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  • Drug Assays

    No Easy Road to Getting Rid of PAINS

    Here’s a warning about trying to write compounds off too quickly as PAINs (pan-assay interference compounds). The authors, from UNC-Chapel Hill, have gone through the PubChem database using software structural alerts for such motifs. Despite the original PAINs list being derived from AlphaScreen interfering compounds, they found that most of… Read More
  • Academia (vs. Industry)

    From Industry Into Teaching?

    An email from a former colleague brought up a topic that I don’t think has been addressed here before directly: what experiences do readers have as industrial scientists who have then moved into teaching positions? I know that this is a fairly frequent move. For the readership here, I’d guess that many of the examples… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Thoughts on Corruption

    I’ve had many questions about what I think of the PhARMA meeting with the new administration, but I haven’t written about it yet. That’s largely because it’s been difficult to figure out what it actually accomplished – statements about it have been all over the place, and I get the impression that different people took… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    More Spring-Loaded Reagents

    I wrote just about this time last year about a new “strain-release” bond forming reaction system from the Baran group at Scripps. Now they’ve got a good-sized paper in JACS with more reactions in that line, but be warned. If you hit “Print” on the Supporting Information file, you’d better have spare paper, becaus… Read More
  • In Silico

    The Flightosome

    I got this diagram from Arjun Raj‘s Twitter feed, and I think I enjoy it a bit more every time I see it. Some of that is because it’s a big part of what I was trying to get across in this column, but I think that the sketch does a more thorough job of… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Allotropes, Allotropes Everywhere

    I’ve always liked allotropes, and I think that a lot of chemists do. The idea of the same pure element forming completely different materials (graphite and diamond, white phosphorus and red) is a vivid illustration of what chemical bonding and structure are all about. The subject is in the news as word has come of the… Read More
  • The Dark Side

    The Predatory Publishers List Goes Dark

    I’ve been meaning to write about the sudden demise of Beall’s List of Predatory Publishers. I’ve referred to it several times over the years in posts about the lower (much lower) end of the scientific publishing world, and used it many times as a resource. To recap, while there are many reputable open-access publishers in… Read More
  • How Not to Do It

    How Not to Do It: Dosing Volunteers

    Well, here I post about the ethical problems of using normal volunteers in Phase I studies, and this story comes along. It’s not exactly an investigational drug trial – two students (in “Sports Science”) at Northumbria University in England were being given caffeine to measure its effects on exercise. But there was a bit of… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Are Phase I Trials Ethical?

    It’s been a year since the clinical trial disaster in France that led to several participants being hospitalized with brain damage. Back in November, the New England Journal of Medicine had an article about the affair, summarizing what was known: The healthy volunteers described in this article participated in a phase 1 study of BIA… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    Eli Lilly Is a Biologics Company

    The news from Eli Lilly is not good – they’re laying off 485 people, according to filings with the state, and it appears to be completely a result of their latest Alzheimer’s clinical failures. The positions are largely in the company’s sales and marketing area. According to that article from FiercePharma, the company had be… Read More