C&EN recently published an article on the favorite reactions of several bloggers. It was the result of an open call for favorite reactions by the C&EN blog in celebration of IYC. Naturally, I missed this call for submissions.
I would’ve offered the biosynthesis of squalene oxide and cyclization to lanosterol as my favorite reaction. The domino assembly of phosphorylated terpenoid precursors and the penultimate cyclization with the hydride and methide migrations is a thing of beauty. To make a fused hydrocarbon ring system in aqueous media as complex as the steroid nucleus with all of the stereocenters landing in place as they do is a true wonder of nature!