An assessment of the known properties of natural products and their model compounds to determine their usefulness in biological and medical experimentation, as well as in synkinetics - the reversible synthesis of noncovalent compounds. It explores new techniques such as cryoelectron and scanning force microscopy and solid-state NMR spectroscopy of membrane systems. There are 500 figures and reaction schemes.
"…an interesting and stimulating book, which can be warmly recommended."
---Angewandte Chemie, 2001
Structure and reactivity patterns in natural compounds; lipids and membranes; steroids - rigidity and flexibility in carbocycles; carbohydrates - orgies in biomass and stereochemistry; carotenes -rigidity and colour; porphyrins - the utilization of light and oxygen; vitamins - versatile assistants; DNA - a polar, flexible and fragile matrix; proteins - recognition of all molecules and modules for functional reaction chains.