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Posts tagged with "General Scientific News"

  • General Scientific News

    Et in Arcadia Ego

    There’s a backlog of pharmaceutical news to catch up on, but I couldn’t resist linking to this article from today’s New York Times. It’s a pet subject of mine, and the only fault I can find is the tone of surprise that comes through in it. It’s titled “Don’t Blame Columbus,” and it reports on… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Faces In the Clouds

    In the last post I mentioned the tendency people have to look for causes. It’s innate; there’s nothing to be done. We’re conditioned by the world of our senses: a leaf falls in front of us, so we look up to find the tree. And this works fine, most of the time, for the macroscopic… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Cloning’s Growing Pains

    Ian Wilmut and his colleagues have an interesting review in a recent issue of Nature (no web link) on the status of mammalian cloning. It’s still so difficult that it almost qualifies as a stunt. Several species have had the nuclear-transfer technique that produced Dolly the sheep applied successfully (if you can use that word… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Nobelity and Lesser Nobelity

    When I referred to Nobels this year as being well-deserved, that got me to thinking. How many scientific Nobels haven’t been? If you go back to the early years of the awards, there actually are some stinkers. And there are a few mild head-scratchers, like Einstein winning for the photoelectric effect (rather than the still-controversial-at-th… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Another Stuffed Shirt

    Talking about the Nobels brings to mind a story from Sydney Brenner, one of those honored with the Medicine prize this year. He related this story in a column he did for Current Biology a few years ago (8 (23), 19 Nov 1998, R825 if you want to look it up.) He was visiting a… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Nobel Time!

    Congratulations to John Fenn, Koichi Tanaka, and Kurt Wuerthrich for sharing the 2002 Chemistry Nobel. The common theme is characterization of proteins and other macromolecules, and the discoveries are (respectively) electrospray ionization for mass spectrometry, laser desorption for the same, and 2-D NMR techniques. I’ll write more on this t… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    The Bigger They Are

    The Chemistry Nobel this year doesn’t include any household names, even by the standards of my branch of the science. But (as I said this morning,) I think the award is a good one. The ability to deal with large molecules like proteins as molecules is a relatively recent development. Before these sorts of methods… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Our Friend the Phosphate Group, Redux

    By the way, just to introduce some medicinal chemistry into this week’s postings, I should point out that there’s another way in which kinases outnumber phosphatases: the number of inhibitors known. It’s true that we went a long time without good structural classes of compounds to inhibit kinases, but the dam burst some years back… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Our Friend the Phosphate Group

    As for phosphorylation, I’ve had some folks write to talk about the importance of phosphate cleavages for cellular energy production, and about the conformational effects of phosphorylation. All that’s well taken – but I guess what I was getting at yesterday is that (for example) sulfation would seem to be a perfectly reasonable w… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    A Strange Compound, In Strange Places

    A recent paper (Ang. Chem. Int. Ed.41 1740, for those with chemistry libraries at hand) illustrates some interesting things about “natural” and “unnatural” compounds. It’s well known that polychlorinated molecules (DDT, PCBs and others) are quite stable and persistent. Glenn Reynolds over at Instapundit stirred up some… Read More
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