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Helping molecules reach meta

A simple way to steer atoms to a difficult-to-reach position on an aromatic ring opens new possibilities

1:23pm, March 19, 2009

Few roads lead to meta, much to the chagrin of organic chemists trying to build compounds of particular shapes. Now researchers have found a simple way of getting molecules into the coveted meta position on an aromatic ring. The discovery, reported in the March 20 Science, opens the door to a flood of research that could yield products from new drugs to electronic materials, scientists say.

The find “combines new chemistry and recent developments with a very old problem,” says Robert Maleczka Jr. of Michigan State University in East Lans

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