26 No. 1
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Stereoformulas of Diastereomers - Response from the IUPAC
Chemical Nomenclature and Structure Representation Division
Division VIII is well aware of the problem pointed out by Drs. Kaupp and Naimi-Jamal, and will be addressing it in the course of a substantial project on Graphical Representation Standards for Chemical Structure Diagrams currently under consideration. There are published IUPAC recommendations on the depiction of stereoformulae in “Basic Terminology of Stereochemistry” (Pure Appl. Chem., 68, 2193–2222 ) and these will be reviewed and expanded as part of this new project.
The specific problem raised in the letter from Drs. Kaupp and Naimi-Jamal is addressed by some organisations, such as the World Health Organization, drawing the R isomer (i.e., the isomer with the R configuration at the lowest locant if there is more than one centre of chirality) and adding, where relevant, “or enantiomer” or “and enantiomer.” There is a difficulty with the proposal to restrict the use of “thick” and “hatched” bonds to represent relative configurations, in that the reader would have no means of recognizing that this convention was being used.
Alan McNaught <firstname.lastname@example.org> is president of the IUPAC Chemical Nomenclature and Structure Representation Division.
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Stereoformulas of Diastereomers
last modified 7 January 2004.
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