Skip to Content
  • Biological News

    The Blind Watchmaker’s Workshop

    Did it have to be this way? I mean all of it – biochemistry, the molecules of life. More specifically, as proteins evolve and change, how many paths could they have taken that would have taken them to the same sorts of function? That’s a pretty hard question to answer, since we’re looking at a… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Short Chemistry Topics

    Blogging time is tight today, but there are several interesting stories and follow-ups that I wanted to mention. For starters, I wrote here about a cyclohexane analog that’s fluorinated all on one side of the molecule. That gives you very odd properties, and it and its relatives could be really useful solvents and additives, but… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Alnylam Breaks Through

    As a pioneer in RNAi therapeutics, Alnylam has really had some ups and downs over the years (some of them chronicled on this blog). Today would be one of the “up” moments, for sure. The company (in collaboration with Sanofi) has just announced positive Phase 3 data on their therapy for hereditary ATTR amyloidosis – Read More
  • Cancer

    Bacteria Can Make Tumors Worse

    Since the topic of bacteria effects on human disease came up here just the other day, I wanted to point out a new article that comes at this idea from a different direction. This research got going when cells from pancreatic and colon tumor samples were co-cultured with human dermal fibroblasts. The cancer cell lines… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Tie Your Crystals Into Knots

    Chemists love crystals. We don’t do as much recrystallization as we used to, since there are higher-throughput (and less labor-intensive) ways of purifying things these days, but I don’t think I’ve ever met an organic chemist who isn’t happy when a product crystallized out nicely. And we all know what crystals are like ̵… Read More
  • The Dark Side

    The Ugly State of the Literature These Days

    So how’s it going out there in the land of the journals that will publish any flippin’ thing you send them? Apparently pretty well. I’m not sure if we’re still in the log phase of their growth or not, but there’s no shortage of quasi-open-access titles out there, the ones that (like reputable OA journals) Read More
  • Genes Can Be Synthetic Chemicals, You Know

    Here’s one of those papers where you go “I’m really surprised that that even works”. But I shouldn’t be, I suppose, based on what’s led up to it. I last wrote about the work coming out of the University of Southampton on “clicked DNA” three years ago, but they’ve been busy. This latest paper sho… Read More
  • Infectious Diseases

    Microbiome Connections to Disease Get Stronger

    A fair amount of what you read about the human microbiome is hype. There’s no way around it. It’s quite difficult to study this area in a meaningful, reproducible way, and even the best work in the area can only go so far, as things stand now. When differences in (say) gut flora are actually… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    It Costs More Than This

    Here’s another paper on the cost to develop a new drug, a topic about which, I’m convinced, debate will never end. This one is designed as a response to the Tufts estimates on these costs, and I’m not going to help much, because I have some things to debate about this paper myself. The authors… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Allergan Pulls A Fast One

    Friday brought news of a drug-company maneuver that I had never heard of, and didn’t even realize was possible. First, a bit of background; the stage needs to be set properly. One of Allergan’s products is Restasis, used for dry eyes, which is an opthalmic formulation of cyclosporine. It’s a valuable part of their portfolio… Read More
...293031...