Quinine Revisited ... Again | February 26, 2007 Issue - Vol. 85 Issue 9 | Chemical & Engineering News
 
 
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Volume 85 Issue 9 | pp. 47-50
Issue Date: February 26, 2007

Quinine Revisited ... Again

Historical research helps untangle the complex mythology of quinine synthesis
Department: Science & Technology

IF MOLECULES were mythical figures, quinine would be chemistry's Helen of Troy—the structure that launched a thousand research projects. Louis Pasteur, William Henry Perkin, Robert Burns Woodward, Gilbert Stork—quinine has bewitched chemistry's brightest lights for more than 150 years.

Now, the antimalarial alkaloid has captured the imagination of chemical history researcher Jeffrey I. Seeman. By combing through old letters, research publications, and news clippings, Seeman has tried to unravel the so-called myth of the first . . .

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