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October 15, 2012
A New Diels-Alder
There may be no more R. B. Woodwards, but never let it be said that there's nothing more to be found in organic synthesis. Until we can make natural products the way that they're made in nature, at room temperature, atom by atom, our skills don't stand comparison with what we know is possible. But that's not going to be the work of a single genius, for sure, although applications are always being accepted.
New reactions, though, are always out there. Here's an example of one, in a field (the Diels-Alder reaction) that you'd think would have been pretty well worked over. This will win no Nobels, and only synthetic organic chemists will pay attention. But I'm always glad to see discoveries like this, and to know that they're still out there.
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