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Natural products are molecules that living organisms produce or synthesize. These compounds are generally of interest because of their unique biological activity or physiological properties. They typically have complex structures with one or more stereochemical elements, varied functional groups and relatively large molecular weights. Natural products are often divided into two major classes, primary and secondary metabolites. Primary metabolites have an intrinsic function that is essential to the survival of the organism that produces them. In contrast secondary metabolites have an extrinsic function that mainly affects other organisms. Secondary metabolites are not essential to survival but do increase the competitiveness of the organism within its environment. Natural products can be isolated from natural sources, synthesized in a laboratory, or partially synthesized from a biological precursor. Alfa Aesar natural products include compounds such as alkaloids, steroids, and terpenes that are found in a variety of biological systems.