News FocusChemistry

Drug Industry Looks to the Lab Instead of Rainforest and Reef

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Science  09 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5425, pp. 186
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5425.186

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LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA-- Chemists who synthesize complex organic molecules from scratch take their lessons from nature, trying to mimic the complex, pharmacologically active molecules made by obscure living things. The field is at a turning point, with some chemists arguing that it isn't producing the fundamental insights of the past (see main text). And, to add to its troubles, natural products discovery--the effort to find candidate drugs in natural sources, which provides the chemists with their targets--has run into troubles of its own.