High, but not dry: A highly enantioselective Michael reaction in water has been developed by using a simple DNA-based catalyst. Enantioselectivities of up to 99 % ee could be obtained by using nitromethane and dimethyl malonate as the nucleophiles and α,β-unsaturated 2-acylimidazoles as the Michael acceptors. The reactions can be performed on a preparative scale and the catalyst can be recycled.
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