The Art of Total Synthesis

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Science  30 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5548, pp. 1842-1843
DOI: 10.1126/science.1067545

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Advances in synthetic strategies and analytical technology are allowing ever more natural product molecules to be synthesized. In his Perspective, Markó briefly reviews the history of this field and highlights the synthesis of ciguatoxin by Hirama et al. This marine toxin belongs to the ciguatera family of neurotoxins, which poison some 20,000 people every year. The elegant and highly convergent strategy developed by the authors will be helpful in the development of antibodies to ciguatoxin for the detection of contaminated seafood.