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Posts tagged with "Uncategorized"

  • Chemical News

    Organic Chemistry on Mars

    We’re going far afield for chemistry news this morning: all the way to Mars. As many readers will have seen, there’s some very interesting (and long-awaited) news – deposits of organic compounds have been conclusively identified. (Here’s the paper, free full text). This really is of great importance, for several reasons, and… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Birch Reactions Without the Ammonia

    The Birch reduction – there’s an old-school synthetic transformation from you. I thought that when I first did one in 1983, so it must be even more so now, right? You condense liquid ammonia and dissolve a reactive metal in it (sodium or lithium are the usual), giving you a rather unexpected blue solution. That… Read More
  • Infectious Diseases

    Fluoroquinolone Trouble Untangled

    The fluoroquinolone antibiotics are important drugs indeed – ciprofloxacin is probably the most famous of the bunch, but there’s a whole series of them, and they’re widely used for serious bacterial infections. (I last wrote about them here, with the various arguments about how they were developed in the first place). But for many… Read More
  • Drug Development

    How to Be a Good Medicinal Chemist

    Longtime medicinal chemist Mark Murcko has a Perspective article out in J. Med. Chem. on “What Makes a Great Medicinal Chemist“. As he makes clear from the beginning, if you’ve been doing this stuff for a while, you’ve likely heard many of these recommendations before. But it’s useful for people starting out, and it… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Hydrogenating in a Ball Mill

    Here’s one to add to the “weird mechanosynthesis” pile. According to this paper, you can do hydrogenation reactions in a stainless-steel ball mill, without any sort of noble-metal catalyst. The hydrogen is produced when you add some n-alkane or diethyl ether to the mix (these actually get converted to gaseous methane and hydrogen… Read More
  • Cancer

    Spreading Cancer (Or Just Waking It Up)

    If you look at any collection of “common myths about cancer”, you will probably find reassurances about the idea that having cancer surgery might cause the cancer to spread to other parts of the body. I remember coming across this one some years ago being surprised – I’d never heard that one myself, but it… Read More
  • The Scientific Literature

    Predation

    “Beall’s List”, as a way to keep track of predatory publishers, has been officially offline for some time now. Jeffrey Beall himself has said that it was taken down under “intense pressure” from his employer (the University of Colorado at Denver), although his employer says no, not at all, this was his personal decisio… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Single Atoms, On Demand

    We chemists spend a lot of time doing things in the solution phase. It makes sense – if you want things to react, getting all the partners dissolved in some medium where they can roam around and contact each other is surely the way to go, most of the time. But it’s also true that… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Retrosynthesis: Here It Comes

    Behold the rise of the machines. It’s been going on for a while, but there are landmarks along the way, and we may have just passed another one with the publication of this paper. It’s open-access,  from an interestingly mixed team: the Polish Academy of Science, Northwestern University, the University of Warsaw, the Ulsan Institute i… Read More
  • Condensates: A New Organizing Principle in Cells?

    I wrote a couple of years ago about the idea of “condensates” inside cells – liquid-like droplets of proteins and other biomolecules that associate together in high concentration. That’s an odd idea for most all of us, because we’re used to thinking about cell compartments being membrane-enclosed and cellular anatomy b… Read More
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