Skip to Content
  • Cancer

    The Cancer Stem Cell Saga

    In this 2015 post I looked at the cancer stem cell field – the idea that some tumor types are kept going by a stem cell population, and that unless these are dealt with, no durable response to treatment can be expected. A number of pharma companies have looked into this idea, most famously (and… Read More
  • Biological News

    Sunlight And the Brain

    One of the impressive things about biochemistry and cell biology is how it can produce physical correlates to things that we know and experience, but have no detailed explanation for. There’s a really interesting example out in Cell that has to do with the effects of sunlight on mood and learning. Those effects are real, but… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Graphene: You Don’t Get What You Pay For

    Since I was going on yesterday about the need to validate tool reagents, I wanted to note that this problem is not confined to biochemical applications. Here’s an article looking at commercial sources of graphene, the carbon monolayer material that’s been the subject of so much research the last few years. There are a number… Read More
  • Chemical News

    CDK Inhibitors: Purchase With Caution

    Cyclin-dependent kinase (CDKs) have been drug targets for quite a while now. There are 20 different ones, and they help to regulate a whole list of important functions, particularly involving the cell cycle (which has made them of great interest in oncology research). There are three approved drugs in the area so far: Kisqali (ribociclib)… Read More
  • Biological News

    Gene Editing: Freely You Have Received, Freely Give

    This year has seen significant advances in the search for human gene editing of Mendelian disease. Back in April, a team from three major institutions in Seoul reported in Nature Biotechnology on the use of a recent CRISPR variation that does single-base-pair editing. Their proof-of-concept was the “Himalayan mutation“, an A-to-G switc… Read More
  • Biological News

    Soluble Proteins – And Those Other Ones

    Modifying proteins with unnatural amino acids is a wide field with a lot of interesting research areas. Nature has provided us with twenty-odd amino acids (counting some rare ones), but there’s no reason that we have to play the hand that we’re dealt. Modifications of protein transcription and translation machinery have increasingly all… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Knowing the Structure

    There are a lot of topics that we really should know more about in drug discovery, but which are buried inside projects inside particular organizations. Some of this knowledge is available once you’re inside said organization, but some of it is hard to assemble even then (much less into a review from outside). An example… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Thoughts on the Chemistry Nobel Prize

    I wrote up this year’s Nobel Prize awards in chemistry yesterday, and there’s no arguing that they’re significant achievements worthy of a prize at this level. For many chemists, though, I think that this year’s award will join the 2015, 2012, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2003, 1997, and 1993 ones (and there are arguably even mo… Read More
  • Biological News

    The Chemistry Nobels, 2018

    The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has gone to Frances Arnold (for directed evolution of enzymes) and to George Smith and Gregory Winter for phage display. These are worthy discoveries, techniques that have gone on to be used for a huge variety of work ranging from blue-sky research to marketed drugs, and the Nobel committee… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Dissolving One Way And Another

    All right, fellow chemists, you’ve got this hydrophobic/hydrophilic thing down, right? I’m glossing over the fact that our intuition about those things can be wrong, as can much of the software used to estimate it – we at least know about these concepts and have a physical picture of compounds that like to dissolve in… Read More
...456...