Stanford chemist Eugene van Tamelen died of cancer, reports the Los Angeles Times. He was 84. Van Tamelen studied the structure of complex natural molecules and, according to his colleagues, van Tamelen "liked being different and he liked being first," the Times says. While a graduate student, van Tamelen helped synthesize cantharidin, the main component of Spanish Fly, and later worked on the hallucinogen yohimbine and the antimitotic agent colchicine. "He was constantly inventing new reactions and new approaches to interesting molecules," says Stanford's John Brauman.
Dec 28, 2009