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Posts tagged with "Analytical Chemistry"

  • Analytical Chemistry

    Water and Proteins Inside Cells: Sloshing Around, Or Not?

    Back in September, talking about the insides of cells, I said: There’s not a lot of bulk water sloshing around in there. It’s all stuck to and sliding around with enzymes, structural proteins, carbohydrates, and the like. . .” But is that right? I was reading this new paper in JACS, where a group at… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    More Binding Site Weirdness

    Now here’s an oddity: medicinal chemists are used to seeing the two enantiomers (mirror image compounds, for those outside the field) showing different activity. After all, proteins are chiral, and can recognize such things – in fact, it’s a bit worrisome when the enantiomers don’t show different profiles against a protein t… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    A Nobel for Ribosome Structure

    This was another Biology-for-Chemistry year for the Nobel Committee. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (Cambridge), Thomas Steitz (Yale) and Ada Yonath (Weizmann Inst.) have won for X-ray crystallographic studies of the ribosome. Ribosomes are indeed significant, to put it lightly. For those outside the field, these are the complex machines that ratchet alo… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Tie Me Molecule Down, Sport

    There are a huge number of techniques in the protein world that relay on tying down some binding partner onto some kind of solid support. When you’re talking about immobilizing proteins, that’s one thing – they’re large beasts, and presumably there’s some tether that can be bonded to them to string off to a solid… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    The Great Acetonitrile Shortage

    Now here’s a news item that I’m pretty sure you haven’t heard about unless you work in or near a laboratory. We’re in the middle of an extreme shortage of acetonitrile, a common solvent. This has been going on since back in the fall, but instead of gradually getting better, it’s been gradually getting worse: Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    More Glowing Cells: Chemistry Comes Through Again

    I’ve spoken before about the acetylene-azide “click” reaction popularized by Barry Sharpless and his co-workers out at Scripps. This has been taken up by the chemical biology field in a big way, and all sorts of ingenious applications are starting to emerge. The tight, specific ligation reaction that forms the triazole lets you modify biomole… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    You Call That An X-Ray Source?

    Over the years, when some puzzling feature of a drug candidate’s binding to a target came up, I’ve often said “Well, we’re not going to know what’s happening until some lunatic builds a femtosecond X-ray laser”. Various lunatics are now pitching in to build some. I’m going to have to revise my lines. The reason… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    X-Ray Structures: Handle With Care

    X-ray crystallography is wonderful stuff – I think you’ll get chemists to generally agree on that. There’s no other technique that can provide such certainty about the structure of a compound – and for medicinal chemists, it has the invaluable ability to show you a snapshot of your drug candidate bound to its protein target. Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Start Small, Start Right

    There’s an excellent paper in the most recent issue of Chemistry and Biology that illustrates some of what fragment-based drug discovery is all about. The authors (the van Aalten group at Dundee) are looking at a known inhibitor of the enzyme chitinase, a natural product called argifin. It’s an odd-looking thing – five amino acids… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    These Fragments I Have Shored Against My Ruins

    There’s been a big trend the last few years in the industry to try to build our molecules up from much smaller pieces than usual. “Fragment-based” drug discovery is the subject of many conferences and review articles these days, and I’d guess that most decent-sized companies have some sort of fragment effort going on. (Recent… Read More
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