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Although the term "bioconjugate chemistry" was coined relatively recently, researchers increasingly have been exploring the techniques and applications of this field, particularly during the past 10 years. Simply put, bioconjugate chemistry involves the joining through chemical or biological means of two molecules that exhibit different biological activities to form a new compound with specific biochemical properties. As scientists learn more and more about the roles of specific molecules in the human body and discover the progression of various diseases, they turn to bioconjugate chemistry to develop useful compounds, such as new diagnostic tools and target-specific drugs.

The Scientist spoke to Claude F. Meares of the department of biochemistry at the University of California, Davis, and editor of a new journal, Bioconjugate Chemistry (The Scientist, Association Briefs, March 5, 1990, page 9), to ask about recent trends in this wide-ranging field.

The accompanying table lists key...

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