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  • 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
  • In Silico

    Machine Learning for Antibiotics

    I know that I just spoke about new antibiotic discovery here the other day, but there’s a new paper worth highlighting that just came out today. A team from MIT, the Broad Institute, Harvard, and McMaster reports what is one of the more interesting machine-learning efforts I’ve seen so far, in any therapeutic area. This… Read More
  • Biological News

    Opioid Signaling: Think Again

    Opioids are some of the most effective and most problematic drugs in the entire pharmacopeia. For severe, intractable pain we really have nothing to match them, despite decades of searching for alternatives. The history of research for new pain medications itself calls for pain medication, because it is a tapestry of expensive late-stage clinical f… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    A New Antibiotic Candidate

    Antibiotic discovery is always welcome. Here’s a new one from a well-searched area (Actinomycetes extracts), and the authors (university teams from McMaster, Indiana, and Montreal) did a lot of groundwork to make sure that they weren’t just going to rediscover known agents. That’s a serious problem with broad-based antibiotic scre… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    A Quick Retraction

    The open-source program that I use for literature management (Zotero) set off a feature not long ago that I didn’t realize it had. A red banner appeared across the top with a notice that a paper that I had in one of my collections had been retracted. That’s pretty handy: a red X now appears… Read More
  • Academia (vs. Industry)

    What Happens to University-Based Biotech Startups – And Why

    Here’s a useful article that looks at the fate of university-licensed startup (ULS) life sciencecompanies over the last few years. There are more and more such companies (a greater than tenfold increase in their number since 1990), but a comprehensive look at success rates (and how such rates vary according to the universities involved) has… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Drug Dosing

    First in humans! That’s a big step for a drug project – you’ve identified a clinical candidate with enough potency, selectivity, etc. to be a plausible drug, you’ve made it past toxicity testing (always a black-box cross-your-fingers exercise), and you’ve figured out a way to dose the stuff in human subjects. But how d… Read More
  • Current Events

    Antiviral Theatrics?

    Update: more details on this here. There’s a rationale for this, but it may or may not be a good one! This will be a very rare link indeed for me, to the People’s Daily Twitter account out of China. I’d seen some clips like this before, but wasn’t sure of their provenance. This, though… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    A Prospective Alzheimer’s Trial Reports

    For the past several years, a clinical trial from Washington University (St. Louis) has been underway in people with genetic mutations that lead to early-onset Alzheimer’s. The Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Network (Trials Unit), DIAN-TU, has been dosing 194 such patients with one of two anti-amyloid antibodies, either Lilly’s… Read More
  • Chemical News

    The Good Ol’ Grignard

    Once in a while I’ll see someone studying undergraduate organic chemistry, and I’ll mention to them that those reactions that they’re learning – well, a reasonable number of them – actually get used out in the real world. (The students are generally surprised by this news). I think that a prototype of this sort of… Read More
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