Chemical space and biology

Nature. 2004 Dec 16;432(7019):824-8. doi: 10.1038/nature03192.


Chemical space--which encompasses all possible small organic molecules, including those present in biological systems--is vast. So vast, in fact, that so far only a tiny fraction of it has been explored. Nevertheless, these explorations have greatly enhanced our understanding of biology, and have led to the development of many of today's drugs. The discovery of new bioactive molecules, facilitated by a deeper understanding of the nature of the regions of chemical space that are relevant to biology, will advance our knowledge of biological processes and lead to new strategies to treat disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biochemistry / trends*
  • Biology / trends
  • Cells / chemistry*
  • Cells / metabolism*
  • Chemistry, Organic / trends
  • Drug Design
  • Humans