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Posts tagged with "General Scientific News"

  • General Scientific News

    Fix The Nobels Already

    This paper comes out and states what chemists have known for some time now: the Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been changing over the years, very likely as a deliberate action on the part of the committee that awards it. It’s now more properly described as the award for “Chemistry or the Life Sciences”. That… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Will It Learn? Can It Learn?

    OK, we’re going to get a bit esoteric this morning. There are all kinds of things going on in the world, but I’m going to seek refuge for a little bit in abstraction, and if that’s your sort of thing, then let’s lift off. This is broadly on the hot topic of machine learning, which… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Let’s Get To It

    Another year! And another decade, for that matter. Before Neil DeGrasse Tyson swoops down and tells us all that these are arbitrary calendrical units, I’ll stipulate that they are, and that they’re still worthwhile opportunities to take stock. So how’s drug research going? Honestly, pretty well. We still have a lot of terrible uns… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Merck and Its Ransomware Problems in Court

    Well, this story is not specifically about the drug industry, although anything that shuts Merck down for two weeks, costs them around a billion dollars, and disrupts the US drug supply chain certainly has some relevance to it (!) I’m talking about the 2017 NotPetya ransomware attack. Merck was one of the high-profile corporate victims… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Simulation and Understanding

    Roald Hoffmann and Jean-Paul Malrieu have a three-part essay out in Angewandte Chemie on artificial intelligence and machine learning in chemistry research, and I have to say, I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would. I cast no aspersion against the authors (!) – it’s just that long thinkpieces from eminent scientists, especial… 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
  • General Scientific News

    Isotopic Tracers: Remember George de Hevesy

    The largest controlled isotopic tracer test that I’ve ever heard of is underway out in Arizona, in the huge “Biosphere 2” greenhouses. They’re simulating a drought in the rainforest section and comparing the carbon flux under normal and dry conditions through the use of 13C-labeled carbon dioxide. A few weeks ago the sealed… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Copernicium Is A Strange Element Indeed

    OK, let’s talk about something with pretty much no practical relevance whatsoever: the element copernicium. That’s #112, just below mercury in the periodic table, and its longest-lived isotope has a half-life of 29 seconds. Which is actually pretty impressive – that’s one of the longest-lived elements up there at those atomi… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Automated Discovery

    To what extent can scientific discovery be automated? Where are the areas where automation can make the biggest contribution to human efforts? These questions and a number of others are addressed in a very interesting two-part review article on “Automated Discovery in the Chemical Sciences”. The authors, from MIT, are well-equipped (in… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    Probes For Everything

    In case you don’t know, there’s officially an effort to try to develop chemical probes for basically every protein in the human proteome. The “Target 2035” initiative has been looking through the literature and finding what you’d expect: power-law distributions that have most people working on proteins that other peopl… Read More
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