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Hands-free chemistry: new tricks and tech may help turn the tide for automated molecular synthesis.
Mother Nature is a lazy chemist. Occasionally, she produces an organic molecule that's a winning drug. But more often, a nature-made chemical's medicinal powers are coupled with flaws, such as brutal side effects. Until recently, upping the safety of those drugs by retooling their parts was a lot like assembling Ikea furniture.
Take amphotericin B, a lifesaving but toxic antifungal medicine. To build a better version, chemists would need to translate a series of tauntingly simple...
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