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  • Analytical Chemistry

    A New Form of Carbon

    Here’s today’s weird molecule, for sure. A collaboration between IBM-Zürich and Oxford has reported a new allotrope of carbon, this one an 18-membered ring of alternating triple and single bonds (!) People have been speculating about such structures for years, but they appear to be too reactive to spot easily in the wild. There’s… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Can’t Stop the Nitro Groups

    OK, since I’m a medicinal chemist, I have an excellent excuse to avoid the nitro functional group. It’s metabolic trouble, and although there are indeed drugs with nitros on them, they’re exceptions. Some of them, in fact, are antibacterials that rely on that metabolic activation to work, in the same way that there are nitrate… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Sodium Hydride in Aprotic Solvents: Look Out

    Here’s a safety warning for my fellow synthetic organic chemists. It’s a reagent combination whose hazards have been noted before, but a lot of people don’t seem to know about it: sodium hydride in DMSO or other polar aprotic solvents. And yeah, I’ve used that exact combination, too, many times. But I did those reactions… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    The Enantiomers Did What, Now?

    In today’s episode of “Fun With Chirality”, we have a look at phenomenon that could be very useful, come out of the blue, and which the very authors who report it have no explanation for. This is from a new paper in Angewandte Chemie from a team in Germany (TU-München) who have been looking at… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Robotic Flow Synthesis: The Latest Version

    Here’s another step along the way to automated synthesis, in a new paper from MIT. The eventual hope is to unite the software and the hardware in this area, both of which are developing these days, and come up with a system that can produce new compounds with a minimum of human intervention. Let’s stipulate… Read More
  • Regulatory Affairs

    Tales From FDA Site Inspections

    It’s a summer Friday, so I’ll just send along this link to a story at Wired. It’s similar to this recent post, in that it details some of the ridiculous ways that small overseas manufacturers have tried to get around FDA site inspections. As a correspondent noted, though, the title of the Wired article isn’t… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Stopping Early

    There was a mention yesterday in the comments section about a clinical trial that was stopped early due to efficacy. I’ve never been involved with a project that this has happened to myself – pretty much the opposite, for the most part! – but it does happen, and is generally cause for celebration. Although not… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    An Awful Idea: Paying to Get Into a Clinical Trial

    This article at Stat by Rebecca Robbins really caught me eye. It describes clinical trials where the participants are being asked to pay thousands of dollars just to join the trial. There seems to have been an increase in this sort of thing lately, and I’ll be completely clear: I think that’s a terrible idea… Read More
  • Biological News

    A Condensate-Modifying Compound, Put to the Test

    I’ve written several times here about phase-separated condensates in cells, but now comes a rarity: a paper with some evidence for a therapeutic application. Everyone in the field has been thinking along such lines, naturally, but this is the first small-molecule screen that I’ve seen that tries to tie modifying condensate behavior in t… Read More
  • Biological News

    Slow Down That Protein’s Travel Plans

    Here’s a new look at the various ways that small molecules can affect a well-known drug target (the estrogen receptor) and it shows us that we’re all going to have to look at these things more carefully than we do. Now, to be fair, the ER is already fairly complicated, because it’s a nuclear receptor. Read More
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