert Burns Woodward: On the blackboard is the structure of chlorophyll, one of many complex molecules that he synthesized (National Academy of Sciences Press) Robert Burns Woodward (April 10, 1917-July 8, 1979) was an American organic chemist, widely regarded as the preeminent organic chemist of the century. ...


Today the group of Kyriacos Costa Nicolaou at the Scripps Research Institute is famous for their total syntheses. The Scripps Research Institute, in La Jolla, California is home to notable chemists such as K. Barry Sharpless and P. G. Schultz, as well as neurobiologist Gerald Edelman. ...


References

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 39: 44-122 (2000) (http://www.scripps.edu/chem/nicolaou/images/pdfs/MS456.pdf) (Review, pdf) Total Synthesis Highlights (http://www.organic-chemistry.org/Highlights/totalsynthesis.shtm)


  Results from FactBites:
 
Philip L. Fuchs - Research - Cephalostatin Total Synthesis - Pub (691 words)
Synthesis of a 17-Deoxy, C-14,15-Dihydro Derivative of the North Spiroketal Moiety of the Cephalostatins.
Synthesis of a C14',15' Dihydro Derivative of the South Hexacyclic Steroid Unit of Cephalostatin 1.
Synthesis of the South Unit of the Cephalostatin 7.
The Scripps Research Institute - News and Views (2579 words)
And total synthesis continues to be the engine that drives organic synthesis forward, and therefore I think it is still a flourishing, exciting field of investigation.
Organic synthesis is behind medicinal chemistry, and total synthesis is a branch of organic synthesis.
I call it the engine that drives organic synthesis forward, because total synthesis deals with the ultimate challenges of organic synthesis—the most complicated molecules that nature has ever made are in front of the synthetic chemist.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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