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The Flu Pandemic of 1918. The “Spanish flu” pandemic that swept around the world from June 1918 to December 1919 killed between 50 and 100 million people (3-6% of the global population). 10-20% of those infected with the H1N1 influenza virus died compared to the normal flu fatality rate of 0.1%.

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the flu pandemic of 1918
The Flu Pandemic of 1918
  • The “Spanish flu” pandemic that swept around the world from June 1918 to December 1919 killed between 50 and 100 million people (3-6% of the global population).
  • 10-20% of those infected with the H1N1 influenza virus died compared to the normal flu fatality rate of 0.1%.
  • The swine flu outbreak of 2009 also involved the H1N1 virus, but that strain was not easily passed from person to person as occurred in the 1918 pandemic.
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Broad-spectrum antiviral agents are essential for defending against another severe flu strain while a vaccine is being developed.

  • Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) are neuraminidase inhibitors. Neuraminidase is an enzyme whose action frees newly formed virus particles to infect other cells.
  • Many governments have started stockpiling Tamiflu and Relenza as a precaution against another severe flu pandemic.
the hayashi synthesis tokyo univ of science of tamiflu
The Hayashi synthesis (Tokyo Univ. of Science) of Tamiflu
  • Organocatalyis: chiral pyrrolidine-catalyzed reactions
  • Cascade reactions
  • Curtiss rearrangement
  • Michael addtion and intramolecular Horner-Wadsworth-Emmons reaction
rubicordifolin and rubioncolin b
Rubicordifolin and Rubioncolin B
  • In 1990 and 1993, Itokawa et al. reported the isolation of a class of dimericnaphthodihydroquinones from the Chinese herb Rubiaoncotrichaand the Indian herb Rubiacordifolia.
  • These natural products were unusual in that they were obtained as racemates, implying a nonenzymatic pathway in their biosynthesis.
  • Dirk Trauner synthesized these compounds using a nonenzymatic dimerization strategy thought to mimic the biosynthesis.
key concepts
Key Concepts
  • Biomimetic synthesis
  • Cascade reactions
  • Diels-Alder cycloadditions