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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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In the Pipeline

« Beyond the Teeth, Beyond the Pale | Main | Owning the Road »

May 14, 2004

The Last Word on Taste

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Posted by Derek

No time for real blogging for today, but I couldn't let this one go by: Reader Steve C. passes on what has to be one of the worst examples from the old days of tasting new compounds. Back in 1886, Victor Meyer was the first to achieve a reasonable synthesis of bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide. So, as people did back then, he put some of the damned stuff on his tongue.

A good part of my readership has already grimaced in pain, but the rest of you are about to join them. That compound is better known as mustard gas. Meyer's gourmet experience must have resulted in an excruciating round of terrible blisters - which, depending on the amount he sampled, could have gone on for quite some time. I wonder how many things he taste-tested after that episode?

A blog housekeeping note - my blogroll was shattered in the conversion to Movable Type. It had a number of inactive sites on it, anyway, and there are plenty more I should have added as well. A rebuild is in the works.

Next week we'll talk about method of treatment patents (and won't that be fun, eh?) and about an outfit with the unusual name of Essential Inventions, Inc. The phrase "March-In Rights" will feature prominently, which I hope is not a phrase I'll be using very often.

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blog Housekeeping | Drug Industry History | Life in the Drug Labs


1. brendan on May 14, 2004 1:02 PM writes...

Don't forget Albert Hoffman, the Swiss chemist who discovered LSD. He was working with Lysergic Acid compounds when he started feeling strange. He thought he might have absorbed some through his skin, so he gave himself what he thought would be a small "dose" of the compound. It turned out to be a lot more concentrated than he thought.

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2. Linkmeister on May 14, 2004 2:52 PM writes...

Wow. My great-uncle was exposed to that stuff during The Great War and suffered lasting effects; I can only imagine what tasting it would be like.

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