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December 23, 2005
Sort Of Like A Wine Cellar
As you may have noticed from the all-times-of-day posting schedule around here the last few days, I'm already on vacation. I'll return to the Wonder Drug Factory on January 3, and I'm already glad that I wrote myself my traditional note reminding me what I was doing and where things are. I'll continue to post here reasonably often until then, although there will be a missed day or two while my kids jump up and down on top of me. And I have to take time, naturally, to deal with questions such as the one just asked by my son, who wanted to know if anyone has taken one of those half-eaten cookies you find on Christmas morning and tried to "get some of Santa's DNA".
One of my first acts on returning to the lab will be to clean the place up a bit. I have detritus from two or three past projects scattered all over the place, and it doesn't need to be where it is. Some of it is going to go right into the red waste can, of course. Heck, some of it should have gone right in the red waste can right after it was made, but you don't have any way of knowing that at the time. But some of it will go to a (theoretically) more useful place.
In a chemistry research department, people are always making batches of intermediate compounds, often in reasonable amounts (5 to 100 grams, say). These are things that you can't buy from any supply house. Often they're based on chemical scaffolds that have already been shown to be useful in one or more projects, and have functional groups hanging off of them that are ready to be elaborated. This is valuable material, and you don't want to throw it away. What our department has done, like many others, is set up a catalog of these things and a central place to store them. I need to move a bunch of these home-made wonder drug building blocks out of my hood and down the hall, so that someone can possibly make use of them. And I could use the space - everyone comes out ahead.
That'll give me the elbow room to work on my current project, and to keep moving along (once again) on my side project, which I haven't spoken about much recently. Instrumental difficulties and other things have slowed it down, but it's most definitely still alive, and will (I hope) start off in several directions come January.
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