Monday, September 12, 2016

This week's C&EN

A few of the articles in this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News:


  1. 40% of chemistry PhD's are women: "problem"
    60% of biology PhD's are women: "progress"

    1. Encouraging girls to become doctors, business leaders, etc makes sense. Encouraging girls to become underemployed adjuncts or bitter 33-year-old postdocs is just more of the same "STEM shortage" baloney we've been hearing for years. We also need more women coal miners and steel mill workers!

    2. I mean, no one ever gives a target or end goal for these things, but obvs it's not "proportional representation" because then you should un-encourage the fields that are dominated (sometimes very heavily!) by women, minorities, ethnic groups, etc etc.

      Let me know if any of you have a "Men in Biology" group in your college.

  2. Interesting comments in the Kratom article, in particular this:

    "Andras Varadi (September 9, 2016 1:37 PM)
    As one of the lead authors on this manuscript (J. Med. Chem. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b00748), I would like to point out that mitragynine pseudoindoxyl, unlike morphine, did not show reward (addiction) in the conditioned place preference model in mice. We also observed that upon chronic dosing, it took mice 30 days to become tolerant to mitragynine pseudoindoxyl – that is approximately 6-times longer than it took to develop tolerance to morphine under the same conditions. And when mice finally became tolerant, we observed only mild withdrawal after giving a dose of the opioid antagonist naloxone.

    We believe the advantageous side effect profile of mitragynine pseudoindoxyl may be the result of the unique pharmacological attributes of the molecule. Firstly, it is an agonist on mu opioid receptors (very much like most of the opioids used in clinical practice) but at the same time, it antagonizes delta receptors. Secondly, mitragynine pseudoindoxyl acts as a G-protein biased agonist on mu receptors, recruiting no beta-arrestin-2 upon activation. Mu agonism/delta antagonism and G-protein bias have been shown to reduce the severity of opioid side effects, however, mitragynine pseudoindoxyl is the first compound known to exhibit the combination of these two effects. "