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What Are Your Favorite Non-U.S. Drug Discovery Stories?

Over at my other gig at the Pharma & Healthcare section of Forbes.com, I’ve been covering a few stories of new drugs and improvements on old drugs. Although I’m focusing on natural products like vancomycin and semi-synthetics like lurbinectedin, I’ve been thinking a bit about the stories behind the discoveries of all drugs. Part of my thinking has been...

Mourning Open Notebook Science Pioneer, Dr. Jean-Claude Bradley

I’ve have more later but I just learned some very sad news from Antony Williams: Drexel University chemist, Jean-Claude Bradley, passed away yesterday. Antony has some personal reflections of his dear friend at his site but here is the official letter from Drexel: Dear Members of the Drexel University Community, It is with deep sadness that I inform...

New University of Florida Chemistry Building Is A “Go!” – Again

I’m impressed by the safety goggles and the nitrile gloves. But, um, the reptilian chemist is wearing no pants or protective footwear. It’s the no pants that really troubles me. (Credit: University of Florida, Department of Chemistry) Well, it’s that time of the academic year to dust off my University of Florida doctoral regalia for this weekend’s commencement...

Google Features Percy Julian, Legendary African-American Chemist

What a fantastic surprise this morning on the 115th anniversary of Percy Julian’s birth:   Screenshot of Google Doodle on 11 April 2014 features chemist, Percy Julian. (Credit: Google)   I’m beside myself with joy to see this pioneering chemist be recognized by the most prominent search engine in the world. I don’t know where to begin about Julian but...

The Case Of The Malodorous Metabolite

Over where I also write at Forbes.com, Matthew Herper, Senior Editor for Pharma and Healthcare, reported on GlaxoSmithKline’s NEJM clinical trial of darapladib in coronary artery disease. The drug had been developed as a small molecule, orally-formulated, subnanomolar inhibitor of lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2. Lp-PLA2 is associated with apolipoprotein...

Colorado Marijuana Product Potency: Just Another Herbal Medicine

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been watching Colorado’s burgeoning legal marijuana economy both as a natural products pharmacologist and science and health journalist and writing professor. And while the Colorado and Washington experiments are interesting to observe from afar, I’m amazed, but not surprised, by how much remains the same when it...

Promoting Chemistry’s Positive Public Image

D’ohh, no eye protection. Credit: David R. Carroll, Creative Commons I had an opportunity earlier this month to write a short “Inside Science” piece for the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer newspapers. These two publications are among those under the McClatchy Company umbrella of 30 U.S. newspapers with a history dating back to 1857 and...

Does Ada Yonath’s Gender Really Matter?

Yes, gender still matters. “In shock from seeing Gov. Pat McCrory, center, hand deliver her a plate of cookies, Jamie Sohn, of Chapel Hill, turns back to her group across the street. ‘I was absolutely stunned,’ she said of the experience. Opponents of the abortion bill that Gov. Pat McCrory signed on Monday continued their second day of protests across...

Acetyl Fentanyl: Dangerous, Poorly-Named Street Drug

Acetyl fentanyl HCl, courtesy of Cayman Chemical Company. Click on the image to view the source page. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a summary on a cluster of 14 deaths in Rhode Island earlier this year attributed to “acetyl fentanyl,” an analog of the potent, short-lived opioid used in pain management and outpatient...

Personal Reflections On A 9/11 Hero (repost)

Here is why I will always remember. Originally posted on 11 September 2006 at Terra Sigillata on ScienceBlogs. This post tells you what it means. Let me tell you about John Michael Griffin, Jr. Griff, as he was known in high school, was a friend of mine. Late in the first half of our lives, he stood up for me physically and philosophically, for being...

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