Monday, February 16, 2009

Talk About a Mad Scientist

Carl Djerassi is pissed.

I don't think that you want to piss this guy off. For a chemist, he looks like he could kick some ass. He is pissed because Trost failed to reference the isolation of bryostatin in his recent Nature paper on its total synthesis. I'll let Carl speak for himself:

"who isolated the bryostatins? Who established their structures? Who initially pursued their anticancer activity? Without these achievements, the synthesis would simply constitute chemical acrobatics that never would have been accepted by Nature.

These decade-long efforts by G. R. Pettit's group at Arizona State University are concealed by reference to a generic review article authored by others. There are a couple of "et al." references that also mask Pettit's name. This demeaning treatment of the key work of earlier investigators in the field of natural products by chemists who then undertake the total synthesis of the molecule in question is unfortunately all too common—either because of sloppiness or as a discreet attempt to eliminate any reference to the initial discoverers.

Trost's treatment of Pettit is particularly egregious given the well-known fact in the chemical community that the spectacularly laborious decade-long efforts of one of the heroes of marine natural products chemistry—the person who personally collected the bryozoan, isolated the bryostatins, established their constitution, and pursued their anticancer activity against all odds—were terminated through a draconian closure of his laboratory by the new administrators of Arizona State University."

I love organic chemistry pissing contests. I think that Djerassi could definitely kick Trost's ass. And when was the last time Trost developed a drug that 100 million people use daily?

no love for Barry, sorry Mike


Mike said...

I should have "no comment" to this post, but I will say that I love it's awesome!

jmizz said...

who doesn't love the pissing contest?

Mike said...

are we gonna get a new post soon, or did kenny get busy again?

Brandon said...

We should start an organic chemistry rap feud. Wesssside mufucka