Category: What We Get Wrong

It’s a Shame that Scientists Develop Drugs, Instead of Engineers

Museum of Natural History. That’s a funny name, isn’t it? The whole building is full of scientific and biological items like skeletons and fossils. Where’s the history part?  Shouldn’t it be called Museum of Science? Most people would put science and history on the opposite end of the spectrum.

When you hear a name like that, it almost feels like someone’s trying to obfuscate, trying to Continue reading “It’s a Shame that Scientists Develop Drugs, Instead of Engineers”

IC50 Means Nothing

In drug development, there are certain terms that people throw around that signifies that they know something about a field they’re not an expert in. These are shorthands for asking, is that compound any good?

“What’s the p-value?” (buzzword for clinical data)

“Does it meet Lipinski’s Rule of Five?” (buzzword for medicinal chemistry)

“What’s the IC50?” (buzzword for Continue reading “IC50 Means Nothing”

What We Get Wrong About Drug Development

Looking back at history of drug development, and the direction it has gone in the last twenty years or so, I think there are perhaps some assumptions about biology of drugs that we might want to challenge or question. Below are some of my thoughts about drug development productivity I’ve collected over the last couple of years.

Absolute levels of drugs and molecules tell only part of the story. Continue reading “What We Get Wrong About Drug Development”

What’s in a Name?

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

When I tell people that it’s becoming more and more clear, based on recent research, that fructose is bad for health, they almost always have one of two reactions. Some people, who have heard of the recent data, just nod. Others pause, raise their eyebrows and say, “wait, does that mean fruit is bad for you?” (The answer is Continue reading “What’s in a Name?”

Emergent Phenomena

“Reductionism: Instagram approach to science”

One of the greatest strengths, and one of the greatest failings, of modern science is reductionism. Reductionism has allowed us to dissect and understand some of the most important natural phenomena. Some would argue that reductionism is at the heart of the Scientific Method. Marvin Minsky has said, “In science one can learn the most by Continue reading “Emergent Phenomena”