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  • General Scientific News

    India’s Disgrace

    I’ve written here about what I referred to as “nationalist science”, in that case actions by the Hungarian government against its own universities and the Chinese government’s vigorous promotion of traditional medicine. Now we can (unfortunately) add another one to the list. The Hindu nationalist movement in India has been m… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Odd Peroxides Indeed

    You know, normally when you start combining interesting or reactive functional groups in the same molecule, you end up with something that’s worse than before. Would I pick up a flask containing a compound that has both a perchloryl ester and a geminal di-azide? I would not, and neither should you, should someone ever be… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Vibrating Proteins, Resolved

    Here’s something that many of us don’t tend to think about when we think about enzymes: vibrational energy. But it’s long been thought that anisotropic vibrational energy transfer (VET) plays a role in both enzyme active sites and in things like coupling to allosteric sites. Getting a handle on that, though, has not been easy… Read More
  • Regulatory Affairs

    The FDA and the Dietary Supplements

    I’ve been complaining for years on this blog about the “dietary supplement” industry, which exists in its present form thanks to Sen. Orrin Hatch. That’s the 1994 “Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act”, which like many a federal bill has a name that is somewhat detached from reality. I would suggest the &# Read More
  • Drug Assays

    Virtual Screening – As Big As It Currently Gets

    This new paper on “ultra-large” virtual screening is well worth a look in detail. We find a great many lead compounds in this business by random screening of compound libraries, and virtual screening is (as the name implies) the technique of doing this computationally instead of with hundreds (thousands) of sample plates and tireless ro… Read More
  • The Dark Side

    Systematic Fraud

    Here’s a personal experience with fraudulent scientific literature, as reported in Nature: In 2015, I discovered several papers had been written about a gene that I and my colleagues first reported in 1998. All were by different authors based in China, but contained shared and strange irregularities. They also used highly similar language and… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    The Clinic Giveth And Most Definitely Taketh Away

    There have been some pretty dramatic clinical trial results coming out recently, and unfortunately drama is a variable that can take either a positive or a negative sign in front of it. On the plus side, MacroGenix, a company that not many people had been paying attention to, announced results of a head-to-head trial of… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    The Good Stuff Goes One Way. . .

    I’ve always like the idea of aptamers – as generally used, that word refers to oligonucleotides that are selected for binding to something else (a protein target, for example). You get to use all the tools of molecular biology, which means that you can start out from insanely huge numbers of possible binders and select… Read More
  • Academia (vs. Industry)

    Targets Versus Drugs

    There was a comment on the blog the other day about how there are people in academia who feel that the discovery of a new target or pathway is basically finding a new drug, and that the rest is “technicalities”. I’ve encountered that view of the world before (Donald Light/Rebecca Warburton, Marcia Angell, and similarly Arnold… Read More
  • Drug Development

    2018 Drug Approvals: A Closer Look

    Let’s have a look at the recent new drug approvals. 2018 was quite a year, by the numbers. C&E News has a comprehensive roundup: 59 approvals (versus 46 in 2017, which was already a record by itself), and about two-thirds of those small molecules. There are some very interesting molecules in the list, and I… Read More
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