Natural products

Definition

Natural products are small molecules produced naturally by any organism including primary and secondary metabolites. They include very small molecules, such as urea, and complex structures, such as Taxol. As they may only be isolable in small quantities, have interesting biological activity and chemical structures, natural product synthesis poses an interesting challenge in organic chemistry.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Comments and Opinion |

    Bruce Gibb focuses on fatty acids and wonders whether we’ll all be eating cyanobacteria before too long.

    • Bruce C. Gibb
    Nature Chemistry 10, 1075–1077
  • Research Highlights |

    A total synthesis of xishacorene B starts from a chiral pool molecule and exploits a C–C activation reaction to form the core structure.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • News and Views |

    The chemical synthesis of natural products, such as sesquiterpenes, is a daunting task due to their complexity and precise functionalization, and multiple synthetic and purification steps that reduce overall yields are usually required. Now, a highly efficient alternative approach using supramolecular chemistry has been proposed by Tiefenbacher and co-workers.

    • Dan Thomas Major
    Nature Catalysis 1, 567–568
  • Research Highlights |

    A team of French and UK researchers have used DNA to template a key photocatalysed cycloaddition reaction in the total synthesis of a marine natural product.

    • Stephen G. Davey