Chemistry

Terra Sigillata

Category archives for Chemistry

GFP slideshow at WSJ Health Blog

Scott Hensley, editor of the WSJ Health Blog, just reminded me that his colleague and blog lead writer, Jacob Goldstein, put together a neat slideshow on the fluorescent marine proteins for which this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded. I’ve been a bit behind in my reading of other blogs so it was refreshing…

Holden Thorp has a blog

Much hoo-hah in the local fishwrapper regarding the installation yesterday of Dr Holden Thorp as Chancellor of the state’s flagship university, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (installation address here). Thorp has brought a large degree of enthusiasm and optimism to Chapel Hill with his numerous and diverse accomplishments to date as well…

Nature’s gift of green fluorescent protein (GFP) from the jellyfish, Aequorea victoria, has always been important to me, personally and professionally. In fact, PharmGirl, MD, and I would have never met if not for this wonder macromolecule nor then would PharmKid exist. Well, it appears that GFP has been of enough important to others that…

Melamine and cyanuric acid revisited

This morning’s post from Molecule of the Day reminds me to ask “cyanuric acid question.” With the recent adulterations with melamine of Chinese milk and milk products (like White Rabbit chocolates) and foods with other milk-derived ingredients, we wonder if we will ultimately hear that a compound from fertilizer, cyanuric acid, is part of the…

Dr Ernest Ludwig Eliel (1921 – 2008)

Dr Ernest Eliel, a past-president of the American Chemical Society, passed away in Chapel Hill, NC, on Thursday evening. Dr Eliel was 86. His obituary notes: Born December 28, 1921, in Cologne, Germany, Dr. Eliel was the son of the late Oskar and Luise Tietz Eliel. He moved to the United States in 1946, and…

A couple of colleagues turned me on the other morning to a press release by researchers at the University of Warwick who recently published in PNAS that their data apparently overturns the Meyer-Overton Rule regarding solubility of a compound in olive oil and its propensity for crossing biological membranes. I’m having trouble understanding exactly why…

The statin class of cholesterol-lowering agents is rich with history and lessons in the power of natural products, the potential of the prepared mind, and just how precarious the path of drug development can be. American Scientist, the official publication of the scientific research society Sigma Xi, hosts this issue an absolutely lovely article entitled,…

On 8 May after a six-month search by a 21-member search committee, 43-year-old chemistry professor H. Holden Thorp was named Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The search committee was unable to find anyone else nationally or internationally that could match Thorp’s promise in leading the university. Thorp is a pretty…

GlaxoSmithKline to buy Sirtris

Just a little blurb in my local paper this morning that is making a big splash in the stock market: international pharma giant GSK is purchasing Cambridge, MA-based Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc. for an estimated US$720 million. Glaxo plans to bolster its pipeline with Sirtris’s experimental biotechnology treatments targeting aging-related diseases. In early trading, Sirtris shares…

Actinomycin D was the first antitumor antibiotic isolated from Streptomyces parvallus cultures by the lab of 1952 Nobel laureate, Dr Selman Waksman, at Rutgers University. However, it took a young Chinese physician and the confidence in her by a future US Surgeon General for this natural product drug to positively impact the lives of children…