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  • Chemical News

    Calculate Your Way Out of Bad Yields

    I wrote a little while back about a brute-force approach to finding metal-catalyzed coupling conditions. These reactions have a lot of variables in them and can be notoriously finicky about what combination of these will actually give decent amounts of product. At the same time, it appears that almost any given metal-catalyzed coupling reaction is… Read More
  • Biological News

    The Fuzzy Free-For-All

    I wrote here about the way that disordered proteins seem to be able to bind together tightly in the apparent absence of a defined structure, and along the way I expressed a desire not to lead any drug discovery efforts against such systems. Now here’s another example of protein fuzziness, and I can’t say that… Read More
  • Drug Development

    BenevolentAI: Worth Two Billion?

    Regular readers will know that I have no problem believing that AI (in its various forms) will definitely have an impact on drug discovery. And regular readers will also know that I’m quite skeptical that it’s going to have an immediate impact on the high-level functions of drug discovery (what target to go after, what… Read More
  • Cancer

    Spreading Cancer (Or Just Waking It Up)

    If you look at any collection of “common myths about cancer”, you will probably find reassurances about the idea that having cancer surgery might cause the cancer to spread to other parts of the body. I remember coming across this one some years ago being surprised – I’d never heard that one myself, but it… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Mirror Proteins Come Through

    You know, chemistry is kind of a big field. I say that because I’ve been actively reading the chemical literature for over thirty years now, and I still keep running across topics that I never knew existed. One of these popped up the other day: racemic protein crystallography. Now there may be a few readers… Read More
  • Drug Assays

    Pharmacokinetic Advice from Merck’s Collection

    Here’s a solid med-chem paper from Merck on the topic of extending half-life for small-molecule drugs. This obviously is most important (and can have the biggest effect) if your compound has a short half-life after dosing to begin with (and plenty of compounds do). As the paper notes, if you have constant clearance for the… Read More
  • Chemical News

    More Thoughts of George Whitesides – And of Phil Baran

    The other day I wrote up some comments about a recent article from George Whitesides. If you’ve heard him speak on the topic of organic synthesis, you’ve probably heard most of what’s in that piece, but it’s a good summary of his position. Picked up roughly where I left off last time, he has this… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Tighten Up Your Numbers!

    There’s clearly something wrong with the way that statistics get handled and interpreted in scientific studies, and there have been many warnings. But change in this area is a hard thing to bring about. Biocentury has a good interview with someone who can tell you about that, John Ioannidis, of scientific reproducibility fame. He’s rec… Read More
  • Chemical News

    The Thoughts of George Whitesides, Part I

    A number of readers have mentioned this new paper by George Whitesides on organic synthesis. I can state as a fact that the first time I heard a joking reference to his attitude towards traditional synthetic organic chemistry was in the summer of 1983, so it’s not like he’s been keeping his thoughts bottled up. Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    Bad Investments

    Here are some sequels to stories I’ve written about here, things that have had some new chapters added to them. First off, this 2015 post mentions the steep drop in shares of Clovis Biotechnology, brought on by a rather sudden revision in the announced clinical performance of their lead drug (the covalent kinase inhibitor rociletinib). Well… Read More