Ever since the world-shaping discovery of penicillin, nature's molecular diversity has been extensively screened for new medications and lead compounds in drug discovery. The search for agents intended to combat infectious diseases has been of particular interest and has enjoyed a high degree of success. Indeed, the history of antibiotics is marked with impressive discoveries and drug-development stories, the overwhelming majority of which have their origin in natural products. Chemistry, and in particular chemical synthesis, has played a major role in bringing naturally occurring antibiotics and their derivatives to the clinic, and no doubt these disciplines will continue to be key enabling technologies. In this review article, we highlight a number of recent discoveries and advances in the chemistry, biology, and medicine of naturally occurring antibiotics, with particular emphasis on total synthesis, analogue design, and biological evaluation of molecules with novel mechanisms of action.