|Source: Nature 2012 | Baran group, Scripps|
|Mmm, delicious solvent...|
Escalation followed. By the end of the conference, everyone had rung up their labs to try ever more exotic solvents, ranging from wine to paint thinner, then finally to whiskey. As explained in Adam Rogers' fantastic 2011 piece "Mystery of the Canadian Whiskey Fungus," this aged, distilled melange of organic compounds should foil up all but the most robust reactions; I'm fairly certain the reaction - another metal-catalyzed cyclization - still performed around 40%. Not too shabby.
*Just noticed that Bethany Halford beat me to it, at least as far as the tea!