High-Throughput Discovery of New Chemical Reactions

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Science  09 Sep 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6048, pp. 1387-1388
DOI: 10.1126/science.1210735

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Despite many notable advances in rational drug design, high-throughput methods that screen libraries of unrelated compounds have become essential tools in lead compound discovery. However, the discovery of chemical reactions, whether for rational synthesis, library generation, or large-scale manufacturing, has not benefited from high-throughput screening methods to nearly the same extent. On page 1423 of this issue, Robbins and Hartwig (1) describe an approach for high-throughput discovery of chemical reactions catalyzed by transition metals that simultaneously explores broad ranges of reactant functional groups and metal-ligand combinations.