Skip to main content
Menu
  • Biological News

    Mysteries in Human RNA

    Let’s put this one in the category of “more things that we didn’t know about human biology”. We’ve known for some time now about ribozymes – catalytic enzyme-like structures made out of RNA instead of proteins. But they’ve been studied more in lower organisms overall. We know that the hammerhead ribozymes a… Read More
  • AI and Machine Learning

    Lab! Of! The! Future!

    This is a good article at C&E News on the “lab of the future”, and I’ll go ahead and make the standard comment that this has been the lab of the future for quite a while now. The idea is to have mechanical automation and experiment-evaluating software fitting together to “close the loop” and make… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Blood Clots and the AZ Vaccine, Revisited

    Once again, what’s going on with vascular events and the AZ/Oxford vaccine? I last wrote about this situation a couple of weeks ago, and it’s taken some real turns since then. At that point several EU countries had suspended dosing, but over the next week several began administering the vaccine again after the European Medicines… Read More
  • 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