Lab mimics molecule found in poppies

lab mimics molecule found in poppies

Sumary of Lab mimics molecule found in poppies:

  • A Rice University undergraduate student’s grit and talent paid off in a big way when she introduced the first synthesis of a rare and potentially potent molecule drawn from poppies.
  • Anavi Serna, a junior, spent the duration of a summer fellowship in the Rice lab of synthetic chemist László Kürtichasing a sequence that would produce setigerumine I, an alkaloid molecule found in trace amounts in the poppy family Papaveraceae.
  • Ultimately, Serna and her mentor, Rice chemistry lecturer and corresponding author Juha Siitonen, produced the natural product in a three-step, room temperature process that started with oxidizing and rearranging a precursor molecule, noscapine, found in cough syrup.
  • Siitonen, who will become an assistant professor of organic chemistry at Aalto University in his native Finland in January, had been looking at setigerumine I, first isolated in 1993, and several other rare poppy extracts for a while.
  • Serna said her first exposure to synthetic chemistry came in Kürti’s class, co-taught by Siitonen.
  • “I had a brief introduction to organic chemistry in high school, and I didn’t like it,” she said.
  • ” That was followed by verification of the results that involved obtaining the molecule’s structure through nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
  • Siitonen compared synthetic chemistry to solving a Sudoku puzzle, though with more significant consequences.

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