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Crystallography and chemistry: The culture issue

Image: Charles Reynolds and ACS Med Chem Letters Charles Reynolds who is a well-known structure-based drug design expert has an editorial in ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters touching on an issue that lies at the confluence of crystallography, medicinal chemistry and modeling: flaws in protein ligand co-crystal structures. Show More Summary

Making sense of chemical stories

Discussions on chemophobia (or whatever you want to call it) is a perennial favourite on chemistry blogs. But the conversation rarely extends out of our echo chamber. But now Sense about Science have joined the discussion with the publication of a guide entitled  Making Sense of Chemical Stories. Sense about Science is a respected charitable … Continue reading »

A kilo-scale hydrogenation reactor?

I have been running some kilo-scale hydrogenations of our polymers, at atmospheric pressure, under balloons, and it is a bit of a chore. It would be nice to have something akin to a giant-sized Parr shaker and run the hydrogenation at few bars, to reduce the catalyst loading and shorten the reaction time. I wanted […]

Electricity from body heat

It amazes me how smart some people are. At 15 I was just trying to learn to drive a car; Ann Makosinski from British Columbia invented a flashlight that produces light just by using the warmth of your hand. It works via the thermoelectric effect which is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage. Show More Summary

Update: Photo Friday (#picpickoftheweek)

In January the Hanson Research Group (@HansonFSU) introduced Photo Friday, a twitter-based ‘best picture of the week’ (#picpickoftheweek). Since then my students have created an amazing collection of photographs depicting our research, equipment, and chemicals. Show More Summary

Phil Baran is a man of style. We, of course, knew that for a while.

Thanks to @ChemicalBiology I just came to know about a piece of news that may simultaneously help resurrect chemistry's moribund public image and disintegrate multiple damsel hearts as efficiently as heterolytic bond fission: Phil Baran...Show More Summary

The Rules

Here at chemistry-blog we feel the need for a sacred text setting out the etiquette to be followed by chemicals scientists everywhere. Henceforth these shall be known as The Rules (an idea blatantly stolen for cyclists), and they shall set us apart from those that peddle particles or organisms. The Rules have been distilled from precedents and … Continue reading »

Who knows reviewers’ identities?

A couple of posts ago I shared a pretty unpleasant experience I had after peer-reviewing a grant application. In short my anonymity appeared to have been breached and I received,what I took to be, a thinly veiled threat from the grant’s author. Some of the comments that followed thanked me for bring the case … Continue reading »

Free Energy Perturbation (FEP) methods in drug discovery: Or, Waiting for Godot

For interested folks in the Boston area it's worth taking a look at this workshop on Free Energy Perturbation (FEP) methods at Vertex from May 19-21. The list of speakers and topics is quite impressive, and this is about as much of a state-of-the-art discussion on the topic as you can expect to find in the area. Show More Summary

Forget the Cutting Edge – Embrace the Old-Tech Future

By Josh Kearns Our society is pathologically enthralled with “the new.” As scientists and engineers, we’re inculcated starting from very early in our training to seek “the cutting edge” of technological development and innovation. But...Show More Summary

The structure of DNA, 61 years later: How they did it.

"A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid", Nature, April 25, 1953 (Image: Oregon State University) This month marks the sixty-first anniversary of the publication of the landmark paper on the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick, which appeared in the April 25, 1953 issue of the journal Nature. Show More Summary

Just So You Know

Recently Gabriela Solano and Alvin Menezes have joined our HR team. Initially, they will be staffing our internal positions and then positions within our upcoming projects. Those of you whom returned a Chemists Without Borders Application form will be contacted. Show More Summary

Drug costs and prices: Here we go again

Gilead's hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) Misleading statements and conclusions regarding drug costs and prices are again being thrown around. It started with a post right here on Scientific American Blogs with the title "The Quest: $84,000 Miracle Cure Costs Less Than $150 to Make". Show More Summary

Y Combinator and biotech: The wave of the future?

Marcus Wohlsen's book "Biopunk" details the efforts of dedicated garage biotech enthusiasts. Startup incubators like Y-Combinator could help bring their efforts to fruition (Image: Steve Zazeski) Y Combinator is the well-known startup...Show More Summary

"A Fred Sanger would not survive today's world of science."

Somehow I missed last year's obituary for double Nobel laureate and bench scientist extraordinaire Fred Sanger by Sydney Brenner in Science. The characteristically provocative Brenner has this to say about a (thankfully) fictional twenty-first century Sanger: A Fred Sanger would not survive today's world of science. Show More Summary

Doing Manual Labor for Sustainable Development Makes You Sexy

(or, A Hodge-Podge of Fact and Opinion) By Josh Kearns I’ve just returned from an arduous – but tremendously joyful – trip to a small village in the remote coastal mountains of Burma’s “Deep South,” Tenasserim Division. The trip took...Show More Summary

Another tool in the war against "superbugs"

Researchers have developed a new polymyxin-like lipopeptide to kill multidrug-resistant microbes (superbugs). In the past, when facing bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, doctors could prescribe polymyxins. Polymyxins are lipopeptides...Show More Summary

"Designing drugs without chemicals"

As usual Derek beat me to highlighting this rather alarming picture from an October 5, 1981 issue of Fortune magazine that I posted on Twitter yesterday. The image is from an article about computer-aided design and it looks both like...Show More Summary

I’ve Got a BEEF with Sustainability

By Josh Kearns I’ve had a lot of unpopular ideas. Maybe the all-time most unpopular, though, is this one: The relatively short trips made by international humanitarian science/engineering and sustainable community development professionals...Show More Summary

Reproducibility in molecular modeling research

When I was a graduate student, a pet peeve of my advisor and I was the extreme unlikelihood of finding structural 3D coordinates of molecules in papers. A typical paper on conformational analysis would claim to derive a solution conformation...Show More Summary

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