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Hilldale Lectureship in Chemistry, Prof. John Sutherland
May 26 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Inherently Favoured and Potentially Prebiotic Reactions
John Sutherland, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge UK
Inherently favoured reactions include:
- those which are catalysed by another component of the system,
- those which are part of an autocatalytic cycle,
- those which are favoured through induced intramolecularity,
- those in which a functional group in a molecule displays out of the ordinary reactivity due to its particular molecular context.
Such reactions are crucial in prebiotic systems chemistry because special selectivity is needed to make multiple products in high yields, particularly in mixtures. In this lecture, I will introduce the concept of inherently favoured reactions with a classic example from the literature. I will then discuss a few other examples that my group have discovered and suggest that plenty of others await discovery because the origin of life most likely requires multiple sequences of these reactions.