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The Chemistry of Natural Products related to Phenanthrene

Nature volume 140, page 704 (23 October 1937) | Download Citation



A REVIEW of the first edition of this important treatise appeared in NATURE last year, and already a second edition has become necessary. The opportunity has been taken to add a 90-page survey of relevant papers of 1936, each referred to its appropriate context. The appendix with the revised index may be obtained separately, so that the first edition is not devaluated. The wisdom of adding so large an appendix is doubtful, since abstracts of the three hundred papers cited are available, but references to certain real advances of 1936 could not well have been omitted. Several simple carcinogenic compounds, notably o-aminoazotoluene, have been discovered, and the range of cestrogenic substances has been considerably extended. The animal organism has been found to synthesize polyterpenes; and the first chemical transformation of cholesterol to a natural bile-acid has been realized. Outstanding has been the isolation of natural vitamin D and its j identification with the irradiation product of 7-dehydrocholesterol. Certain crystalline substances 1 from the adrenal cortex have been found to posse close structural relationship to the sterols. Moreover, the year has witnessed steady increase in knowledge of the stereochemistry of the sterols and sex hormones, and of the structures of the cardiac glycosides.

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