About this Author
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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June 7, 2005

Experimental Update

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Posted by Derek

Since I mentioned a while back that I was setting up a crucial run of experiments, I thought I should let the (three or four) people who are following this story know what's going on.

What's going on is that I'm slowly chewing a hole through my desk. The instrument that I need to get these samples analyzed went down just as I was finishing up the experimental run. And that's not "down" as in "let's replace the fitting with a new one from the drawer here," that's "down" as in crucial-hardware-back-ordered-from-another-continent. As in two service techs up to their elbows in the thing for three days - that kind of down. As of today, the machine still isn't its old self.

My original run of experiments is probably untrustworthy at this point - I'm saving it to try out backup analysis techniques. I set up another run of fresh ones, which are now in the freezer, waiting to be analyzed when there's something to analyze them with. I console myself with the thought that they must have some pretty good stuff in them, because the universe is sure doing a good job of keeping me from ever finding out.

Comments (7) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Birth of an Idea


1. schinderhannes on June 8, 2005 5:40 AM writes...

Hi Derek,

beeing one of the four people following this story, I wonder if you can release some more information on what exactly the chemistry is your trying to do, or is it going to be a patent once it works? If its woth a JACS we won´t tell anybody you mentioned details around here ;-)

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2. Phil-Z on June 8, 2005 11:07 AM writes...

Would that instrument happen to be a mass spec? Just curious, as I ran herd on an old Kratos sector machine about a decade ago, and what you described sounded familier. Great data system, wonderful magnet, British electronics. Sigh....

I became great friends with their service techs, having shared many long nights elbow deep inside power supplies, running out to my car for jumper cables to use as temporary connections to the magnet, great fun.

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3. Drew on June 8, 2005 12:04 PM writes...

I'm gonna guess an LC/MS, Micromass model. British electronics on par with older Jaguars, but asthetics to match!

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4. Derek Lowe on June 8, 2005 1:12 PM writes...

Phil-Z has the instrument right, and Drew has narrowed it down to the correct brand. Good work!

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5. SP on June 9, 2005 12:54 AM writes...

Too bad you can't email samples, our mass spec currently has idle time.

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6. Derek Lowe on June 9, 2005 9:56 AM writes...

Don't tempt me.

Actually, the thing might be working tomorrow, not that I haven't heard that before. But it's a lot closer to working than it's been in three or four weeks, which should count for something.

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7. Mark on June 9, 2005 3:24 PM writes...

Yep, sounded like a MS incident to me as well.
Boy, what ever happened to old fashioned TLC with the assorted stains for this and that?
I'm guessing by now, most of those little vials would give you a nice "Shriner's Parade" of spots from top to bottom of your tlc were you to entertain that notion.

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