Tag: Organic Chemistry

  • Thalidomide Tragedy: Horror Drug or Miracle?

    Thalidomide Tragedy: Horror Drug or Miracle?

    The thalidomide tragedy was the biggest “man-made disaster apart from war”. This molecule’s structure looks simple and innocent, but a chiral carbon gives rise to two enantiomers with different pharmacological effects. While one isomer was a safe sedative, the other one led to limb malformations in thousands of babies. We will check out how this…

  • What is Total Synthesis? The Basics Explained

    What is Total Synthesis? The Basics Explained

    This post explains the question: What is total synthesis? If you read this, you might be forced to study organic chemistry 🙁 or are already interested in total synthesis. In any case, this brief commentary will explain the concept very simply. For advanced content, check out this page or my videos. Imagine you’re a pastry…

  • This Obesity Drug Tricks Your Body Into Burning Fat (Exercise Mimetics)

    This Obesity Drug Tricks Your Body Into Burning Fat (Exercise Mimetics)

    Are you tired of dieting or pounding the pavement like David Goggins just to shed a few pounds? Imagine a future medicine that could mimic the benefits of literally running for days. Weight loss meds like Ozempic have been sending shockwaves through Hollywood and Wall Street. Advocacy by famous figures went viral on social media,…

  • How Scientists Discover New Antiviral Drugs (Medicinal Chemistry)

    How Scientists Discover New Antiviral Drugs (Medicinal Chemistry)

    When people with an IQ of 50 hate on the “evil” scientists of big pharma, they often overlook that there is relentless work and ingenious brainpower behind the discovery and optimization of medicines, including antiviral drugs. If drug discovery would be so easy, pharma companies would not spend up to billions of dollars to get…

  • What is KEKulene and is it Super-Aromatic?  Organic Chemistry

    What is KEKulene and is it Super-Aromatic? Organic Chemistry

    If you took any chemistry classes ever, you’ve heard that benzene is particularly stable due to its aromaticity. Well, benzene is cute but it pales in comparison to the massive Kekulene. It’s so apolar and insoluble that you can only dissolve it in spicily hot solvents and need to measure your NMR spectra in custom-made…

  • Cubane Chemistry: Fascinating Synthesis of 1-azahomocubane

    Cubane Chemistry: Fascinating Synthesis of 1-azahomocubane

    Molecules take very intriguing forms. You might know cubane, the literal molecular cube. Now, scientists recently reported the synthesis and characterization of 1-azahomocubane, one of the first of hopefully many more cubane analogues. Similar to weird species like Dewar benzene, these molecules can offer chemists new insights into effects and limits of ring strain. Today…

  • Synthesis of Psilocybin and How Magic Mushrooms Rewire Brain Networks

    Synthesis of Psilocybin and How Magic Mushrooms Rewire Brain Networks

    Did you know that the active chemical in magic mushrooms psilocybin can rewire and make the human brain more flexible, translating into major therapeutic benefit in depression and other conditions? This has led to Australia approving specific medicinal use of psychedelics as the first country. You will be surprised to hear that psilocybin can be…

  • Are New Drugs Really Better Than Existing Ones?

    Are New Drugs Really Better Than Existing Ones?

    You probably know that drugs can get very expensive. What do you think – what percentage of new drugs actually provide significant therapeutic benefit compared to existing treatments? And do you think that drugs with a low clinical benefit are indeed priced any cheaper than highly beneficial ones? Beyond drug prices, we will also talk…

  • World’s Most Expensive Drug: Greedy or Fair?

    World’s Most Expensive Drug: Greedy or Fair?

    What is the most expensive drug in the world? Imagine a single dose of medicine priced at $3.5 MILLION. Since the approval of the gene therapy Hemgenix in late 2022, this is a reality. This eye-popping price is easy to scrutinize, especially if you know the truth behind most newly approved drugs. Drug manufacturers think…

  • Can “Safe” Ibogaine Help Treat Addiction? (Psychedelic chemistry)

    Can “Safe” Ibogaine Help Treat Addiction? (Psychedelic chemistry)

    The psychedelic ibogaine has built a reputation as an anti-addiction magic bullet. By now even have the Wolf of Wallstreet vouching for it. Drug manufacturers who fuelled the opioid crisis are forced to blow billions on lawsuit settlements. The state of Kentucky recently announced they might use double-digit millions for ibogaine research. Maybe you’ve heard…