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  • Biological News

    Alarmingly Functional Disorder

    Let’s think for a bit about how proteins bind to each other. After all, messing around with that is what keeps everyone in the drug industry employed, and the unmessed varieties of such binding events are what keep us all vertical and above room temperature, so it’s a worthy subject. The mental picture is of… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Graphene Continues to Surprise

    I wanted to mention something on the border between chemistry and physics that might well turn out to be important. Graphene (single-layer graphite, a two-dimensional carbon sheet of fused aromatic rings) has been a hot topic for some years, but this will make it a hotter one. It is an absolute requirement that every time… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    More Proteins Than You Ever Thought

    When you take an NSAID (naproxen, ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.), how does it work? This is one of those questions that improves on further inspection – or deteriorates, according to your point of view, because it just keeps on getting more complicated. For decades, there was no good answer at all, but then there was “It… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    On Lies, and Liars

    ]\Today’s topic is “lies”. We will start with the cases of Elizabeth Holmes and Ramesh (“Sunny”) Balwani, of Theranos. As the world knows, Theranos was not what it was represented to be – John Carreyrou of the Wall Street Journal and his extraordinary demolition job on them showed that beyond doubt. But remember… Read More
  • Drug Assays

    One Way to Find Out

    Here’s a thing about research (and drug discovery in particular) that makes it a bit different from many other occupations: you can go for extended periods without even being sure that you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. This thought came to mind yesterday when (on Twitter) Ash Jogalekar quoted a biotech veteran as… Read More
  • Drug Assays

    Images of Machine Learning

    Where has machine learning made the most strides in recent years? A lot of people who are into this topic will tell you that it’s image processing, specifically recognition and differentiation of objects. You can see that just by how much more effective reverse imagine searching on the internet has become (to pick a free… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Crystals Via Lasers

    Crystallization is voodoo. I have not changed my opinion one bit since this 2015 post – if anything, I’m more convinced than ever. We chemists tend to talk about such fields with some pride, because we have to deal with them by our hard work and our wits, but when you get right down to… Read More
  • Chem/Bio Warfare

    A Poisoning in England: But Which Poison?

    Chemistry doesn’t make the news as often as you might think, and when it does, it’s often in a grim way. Such is the case in the UK right now, with the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury. For those who don’t know the background of the situation, Skripal was an officer in… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Retrosynthesis: Here It Comes

    Behold the rise of the machines. It’s been going on for a while, but there are landmarks along the way, and we may have just passed another one with the publication of this paper. It’s open-access,  from an interestingly mixed team: the Polish Academy of Science, Northwestern University, the University of Warsaw, the Ulsan Institute i… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    Digging Through the Proteins, Covalently

    I blogged here last year about some really interesting work from the Cravatt group at Scripps. It’s sort of an intersection between fragment-based screening and screening in cells, which is an intersection that I’d previously never thought existed. That’s because fragment screening typically involves biophysical methods (NMR, SPR… Read More