Re: ORGLIST: Functional Groups

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From: Jacob Zabicky (zabicky$##$
Date: Tue Apr 10 2001 - 05:41:35 EDT

Hello Ashutosh,

To start with, there is nothing ridiculous with the thoughts you had.

Then, functional groups always were the backbone for the methodical
organization of teaching and investigation of organic chemical subjects, be
they analysis, synthesis, spectroscopy, etc. Even more esoteric subjects
such as pharmacodynamics take into account the organic structure and make
some reference to what chemists call functionasl groups.

The classical textbooks of organic chemistry have several chapters refering
to functional groups. Beilstein's Handbook is organized into volumes
according to its own rationale, however, an underlying structure in each
volume follows the functional goups. Other major publications like
Houben-Weyl have chaperts dedicated to specific functional groups.

A major effort in this direction, "The Chemistry of Functional Groups,"
founded by the late Saul Patai, is already alive about four decades and has
more than 100 published volumes dedicated to this idea. True, there are
major functional groups and minor ones. Often the latter ones sneak in into
volumes dedicated to the former ones. Thus, there is no need of publishing
an expensive volume bearing scant information on functional groups that
have not been thoroughly studied. For example, in the first volume on The
Ahemistry of Amides, chapters on hydrazides and thiohydrazides were also
included, or, in a chapter on the analytical aspects of triple bonded
functional groups (alkynes, nitriles, cyanates, thiocyanates, diazonium
ions) also some isomeric functional groups were reviewed that bear no
triple bond (isonitriles, isocyanates, isothiocyanates).

All the best,


At 22:26 9/4/1, Ashutosh wrote:
>This might seem ridiculous but I was just thinking as follows;
>We now know hundreds of functional groups. But could there be more
>functional groups?
>We could call the organometallics as functional groups.
>What about new functional groups?
>I could just take up some 4-5 atoms and bonds, try all permutations and
>combinations of them and have some 20 new functional groups.
>However many functional groups would be unstable or more importantly, useless.
>A functional group would be useful, if it appears in nature to some extent
>and it is synthetically useful.
>Could we have a 'FGP' or Functional Group Project, in which all natural
>resources are exhaustively studied, then considered by physical and
>theoretical as well as computational chemists regarding their reactivities
>and then synthetically modified to create useful products, or even
>biological analogues.
>Of course, this would be an international endevour. But the cost and time
>spent could be worth while.
>This is just a thought (not some project that i am suggesting!) that I had
>and I was wondering if anyone has any opinions or ideas related to this.
>Ashutosh Jogalekar
>University of Pune


Prof. Jacob Zabicky Tel.
Institutes for Applied Research Fax. 972-8-6472969
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Private: POB 12366, Beer-Sheva 84863
POB 653, Beer-Sheva 84105, ISRAEL Tel. 972-8-6496792

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