creepygeek writes to mention a New Scientist article detailing a new process for creating Tamiflu, an antiviral drug currently thought to be our best defense against the bird flu. From the article: "Making Tamiflu is slow, partly because shikimic is hard to get, but also because one step in the process involves a highly explosive chemical called an azide. As a result, Tamiflu can be made only in small batches of a few tens of litres at a time. But Elias Corey of Harvard University - who won a Nobel prize in 1990 for chemical synthesis - and colleagues have devised a new way to make the drug from two cheap, plentiful petrochemicals, acrylate and butadiene."
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