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  • Blog Housekeeping

    A Note From Salt Lake City

    Readers will no doubt recall my post last week on stem cell clinics. It seems to have achieved a wide audience – wide enough to include the legal profession, at any rate. Below are copies of a letter I have recently received, and what better place than here to address the points it raises? Since… Read More
  • In Silico

    Text-Mining: Preparing for Battle in India

    Since I was just blogging the other day about a machine-learning paper that worked its way through decades of abstracts for materials science papers, this news is timely. Carl Malamud and a team at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi have assembled a rather huge repository of journal articles (they’re aiming for about 73 million of… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Acronym Fever. We Need an Acronym For That.

    The Wall Street Journal published a provocative article the other day, entitled “Don’t Understand Moronic Bromides?” about the proliferation over the years of acronyms in science.(Note the old-fashioned usage of “bromide” derived from the early sleeping pills). And while it’s a cranky piece, it’s not wrong. Read More
  • In Silico

    Get Ready to Recalculate

    Here’s a new paper on ChemRxiv that is very much worth reading if you’re a computational chemist (or work with them). And it makes a larger point that’s applicable to everyone else – not an original point, I fear, but it keeps on coming up. The computational part first: it has to do with Density… Read More
  • Snake Oil

    The Bottom of the Stem Cell Barrel

    In case anyone was wondering, the commercial stem cell clinic business is still shady and full of hype, profiteering, and outright fraud. Overflowing with all of those, actually. And although there are people turning profits on this stuff all over the country, it may not surprise to learn that there’s an awful lot of it… Read More
  • In Silico

    Machine-Mining the Literature

    We’ve made it to the point – a while back, actually – where people who actually know the subject roll their eyes a bit when the term “artificial intelligence” is used without some acknowledgment that it’s not very useful. I think that’s a real sign that it’s becoming useful. Things are to the point wh… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Revenues From New Drugs – And Thoughts on Chance

    Here’s an interesting analysis of the industry from IDEA Pharma, via Endpoints. They’re looking at the revenues from the more recent drugs in the pipeline (approved in the last five years) and comparing that to each company’s total R&D spending. The list is all Big Pharma – the cutoff is companies that have at least… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Breaking Bonds With A Gentle Tug

    Organic chemists are used to breaking and forming all sorts of chemical bonds; it’s what we do. But to do that we have to mess around with the energetics, because many (most!) of these processes don’t happen fast enough or selectively enough on their own. (In fact, the fundamental idea of “click” reactions, as introduced… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Buried Treasure – Of a Sort

    A former colleague was telling me the other day about some not-so-pleasant surprises that occurred when he was helping to clean out a lab that hadn’t had some cabinets opened in a while, and I think many readers will have had such experiences. Academic labs are particularly prone to Easter eggs of this sort, since… Read More
  • Biological News

    Nanobodies Get Their Due

    Hot new technologies! We have waves of them in this business, and everyone talks about them, spends money looking at them, and does deals with small companies who are formed around them. But then reality sets in: only a few of these things march forward into the clinic, and even fewer emerge on the other… Read More
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