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Natural Products Chemistry

SpecialChem / Nick Morante – Mar 8, 2007

It seems as though we can never put the subject of naturals to rest. Naturals have a profound effect on the lives we lead and the products we use. But the subject of naturals isn't really new; it has just been resurrected and given new life recently. What we call Natural Products Chemistry has been around since the 1920's when, Vienna, Austria became the center for research for scientists in this field. There have been many noted scientists who worked on naturals prior to 1929, such as George Washington Carver who did much research with peanuts and made everything from rubber to cold creams. But in the area of naturals, probably no name is more recognizable that Dr. Percy Julian, PhD. Dr. Julian was recently highlighted in a program featured on PBS, the Public Broadcasting System. I could not tear myself away from the TV screen and knew that this was going to be the subject of my next article. His life was chronicled showing how naturals, specifically plants, could be used to synthesize many of the materials our bodies make to fight off infections and illness, and treat ailments.

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