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  • Current Events

    A Piece of the Action

    Does anyone know where a man can put some of his hard-earned research dollars down on a Nobel Prize bet? The Chemistry prize is going to be announced early on Wednesday, so time is tight. Last year there was a German site taking bets, but they seem dormant. Here’s their previous chemistry prize page, which… Read More
  • Blog Housekeeping

    And Another Thing. . .

    I wanted to let people know that I have an opinion piece up at the Manhattan Institute’s “Medical Progress Today” site, on the FDA’s conflict of interest rules for their advisory panels. There are some proposed changes that I don’t think will work out very well. . . Read More
  • In Silico

    The Hazards of Molecular Modeling

    A comment to the last post really gave me the shivers: “I like to think of modelling as the “silent killer”. It is easy to rely on it for quick answers, and easy to forget that there is no substitute for an actual experiment. . . I remember asking a fellow scientist if a particular… Read More
  • In Silico

    Clamping Down, or Loosening Up?

    We medicinal chemists spend our days trying to make small molecules that bind to targets in living systems. Almost all of those targets are proteins of one sort or another, and most of them have binding pockets already built into them, which we’re trying to hijack for our own purposes. Molecular modelers try to figure… Read More
  • Life in the Drug Labs


    There are some pretty big cultural divides in the drug industry. The preclinical research people and the development people always think that they have one of the biggest, but that’s not true. They do argue a lot, but the arguments are phrased in terms that each side understands. “Your synthetic route can’t provide enough compound… Read More
  • Infectious Diseases

    Antivirals “Gathering Dust”?

    The CBC has an article claiming that: “Formulas for new, inexpensive influenza drugs that could expand the world’s tiny arsenal of weapons against pandemic flu are gathering dust because the pharmaceutical industry isn’t interested in developing them, scientists say. They believe governments should fund the testing and development… Read More
  • Birth of an Idea

    Report From What I Think is the Frontier

    It’s been a while since I spoke about the run of experiments that I’ve been doing. Things are going very well, although not quickly. The combination that seemed to work for me back in June (see the 6/23 post here) has repeated cleanly several times now, with new control experiments and fresh solutions of everything. Read More
  • "Me Too" Drugs

    By a Nose in a Head to Head

    One of the other incorrect lessons that people might take away from the press accounts of the antipsychotic trial is that drug companies have been comparing their medications to placebo too often. And why would you do that unless you were scared that you wouldn’t be better than the competition? What’s with these people, anyway?… Read More
  • "Me Too" Drugs

    No Clear Winners

    You’ve probably seen the headlines about the recent NIH-sponsored “CATIE” study comparing five anti-psychotic medications. The result, which is what made the whole thing newsworthy to the popular press, was that it was hard to distinguish among them, with the oldest generic working as well as (or better than) the newer drugs. But… Read More
  • Press Coverage

    Say It Again!

    From the editorial pages of the Washington Post we have this, and I could not have said it better myself: . . .Unfortunately for Merck, scientific facts didn’t play much of a role in the first Vioxx trial, which ended on Aug. 19. The Texas jury in that case awarded $253.4 million to the widow… Read More