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Blog Housekeeping

Regular Posting Resumes Monday

Just wanted to put up a quick note – lots of “real life” (and real work) has been kicking in this week, so what started out as an intended light posting schedule has turned into zero. Probably not such a bad thing! But regular blog posting resumes on Monday – there’s plenty of stuff to talk about.

And things are still going to be pretty corona-intensive for a while. But my fervent hope is that there will gradually be less pressing news on that front and more chemistry/drug discovery/science in general will make its way back into the posting rotation. It’ll take a while, but it sort of fits with the overall theme that people have for 2021: not like 2020. See you Monday!

29 comments on “Regular Posting Resumes Monday”

  1. Hawkeye says:

    2020 hindsight is a _good_ thing…

    1. Some idiot says:

      Absolutely… anything that puts 2020 in past tense is an excellent thing!!!

  2. luysii says:

    Good to hear. The last time I saw you a few years ago, I thought you were carrying more weight than you should.

  3. M says:

    Happy new year to you Derek!

    Keep up the great work you do for us on this blog and in your regular job too!

  4. Kent Matlack says:

    I also look forward to a return to “chemistry/drug discovery/science in general”, but it isn’t fair to say that without also saying that you have done a wonderful and wonderfully informative job of covering everything related to SARSCoV2.

    1. Ken says:

      I’d be interested in a look at the disruption of those drug discovery programs by COVID. Were there any instances where researchers were yanked off a line of investigation to work on COVID vaccines? Were any drug trials derailed because the pandemic made it unsafe for the subjects? Etc.

  5. David says:

    Something to consider for an article later:
    I am an engineer with a basic chemistry background. When I see something like “Azidoazide Azides “, I can at least piece together the basics of what is being discussed.
    But then when you start talking about drugs – is there really a system for coming up with the names, or is it just a bunch of syllables on balls in a big chuck-a-luck machine? “We need a new drug name: fomotibabum!”
    If there is a system for those names, it would be educational to see what it is!

    1. Nat says:

      The way it was explained to me (by a Big Pharma scientist) was “the chemists come up with a really difficult and technical-sounding compound name which is what the generics will eventually be called, then marketing comes up with something that sounds good in TV ads”. The actual truth is not much different:

      1. It’s worth mentioning that there are a few examples of drugs whose generic names are, for various reasons, **not** the same internationally. The ones that come to mind are

        o meperidine & pethidine
        o epinephrine & adrenaline

        and I think I used to know a few more. These anomalies are probably just historical accidents, grandfathered in, but it would be amusing to learn that one or another of these names is a horrible vulgarity in someone’s language.

        1. Marko says:

          Haha, yes. Along similar lines, I remember this debacle :

          “…some particularly egregious examples of mistakes — such as the infamous Chevy Nova campaign that flopped in Latin America because “no va” means “it does not go” in Spanish.”

          1. Time Limit Exhausted, Please Reload Captcha says:

            Sadly, not actually true


          2. Marko says:

            It was on QAnon. It HAS to be true.

          3. li zhi says:

            With all due respect… The ThoughtCo piece offers ZERO evidence, other than the author’s claim, that the Nova story has no basis in fact. I don’t know what the facts are, and it does indeed seem unlikely that GM marketing would miss this, but a bald assertion doesn’t persuade me, at all. And the author is right that no va and nova aren’t the same. On the other hand, Fix Or Repaid Daily (FORD) is a thing, whether nova was a marketing blunder or not does not depend on logical argument, but consumer perception. I heard the story several decades ago, and I believe the story was of Spain, not “latin america”. But, I make no claim to know the facts. The author may, but he sure didn’t present them.

        2. Victor says:

          Somewhat sane story: the Brits and the Americans discovered that para aceto amino phenol worked well as an analgesic. Whether because they didn’t want to share credit, or some other ego stroking reason, they decided to each take half the name of the molecule. The Brits took paracetamol, the Americans acetaminophen. The rest of the world took the British name.

        3. Irene says:

          Epinephrine and adrenaline mean the same thing, “above the kidneys,” the first based on Greek and the second on Latin.

          1. Oudeis says:

            That is freaking awesome and I wish I’d figured it out on my own. Thanks!

    2. Kaleberg says:

      There are two women, Stephanie Shubat and Gail Karet, in Chicago in charge of this.

    3. Pegli says:

      Drug names ending in “mab” are derived from monoclonal antibodies. This article gives more info on further decoding those names –

    4. There are international conventions on drug non-proprietary names (WHO site here: I’m aware that the conventions around monoclonal antibodies for example have been revised several times over the year so that the INN better captures the target molecule/pathway and source (mouse, human, chimeric etc), likely that there have been changes relating to small molecule naming.

  6. Richard West says:

    I would like to see this article later this year:


    1. aviators99 says:

      Speaking of which, am I being completely paranoid by avoiding alcohol between my first and 2nd doses of mRNA vaccine? I just feel like I don’t want to add any more variables than I already have.

      1. Marko says:

        Good plan. But remember to get rip-roaring drunk after you get your second dose. Your immune system deserves a proper celebration.

        1. Some idiot says:

          Probably not rip-roaring drunk in our case, but we have a bottle of bubbly in the fridge already…!

  7. Smokerr says:

    We now have the discussion about complete Vaccine release vs hold back.

    While I am for it I see other experts are not.

    There needs to be discussion on scenting in regard to disagreement and why neither is wrong and a decisions needs to be made.

    My take is that is is too often dismissed by the scientific community as they are used to it, but the public sees conflicting information and does not know how to deal with it and dismissed science.

    2 + 2 should always = 4 and in this case it is NOT.

    Now Biden has to try to explain to a nevrou9s and suspicious public why that is and he should not have to.

  8. dearieme says:

    I like Qritol.

  9. Hólmsteinn Jónasson says:

    What about this one ? “A human coronavirus evolves antigenically to escape antibody immunity”

  10. albegadeep says:

    I’d love to see some more TIWWW and HNtDI articles, myself. (And, like many others, would be interested in buying a book if you ever compile them.)

    1. Paul says:

      I came here to post pretty much this. A few TIWWW posts would make 2021 much more bearable than 2020.

      1. Derek Lowe says:

        Got a point there, I have to say. . .

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