"Bioorthogonal chemistry is literally chemistry for life"
Bioorthogonal chemistry and click chemistry owe the debt to the curiosity-driven rather than problem-driven discoveries by two German scientists, Hermann Staudinger & Rolf Huisgen, nearly a century ago. "Without some curiosity-driven research we won't leave much of a legacy for the next generation of scientists".
Bertozzie coined bioorthogonal chemistry decade ago to probe "biomolecules within their native habitats, that is, in cells, or even better, live organisms". The group developed first bioorthogonal reaction, Staudinger ligation, slow for most biological processes. Sharpless CuACC is 25 times faster than Staudinger but with copper toxicity. Copper-free click chemistry, DIFO, combines biocompatibility of Staudinger ligation with fast kinetics of triazol click chemistry.