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Posts tagged with "General Scientific News"

  • General Scientific News

    An Outside Perspective

    Since I mentioned retrotransposons and accumulated retroviral genomic litter in yesterday’s post, I’ll get a bit philosophical about that today. I’ve had a couple of interactions with people who read about all this and didn’t realize what state our genomes are in, and they were struck by all this. As they should be! It reall… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    It’s Weird Down There

    It’s not easy – especially when you’re a mere chemist – to picture what’s really going on inside a cell. The sorts of pictures that most of us tend to use (two blobs to represent a ribosome, little snakey line curving out from it to represent a new protein) are helpful memory devices, but have… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Materials and Gases, Vials and Vaccines

    Let’s talk about some details that might sound small or even ridiculous, but (as you’ll see) they’re just the sorts of things that you have to worry about at the intersection of chemistry, biology, and physics. That makes it sound like I’m going to be going into something really high-tech here, but you be the… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Ammonia, Electrons, and Metals

    Let’s do some pure chemistry today, because an interesting paper has come out about a reaction that every student learns about in their sophomore organic chemistry course: the Birch reduction. It’s a powerful technique that will do some things that very few other reactions will do for you (such as break up the aromaticity of… Read More
  • 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