Science Fiction Becoming Science Fact

Science Fiction Becoming Science Fact

Author: Natalia Ortuzar

Bioorthogonal chemistry—chemistry carried out in a controlled fashion in a complex biological system without interfering with the biochemical processes of the system—is a relatively young discipline with growing applications in the life sciences and medicinal fields.

Professor Carolyn Bertozzi, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Berkeley, USA, gave the Kavli Foundation Innovations in Chemistry lecture at the 243rd American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, CA, USA, describing recent results of her research into glycans and expressing her thoughts on the exciting future of the field in which she played an integral role in founding.

Bertozzi asserted that while the use of bioorthogonal chemistry to create drugs in vivo at the target site might still be science fiction, the use of bioorthogonal chemical tools and techniques to image cancer cells in a specific and noninvasive manner by targeting the complex carbohydrates on the cell surface is rapidly becoming science fact.

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