Skip to Content

Posts tagged with "Life in the Drug Labs"

  • Life in the Drug Labs

    Voodoo Nominations

    I’d like to open up the floor for nominations for the Blackest Art in All of Chemistry. And my candidate is a strong, strong contender: crystallization. When you go into a protein crystallography lab and see stack after stack after stack of plastic trays, each containing scores of different little wells, each with a slight… Read More
  • Life in the Drug Labs

    Solvents and More Solvents

    I’ve been doing a solvent screen on a particular reaction recently, and it has me thinking about the number of times I’ve done that sort of thing before. Synthetic organic chemists spend most of their time using relatively few reaction solvents – there’s a lot of dichloromethane, a lot of tetrahydrofuran (and some diethyl et… Read More
  • Life in the Drug Labs

    Chemistry Labs Through the Years

    I have a review out today in Nature on a good history of chemical laboratories, The Matter Factory. Now that most chemistry labs look more or less the same, it was interesting to go back and see how we ended up this way, and what else had been tried. I liked the book; it really… Read More
  • Life in the Drug Labs

    Asking the Employees

    Every company that I’ve ever worked for has said that they want suggestions from the employees – some of them have been serious, and others were saying it because that’s the sort of thing you’re supposed to say. There are, naturally, all sorts of levels to consider. Some suggestions are small and easily implemented (or… Read More
  • Drug Development

    What Are the Odds of Finding a Drug (And How Do You Stand Them?)

    Lisa Jarvis of C&E News asked a question on Twitter that’s worth some back-of-the-envelope calculation: what are the odds of a medicinal chemist discovering a drug during his or her career? And (I checked) she means “personally synthesizing the compound that makes it to market”. My own hand-waving guesstimate of an upper boun… Read More
  • Drug Industry History

    How Many Chemists Have You Seen on a Team?

    I’m traveling today to give a talk (at this regional meeting of the AAPS), so I don’t have my usual train commute wherein to do the morning blog post. So I wanted to set off a bit of discussion instead. I had an email from someone whose boss was at Merck during the Ed Skolnik… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Phosphorus And Me. Or Maybe You First.

    A commenter mentioned fosfomycin in this morning’s post, which prompts me to put its structure up for those who don’t know the compound. Now that’s a strange little beast. It’s a natural product, as you might well think – who’s going to make that on purpose? And it’s also a pretty decent antibacterial, as a… Read More
  • Life in the Drug Labs

    Five Tons of TiCl4

    I would definitely not want to be downwind of the release of five tons of titanium tetrachloride. This happened near Montreal over the weekend, and things seem to have turned out a lot better than one might have imagined (only two people hospitalized). For those who haven’t worked with it, “tickle-four” fumes wildly on contact… Read More
  • Chemical News

    What Compound Will You Never Forget?

    While catching up on the literature today, I find that even now, thirty years later, I can’t look at a paper that uses 1,6-anhydroglucose (levoglucosan to its friends) without a quick, simultaneous flicker of interest and shiver of dread. This is why. So fellow chemist, what’s yours? What compound will you never forget, because it… Read More
  • Life in the Drug Labs

    OK, You San Diego People

    I’ve already been hearing from people out on the West Coast about how it’s seventy-odd Fahrenheit out there. My first thought was “It’s five AM out in San Diego; why aren’t you asleep rather than looking at the thermometer?” But as for the Cambridge/Boston biopharma world, yeah, we’re mostly at home today.… Read More