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  • Analytical Chemistry

    Droplets, Then Crystals

    If you’re a chemist, then you like crystallization. I think that’s pretty much a given; I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t appreciate a good crystal, and watching them form out of a solution never stops feeling a bit like magic. When I was doing a project involving metal-organic frameworks, I had some of the best… Read More
  • Infectious Diseases

    Tone It Down!

    I’ve had a number of people ask me about the news stories the last few days which keep saying that there’s a a “cure for HIV” coming. This all goes back to a Maryland company, American Gene Technologies, and a gene therapy they’re working on called AGT-103T. This is an attempt to use a lentiviral-based… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Cutting Back On Lousy Conferences

    I’ve written before about the lowest tier of scientific conferences, the ones that are basically “presentation mills” for people to pad their CVs with. Now I see that South Korea is actively discouraging professors from attending such things. The Education Ministry is requiring a checklist form and vetting by each university to ma… Read More
  • Biological News

    Tight Junctions and Condensates

    All of us in the business talk about the blood-brain barrier, but. . .no, I’m not going to end this sentence with “. . .none of us do anything about it”, because how it should end is “very few of us really stop to think about what it is”. What makes this (and similar structures) Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Enhanced Diffusion: Real or Illusion?

    Let’s think for a minute about what’s going on with tiny particles in solution, because we chemists spend an awful lot of time dealing with those. These particles vary in size from individual atoms all the way through small molecules, larger biomolecules and polymers, nanoscale engineered particles, micronized powders, etc., but the goo… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    More, Unfortunately, on the Chinese Alzheimer’s Drug Approval

    I wrote yesterday about the surprise decision by the Chinese regulators to allow a new Alzheimer’s drug on the market. That drug (GV-971) was developed by Green Valley Pharmaceuticals, a company (and a drug, for that matter) that frankly I had never heard of. But other people have heard of both, and they’ve been contacting… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    A New Alzheimer’s Approval in China

    Edit: tomorrow’s post will be on this subject too, with some information that I’ve been learning today. . . Today brought the rather surprising news that the Chinese government’s National Medical Product Administration (NMPA) has approved a new Alzheimer’s drug. What’s more, it’s an unusual (and unexpected) mecha… Read More
  • Drug Industry History

    1989

    I have an anniversary to celebrate this time of year: it’s now been thirty years since I started work in industrial drug discovery. Given the state of the industry over that time, just being able to say that at all has called for some luck and some flexibility along the way, but I’m very glad… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    Amgen and Neuroscience

    So Amgen has exited the neuroscience area, with a good-sized round of layoffs at their research site Cambridge. The company has a migraine drug (Aimovig) that they’ll continue to support, and they’ll stick with their existing clinical programs, but it looks like all the early-stage stuff is gone. What does this mean? Not as much… Read More
  • The Scientific Literature

    Nonsense Lives On in the Citations

    It’s apparent to anyone who’s familiar with the scientific literature that citations to other papers are not exactly an ideal system. It’s long been one of the currencies of publication, since highly-cited work clearly stands out as having been useful to others and more visible in the scientific community (the great majority of pa… Read More
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