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Posts tagged with "Uncategorized"

  • Crowded Proteins

    As Arthur Kornberg never tired of pointing out, cells are gels. It’s too easy for biologists and chemists to imagine cells as sort of like liquid-filled plastic bags – and while that’s an OK picture as far as it goes, it tends to make you picture the cytoplasm as a lot more dilute than it… Read More
  • Fifteen Minutes Shot

    If today’s post didn’t waste enough of your time, here’s another way to carve something out of the economy: name all the elements, in any order but correctly spelled, in fifteen minutes. I scored a 97 – forgot some of the more recently-named transition metals, and I didn’t even bother with the placeholder names for… Read More
  • Fill Out Your Pharma Brackets

    A reader called my attention to this alarming but weirdly fascinating graphic over at the Wall Street Journal‘s Health Blog. It’s a March tournament bracket for the drug industry, but the winning team takes over the loser. Of course, the thing that makes it so spooky is that all the second-round matchups they show are… Read More
  • Wandering Through the Hydrides

    If you want to get a feel for chemistry, one way might be to wander through the periodic table, picking one particular type of compound and seeing how things change as you go from element to element. (That’s a good part of how Mendeleev figured the whole thing out, actually). But you’ll want to pick… Read More
  • Gene Patents, Part One: Genes As Chemicals

    A lot of rather heating commentary is coming on on the subject of Michael Crichton’s gene-patent article, and on gene patents in general. The subject is large enough that it’ll need to be broken down to discuss. For today, here’s my take on one aspect, what a patent lawyer would call “composition of matter”. The… Read More
  • On The Other Hand

    My mention of hardly ever taking an optical rotation led into the question of what to do about chirality in drug candidates. One commentor mentioning hearing someone from one company making a big deal out of including chiral fragments in their molecules, which seemed to contradict my attitude. It sure does – but I’m right. Read More
  • Back in Court With Ariad and Lilly

    How time zips along – it’s time already for the next trial addressing the scope and validity of Ariad Pharmaceutical’s massive patent on NF-kB pathways. It’s a bench trial this time (no jury), which I think could make a big difference. I wrote about this back in the spring – scroll down to April 11… Read More
  • A Vaccine Against Putting on Weight?

    I wrote here on the appetite hormone ghrelin, the target of much research over the last few years. The short background on it is that it’s important in feeding behavior, growth hormone secretion, brain development, and probably several other things we haven’t stumbled on yet. Drug companies have taken notice, synthesizing ligands for th… Read More
  • Pyrotechnic Days

    Many of my US-based readers in the industry probably aren’t even at work today – having July 4th fall on a Tuesday definitely puts a dent in the Monday before it. (I’m not at the Wonder Drug Factory myself). No doubt the grad students and post-docs are cranking away in the lab, though, and I… Read More
  • More On Doing Away With Patents

    Many of the folks commenting on that last post know what they’re talking about, but not everyone who opines on drug industry patents does. (My fear, as I said yesterday, is that Boldrin and Levine might be in that category). So I thought I’d lay out some of the ground rules that people outside the… Read More
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