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  • 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
  • Snake Oil

    A New Low for Dr. Oz

    Pardon me this morning while I rant a little. In fact, it’s worse: pardon me while I rant a little about something that I’ve ranted about before. I refer to that disgrace to the medical profession, Dr. Mehmet Oz. I haven’t mentioned him on the site in a while, because really, why bother? Nothing that… Read More
  • Chemical News

    The Huge Landscape of “Just One of Those Things That Happens”

    Why do our reactions fail? Why do our darn reactions fail? Every experimental chemist wonders this, because we all have set up reactions that we thought would work (why else would we run them, eh?) only to have them sit there and do nothing – or worse, do everything and turn the color of used lawnmower… Read More
  • Cancer

    More Thoughts on AbbVie’s Rova-T Implosion

    I wrote a couple of months ago about the disappointing results that AbbVie had obtained with their cancer stem cell therapy “Rova-T” (rovalpituzumab tesirine) in small-cell lung cancer. This was the antibody-drug conjugate that they’d purchased from Stemcentryx – OK, let’s clarify that, they bought Stemcentryx out comp… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Ark Pharm’s Shady Side

    Once in a while we have discussions of chemical suppliers around here – but we haven’t had one like this. On Friday afternoon, word came out that Ark Pharm, a reasonably well-known firm out of Chicago, had been raided by the DEA. That becomes abundantly clear if you try to access the company’s web site. Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    The FDA’s Latest Actions and Problems

    It’s been clear for many years now that some drug companies are abusing the “restricted distribution” idea to keep generic competitors from being able to enter their markets. That, in fact, was a basic part of Martin Shkreli’s entire business plan, but guess what? He was not the first person to think of doing that… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Birch Reactions Without the Ammonia

    The Birch reduction – there’s an old-school synthetic transformation from you. I thought that when I first did one in 1983, so it must be even more so now, right? You condense liquid ammonia and dissolve a reactive metal in it (sodium or lithium are the usual), giving you a rather unexpected blue solution. That… Read More
  • Cancer

    A Glioblastoma Vaccine? Not Yet.

    If you get your biomedical breaking news from the British press, you will have heard all about a very promising vaccine treatment for glioblastoma. (“Remarkably promising” – BBC. “Could add years” – The Guardian. And there’s the Daily Mail (naturally), The Independent, and more). That would be good news, b… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Organometallic Oddities

    Synthetic organic chemists spend a lot of time using organometallic coupling reactions, because they can be such great ways to make carbon-carbon (and carbon-heteroatom) bonds. And that’s the currency of the realm: do you want to build up larger molecules from smaller precursors in a controlled fashion? You’re going to have to make bond… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Federal Right to Try

    So it looks like a Right-to-Try bill is going to be signed into law. People who have been advocating this for years will now get a chance to see how it works out in practice – and in fact, I would encourage them to go ahead and put down some predictions about what they think… Read More
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