Organic chemistry

Definition

Organic chemistry is the study of the synthesis, structure, reactivity and properties of the diverse group of chemical compounds primarily constructed of carbon. All life on earth is carbon-based, thus organic chemistry is also the basis of biochemistry. The ability to form compounds containing long chains of carbon atoms is the basis of polymer chemistry.

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News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Natural products often serve as sources of new drugs, either directly or after synthetic modification, but site-selective functionalization of complex small molecules is challenging. Now, a method has been developed that enables selective modification of a wide range of natural products by engaging a benzyne intermediate in a variety of reaction modes.

    • Sarah Z. Tasker
    •  & Paul J. Hergenrother
    Nature Chemistry 9, 504–506
  • News and Views |

    Hydrocarbons called alkenes are isolated from petroleum as mixtures of isomers, often making it hard to use them as reagents for synthesis. A reaction involving a migrating nickel atom offers a possible solution. See Letter p.84

    • Matthew Gaunt
    •  & Patrick Williamson
    Nature 545, 35–36
  • News and Views |

    A unique transformation for the site-selective cleavage of one C–C single bond and two C–H bonds in sequence has now been developed. This enables a simple carbon skeleton to be reorganized into a significantly more complex form with remarkable efficiency.

    • Masahiro Murakami
    •  & Naoki Ishida
    Nature Chemistry 9, 298–299