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Organocatalysis Lost: Modern Chemistry, Ancient Chemistry, and an Unseen Biosynthetic Apparatus



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One enigma leads in three directions: The Hajos–Wiechert reaction presented an enigma that went unsolved for three decades. With the unravelling of this enigma, organocatalysis plays a major role in the development of efficient catalytic asymmetric methodologies. The mechanisms of organocatalysis also shed light on the origin of homochirality essential for life and provide clues to yet-to-be-discovered biosynthetic mechanisms at work in living organisms today.