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Article
July 1937

The Chemistry of Natural Products Related to Phenanthrene

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1937;36(1):246. doi:10.1001/archderm.1937.01480010250031

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Abstract

Fieser's review of the organic chemists' and the biochemists' achievements in a field now holding their attention reveals a romance behind the drab formulas of chemists' reports. To suspect the revelation of nature's way of building functionally essential chemical units is to thrill with the forbidden practice of peeking behind the curtain.

The disclosure of phenanthrene, an isomer of anthracene (carbon condensation ring structure) as chemical background for the elaboration of some hormones ("sex"), vitamins, cancer-producing hydrocarbons, heart poisons and alkaloids, including morphine, assures by the very nature of the suspected relationship a more than sympathetic interest from practicing physicians.

Unfortunately, the present status of this knowledge does not as yet permit a correlation with the clinic in the wider sense of clinical practice or philosophy.

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