Taxol Synthesis

I read with interest the article in the Hot Papers column on K.C. Nicolaou's paper titled "Total synthesis of taxol" (The Scientist, May 29, 1995, page 14). The account is very helpful in bringing readers' attention to one of the most impressive achievements of chemists in recent years. It is, however, misleading in two aspects. First, the article failed to point out the actual research team that accomplished the first total synthesis of taxol. Second, it didn't mention the fact that two resea

Tianhan Xue
Sep 17, 1995
I read with interest the article in the Hot Papers column on K.C. Nicolaou's paper titled "Total synthesis of taxol" (The Scientist, May 29, 1995, page 14).

The account is very helpful in bringing readers' attention to one of the most impressive achievements of chemists in recent years. It is, however, misleading in two aspects. First, the article failed to point out the actual research team that accomplished the first total synthesis of taxol. Second, it didn't mention the fact that two research groups, working independently of each other, have achieved the first two syntheses of taxol at almost the same time. The legend to the picture reads: "K.C. Nicolaou's research group reported the first completely chemical synthesis of taxol." This gives readers an incorrect impression that Nicolaou's team was in first place in the heated race for the synthesis of taxol.

According to Chemical & Engineering News...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?