The exotic natural product palau'amine contains a number of rare structural features, just like the extraordinary biodiversity found in the island nation of Palau. As such, palau'amine has been the most actively pursued alkaloid among synthetic chemists in the 21st century, and its first total synthesis is now described by P. S. Baran and co-workers in their Communication on page 1095 ff. The successful route features transformations on unprotected intermediates, cascade reactions, and a remarkable finale involving a transannular cyclization to forge the critical bond. Cover designed by Paul Krawczuk; photograph courtesy of iStockphoto.com/clumpner.
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