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Posts tagged with "Life in the Drug Labs"

  • Life in the Drug Labs

    The Limits of Free Scientist Chow?

    This piece over at Science magazine’s “The Gonzo Scientist”, brought back some memories. John Bohannon, in the midst of an investigation of truffles, tried an experiment on some party guests: rank a series of five patés according to taste. There were three authentic ones, two fake ones (liverwurst and whipped Spam), and. . .dog f… Read More
  • Life in the Drug Labs

    Supplies of Suppliers

    When I joined the Wonder Drug Factory in late 1997, you still had to buy chemicals by writing down the name and catalog number on a form (and press hard; it was one of those multicolor triplicates). I thought that was pretty primitive then, since at my previous company we’d already gone to electronic ordering… Read More
  • Life in the Drug Labs

    Prep TLC: The Good Old Days Live On

    I did something in the lab the other day that I hadn’t done in several years: run some preparative TLC plates. I had some small reactions that needed to be cleaned up, and the HPLC systems were all in use, so I thought “Why not?” (I wrote here about the decline of analytical TLC in… Read More
  • Life in the Drug Labs

    Fancy Building, Fancy Science?

    I see that there’s a new biochemistry building at Oxford, written up here in Nature. It was designed by a London architectural firm, Hawkins\Brown (love that backslash, guys, so very modern of you), and according to the article, the design: ”. . .ensures that the 300 researchers working there communicate as much as possible. The… Read More
  • Chemical News

    The Real Hazards of the Lab

    A run of bad accident news today, and all of the same kind. The Chemistry Blog has the story of a fatality in the labs at UCLA. The short and painful details are: inexperienced student, t-butyllithium, flammable clothing, and panic (as in not running toward the safety shower). This is very sad to hear about… Read More
  • Life in the Drug Labs

    Lack of Experience, You Know

    OK, solid chemistry around here today. It looks as if I’ll be running a ring-closing metathesis reaction soon. Nobel Prize in 2005, all over the chemistry journals for years. . .and I’ve never had occasion to use one until now. And when I think about it, there are quite a few other reactions in that… Read More
  • Academia (vs. Industry)

    Poor Equipment Revisited

    A colleague came by a while ago and said “You know, the comments to that last post of yours are in danger of turning into Monty Python’s Four Yorkshiremen sketch“. At the moment, things are running about 50/50 between the “lack of equipment teaches you skills” and “lack of equipment wastes your time” camps. Read More
  • Academia (vs. Industry)

    The Perils of Poor Equipment

    The late Peter Medawar once wrote about resources and funding in research, and pointed out something that he thought did a lot more harm than good: various romantic anecdotes of people making do with ancient equipment, of great discoveries made with castoffs and antiques. While he didn’t deny that these were possible, and admitted that… Read More
  • Life in the Drug Labs

    The Yield Monster – And Its Friend, The Model Monster

    Organic chemisty can be a real high-wire act. If you’re taking a compound along over a multistep sequence, everything has to work, at least to some extent: a twelve-step route to a compound whose last step can’t be made to work isn’t a route to the compound at all. To get the overall yield you… Read More
  • Life in the Drug Labs

    We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

    About a year ago I wrote a post on flow chemistry. That, broadly speaking, is the practice of doing reactions by pumping them through some sort of reaction zone, instead of putting everything into a flask and letting it rip. There are refinements. In batch mode, you can of course add reagents in sequence, or… Read More