Synthesizing an Alkaloid

  • 1
  • By Dorr Lab


Synthesizing, or assembling, organic compounds can be a long and arduous process, involving numerous steps that add, change, or remove atoms from a framework. To synthesize an alkaloid, chemists must first know — or figure out — the composition and structure of the natural molecule to be replicated. Then, starting with very small structures that chemists already know how to make, they can begin to assemble these simpler molecules into fragments, called "intermediates," of the desired compound. This may involve lots of trial and error.

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