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  • Chemical News

    Blue Light Gives Way to Red

    Photochemistry’s rise over the last ten years or so has been one of the big stories in organic chemistry, but there are still some difficulties with using it. The use of photoredox catalysts has brought blue light into a lot of fume hoods, which is certainly more selective and easier to use than than old… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    A New Infectious Mechanism for Alzheimer’s?

    We have another entry in the “Is Alzheimer’s caused by infectious disease?” drawing, and it’s a good one. A large multicenter team reports that Porphyromonas gingivalis, which is the key pathogen in gingivitis (gum disease) may be the actual causative agent in Alzheimer’s, which is a bold claim indeed. But they have… Read More
  • Biological News

    Exercise And Its Signaling

    It’s a truism among metabolic researchers that if you could find a drug that simulates the effects of exercise you would be very happy with the market for it. But what causes the effects of exercise? That’s one of those simple questions that members of the general public might think that they know the answer… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Leo Paquette, 1934-2019

    So Leo Paquette has died, age 84 – he had been ill for some years (Parkinson’s). Paquette will be well-known to any synthetic organic chemist; his research group at Ohio State had a long record of contributions to the literature. This PDF from the Baran group is an excellent summary of his work, which is… Read More
  • Biological News

    Quinine’s Target

    Every “history of pharmaceuticals” article ever written probably mentions quinine, and well they should. (I certainly reserved an entry for it while writing my own chemical history book). It’s a classic example of a natural product drug, one that was not known to the classical Mediterranean world but was only appreciated by Europe… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Automated Route Finding (and Patent Busting)

    Here’s another look at retrosynthesis software, building on the earlier Chematica paper that looked at generating new routes to known compounds. This is a more detailed look at the same idea, using the software to both analyze the existing routes to marketed drugs (and the patent landscape around them) and to come up with new… Read More
  • Biological News

    Bacteria and Depression: Something to Test

    Microbiome, microbiome – you haven’t been able to turn around in this business the last few years without hitting some sort of story about the microbiome. It’s easy to roll your eyes and decide that it’s all hype, but that’s the thing: it really is important. It can’t be dismissed just because we don’t unde… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Nivien’s Shot

    Have you ever heard of Nivien Therapeutics? Unless you follow the oncology world pretty closely, probably not. But they are – well, were – a startup out of Harvard that was working on a promising approach to overcoming chemotherapy resistance in pancreatic cancer. Now that’s what we call an “unmet medical need”, consid… Read More
  • Animal Testing

    A Toxicological Flag

        Here’s a caution from a new paper out of Manchester. The group had been synthesizing inhibitors of PARG (poly-ADP ribose glycohydrolase), an enzyme involved in DNA repair. The general chemotype is shown at right, but there are a number of variations. That fluorine is a new addition, though. The corresponding cyclopropylmethyl se… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    Come One, Come All to These Kinases

    Why do some proteins in a family prove very hard to target, while others bind a whole list of inhibitors? This paper takes a look at a particularly dramatic example in the kinase field. That’s a good place for studying such things, since there are a lot of kinases out there, and a lot of… Read More
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