A free, open-access organic chemistry textbook in which the main focus is on relevance to biology and medicine
The traditional (and still prevalent) way to teach organic chemistry is to focus on examples that are primarily of interest to students who are planning to become professional organic chemists - that is, to focus on the molecules and reactions of organic synthesis, considering mainly non-aqueous conditions and non-biological reagents. The majority of students studying organic chemistry, however, are doing so because they are majoring in biology, biochemistry, or health sciences. They need to learn about the structure and reactivity of organic compounds because, quite simply, organic chemistry is the chemistry of life. What is most interesting and relevant to these students is the organic chemistry that takes place in the context of a living cell.
In this online textbook, a unique approach is taken to the study of organic chemistry. To the greatest extent possible, biological molecules and biochemical reactions are used to explain and illustrate the central concepts of organic chemistry. This novel approach is most evident in chapters 9-17, which cover the main organic reaction mechanisms in a biological context. However, earlier chapters on organic structure and spectroscopy also focus as much as possible on examples of interest to students of biology and the health sciences. The chemistry of lab synthesis is not ignored - however, these examples are generally grouped together in subsections and introduced to illustrate parallels between laboratory and biological chemistry.
This is a dynamic textbook, meaning that it will be continuously undergoing revision in response to reader input. Please provide your suggestions and ideas in the 'Talk' pages behind each Module.
These pages are under construction. A complete 2016 edition of Organic Chemistry With a Biological Emphasis is available here as a free PDF download.
- 1: Introduction to organic structure and bonding I
- 2: Introduction to Organic Structure and Bonding II
- 3: Conformations and Stereochemistry
- 4: Structure Determination I: UV-Vis and Infrared Spectroscopy, Mass Spectrometry
- 5: Structure Determination II: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
- 6: Introduction to organic reactivity and catalysis
- 7: Acids and bases
- 8: Nucleophilic substitution reactions, part I
- 9: Nucleophilic substitution reactions, part II
- 10: Phosphoryl transfer reactions
- 11: Nucleophilic carbonyl addition reactions
- 12: Acyl substitution reactions
- 13: Reactions with stabilized carbanion intermediates I
- 14: Reactions with stabilized carbanion intermediates, part II
- 15: Electrophilic reactions
- 16: Oxidation and reduction reactions
- 17: Radical reactions
- Full Table of Contents
- Reference Tables
- Retrosynthetic analysis and metabolic pathway prediction
- Appendix I: Index of enzymatic reactions by pathway
- Appendix: Review of laboratory synthesis reactions