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  • Chemical News

    Who Cares About Making Ammonia? You Do.

    This paper comes under the heading of “early days, but possibly of great interest”. It demonstrates room-temperature synthesis of ammonia from nitrogen gas using a samarium/molybdenum system, and chemists of all sorts will sit up and that news and say “Hold it. Ammonia is the Haber-Bosch process, isn’t it?” That it is. Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    The Electrons Continue to Beam In

    I had the chance yesterday to attend a one-day symposium on Cryo-EM (and MicroED) techniques here in Cambridge. The whole thing was co-hosted by ThermoFisher, whom I gather are having a glorious time selling these instruments and want to extoll their virtues as much as possible, and by MIT. It helps that there are a… Read More
  • Academia (vs. Industry)

    From Industry to Academia

    Academic research and industrial drug discovery have always been on separate paths, but my impression is that the two understand each other better now than they have at any time during my career. That’s in no small part due to the number of industrial scientists who have moved into academia (itself in no small part… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Big Pharma Cuts, Current and Coming

    Word came out just before the weekend (first at Endpoints) that GlaxoSmithKline is laying off R&D employees at both Stevenage (UK) and Upper Providence (US). Current leadership is re-organizing drug discovery efforts to put more emphasis on oncology, immunology and genetic-linked disease, and this moves seems linked to that. Reports are that ov… Read More
  • In Silico

    Farewell to “Watson For Drug Discovery”

    STAT is reporting that IBM has stopped trying to sell their “Watson for Drug Discovery” machine learning/AI tool, according to sources within the company. I have no reason to doubt that – in fact, I’ve sort of been expecting it. But no one seems to have told IBM’s website programming team, because the pages touting… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Down To the Single Cells

    This is a good brief overview of a topic that’s becoming more important all the time: analysis on the single-cell level. And as the authors mention, it’s partly a case of wanting to do this, and partly a case of there being no other choice. Larger pooled tissue samples just don’t have the level of… Read More
  • Animal Testing

    Enough With the Mouse Behavioral Models?

    This piece in STAT is well worth a read. The author, Adam Rosenberg of Rodin Therapeutics, is ready to ditch rodent-centric models for human CNS disease, and I can see where he’s coming from. I’ve often said that when I think back on my Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia drug discovery days (back when I was first… Read More
  • The Scientific Literature

    Flipping Through the Pages

    I’m traveling today, but as I was scrolling through my RSS feeds on the plane (OK, yeah, I know, but they had free Wi-Fi and why not), I thought about how people of around my scientific generation, maybe a bit younger and certainly the older ones, often talk about how they miss flipping through the… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    Making Some New Compounds, to Fit Some New Receptors

    Here’s some medicinal chemistry combined with synthetic biology for you. Many people are used to thinking in terms of finding small-molecule probes for various cell targets, and those are valuable things. But what if you want to control a certain population of (for example) ion channels, but there aren’t any compounds that will do the… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Triboluminescence

    I was interested to see this paper, which goes into detail on a chemical phenomenon that many have seen but no one understands very well: triboluminescence. That word meets with a blank stare or instant recognition; there’s not much in between. It means “emission of light when a material is physically broken”, and that encompasses… Read More
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