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  • Chemical Biology

    Watching Protein Degradation Happen

    You know that a technique has attained wide currency when the vendors start selling reagents and tools around it. Here’s an example in the protein degradation field: a team at Promega (well-known vendors of assay reagents and kits) report a new system to evaluate the extent and time course of protein degradation compounds. For those… Read More
  • Life in the Drug Labs

    Med-Chem Labs: What’s Changed?

    Traveling today, so not much time for a full-scale post. But I wanted to toss out a question to my fellow medicinal chemists instead. I was talking with some colleagues the other day, including a couple of people who’d been around for a while, and we were discussing what things med-chemists used to spend more… Read More
  • An Update on Vibrational Theories of Smell

    I’ve written a few times over the years about the vibrational theory of olfaction (VTO), the hypothesis that (at least some) olfactory receptors work by sensing vibrational levels of various functional groups, rather than using traditional stereoelectronic interactions. At a deeper level, this could involve electron tunneling at the receptors… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Cooling Crystals is Great. Except When It Isn’t.

    If you’ve ever been around an X-ray crystallography setup, one of the constants is a tube directing a blast of chilly vapor at the crystal that’s mounted for analysis. It’s usually a stream of cold nitrogen gas, often set up as a blast of the cold stuff surrounded by a second concentric layer of dry… Read More
  • Biological News

    A Close Look at a Cancer Genome

    Ever since gene sequencing became feasible (for several values of “feasible”!) it’s been of great interest to look at the genetic material of cancerous cells. It’s been clear from very early on that there are many changes, mutations, rearrangements, shifts, etc. in a cancer cell’s DNA, and it’s been equally clear… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    The Entropic Term is Laughing At Us

    There are plenty of things to optimize in a med-chem project other than binding affinity. But if you don’t have at least some level of binding, you may not have a med-chem project. And while from the outside, you might think that understanding how and why compound A binds to a given target while compound… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Complex Organics Are Out There – Again

    There’s no way, as a chemist and telescope owner, that I could let this story go by. A new paper reports mass spec data from ice grains that have been sprayed from Saturn’s moon Enceladeus, and let’s just say that there’s a lot of stuff in them. Enceladeus and Europa (a broadly similar moon around… Read More
  • Chemical News

    A Catalytic Dess-Martin?

    I have not tried this new reaction out, but it could be a real convenience, in several ways, for synthetic organic chemists. The authors, from Texas A&M, had previously reported an air-driven catalytic route to iodine (III) oxidants, and now they extend that work all the way up to iodine (V). The key is generation… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Relay Calculates Its Way Through

    Bloomberg has a feature on Relay Therapeutics, who are just a few blocks away from me (and where several former colleagues of mine work). It’s a nice writeup, and also features a (relatively rare) spotlight on David Shaw of D. E. Shaw research. He’s one of those guys that you’ve likely never heard of unless… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Organic Chemistry on Mars

    We’re going far afield for chemistry news this morning: all the way to Mars. As many readers will have seen, there’s some very interesting (and long-awaited) news – deposits of organic compounds have been conclusively identified. (Here’s the paper, free full text). This really is of great importance, for several reasons, and… Read More
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