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  • Analytical Chemistry

    A Bouncing, Swinging New Detection Method

      Here’s an ingenious new detection technique for biomolecules that builds on a number of reports over the last few years. People have been working on electrochemical detectors using DNA constructs on electrode surfaces, but this would appear to be an improved way to do it. A team from Toronto reports using a “molecular pendulum… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    Comprehensive Covalent Probe Time

    I really enjoyed this new paper on ChemRxiv, a Munich/Michigan/Berkeley  collaboration on reactive covalent groups and their profile across different proteins. There have been a number of papers addressing this subject before, but this one is the most comprehensive one I’ve ever seen, and it’s a valuable resource. Most of the covalent… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Oligonucleotides And Their Discontents

    I remember being at a chemistry meeting in New Jersey back in around 1990 or 1991, where a speaker mentioned in passing that most of the people in the room would probably soon be offered a chance to move to California and work for some small company trying to develop antisense drugs. There was a… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    AstraZeneca’s US Vaccine Trial Data

    Update: this has turned into a stupid, needless, mess. Which frankly seems to be AstraZeneca’s pandemic brand so far. It turns out that the company’s press release (as discussed below) is apparently more of an interim read than reflective of the final data. The NIH took the extraordinary step of stating its concerns about this… Read More
  • AI and Machine Learning

    AI and Drug Discovery: Attacking the Right Problems

    I’ve been meaning to write some more about artificial intelligence, machine learning, and drug discovery, and this paper (open access) by Andreas Bender is an excellent starting point. I’m going to be talking in fairly general terms here, but for practitioners in the field, I can recommend this review of the 2020 literature by Pat Walt… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    The Problem with COVID-19 Clinical Trials

    Let’s talk about a painful subject. I am of the opinion – and I’m far from alone – that the most reliable way to determine if a possible therapy has any usefulness is a randomized, double-blinded controlled clinical trial. I can be a bit more specific than that, even: let’s make that “a trial that… Read More
  • Covid-19

    What is Going on With the AstraZeneca/Oxford Vaccine?

    Update: more on this in a later post here. Everyone will have heard of the situation in Europe right now, with a whole list of countries suspending dosing of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine. Sweden and Latvia joined that list today .But getting clarity on this is another thing entirely. I have not been the biggest fan… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    Lilly’s Alzheimer’s Data

    That’s a post title that I could have used eight or ten times over the lifetime of this blog – Eli Lilly has been hammering away at Alzheimer’s for a long time now. They have yet another anti-amyloid antibody study out this week, and (as has happened over and over in this area) it as… Read More
  • Cancer

    Androgen Receptors for COVID-19

    There’s a report of an interesting small-molecule drug effort against the coronavirus that seems to have produced rather significant results. The idea goes back to effects that were noticed last year – for example, in this population-based study from Italy. It’s been known since the early days of the pandemic that males were overa… Read More
  • The Scientific Literature

    Dealing With the Literature

    I’ve requests from time to time to share some tips about dealing with the scientific literature. Which is indeed a problem, on several levels, and has been for a long time now. So here’s what I have to offer, and I hope it helps. A large-scale problem is what journals to even look at. I… Read More