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  • Thoughts on Antibody Persistence and the Pandemic

    The fundamental challenge of dealing with this pandemic is uncertainty. There are just too many important things that we don’t know – and what’s more, they aren’t easy to find out, either. We’ve seen that with the waves of optimism and pessimism about various therapies, just to pick one. As everyone has been learning … Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    A Wide Look at Coronavirus Mutants

    Here’s a new preprint that goes a long way to telling us what we need to know about coronavirus antibodies and Spike protein mutations. It’s from Jesse Bloom’s group at the Fred Hutchinson center in Seattle, and it’s another one of those experiments that you could only do with modern molecular biology (and modern bioinformat… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Dexamethasone for Coronavirus Infection

    News came yesterday from the Recovery trial effort in the UK that they had seen positive results from dexamethasone treatment in severely ill COVID-19 patients (news article from Science here). This set off a number of headlines that everyone has since been trying to deal with, unfortunately, so I thought I should try to do… Read More
  • Drug Assays

    Machine Learning On Top of DNA Encoded Libraries

    DNA-encoded libraries are a technique that many in the field should be familiar with, and they’ve come up many times here on the blog. The basic idea is simple: you build up a set of small molecules with some relatively simple synthetic steps, with plenty of branching at each stage. As a thought experiment, this… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    What Might Go Wrong

    With all of my posts here about vaccines and antibodies, it’s only fair that I spend some time talking about the potential toxicology problems with both of those. I remain optimistic about both categories, but it’s for sure that not all the candidates being advanced are going to make it through. So what sorts of… Read More
  • Aging and Lifespan

    Young Blood and Old Blood

    So let’s do a non-coronavirus post for the weekend. Over the years, I’ve sporadically reported on the (rather contentious) field of aging and its biochemical implications. Many readers will recall the results of the past few years that claim that infusion of young-animal plasma into aged animals seems to have many beneficial effects. Of… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Coronavirus Vaccine Update, June 11

    Since I did a monoclonal antibody update in the last post, here’s one on the vaccine front, where there is a lot of news – and where there are a lot of issues coming up similar to the ones with the antibodies as well. The last vaccine update post was here. What we’re seeing now… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Lots of Coronavirus Antibody News

    There’s a lot of interesting antibody news to catch up on, from the early science to clinical trials. A previous post on this subject is here, with links to earlier background explanations, if you would like to catch up on the area. Here, for example, is a report from a large multi-center team in China characterizing… Read More
  • Current Events

    Not Winning Friends, Not Influencing People

    Many chemists will by now be aware of the brief, but very loud, incident with Angewandte Chemie and a paper by Tomas Hudlicky that appeared there. Well, it didn’t appear for long – within hours, the link had disappeared. The article appears to have been an update of parts of his book “The Way of… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    The RECOVERY Trial Reports on Hydroxychloroquine

    The recent implosion of the Surgisphere data papers has been big news. It included one that purported to show no benefit (and actual harm) from hydroxychloroquine treatment, and even more harm when combined with azithromycin – but since the authors have been unable to back up the raw data on this, the paper cannot be… Read More
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