What the heck is MolPrime for Android? I’ll tell you….

How’s this for convoluted? Following a link to Chemspy about the Open Drug Discovery Teams (ODDT) app in the iTunes store led me to Cheminformatics where I got all giddy about finding a website dedicated to “chemical information software for next generation computing environments”, and eventually found the post below:

“The Android port of MolPrime is getting closer to being a functional app. As you can see in the two-part snapshot to the right, the both the main screen and the diagram sketcher have enough capabilities to present the initial facade. The sketcher currently only displays the structure and some buttons, but that’s still solid progress.”

I’m a fan of all things chemistry, especially when it involves awesome apps that let you look at and draw chemical structures. I mean seriously, is there anything cooler than that? Doubtful. It was like stumbling onto the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
Continue reading What the heck is MolPrime for Android? I’ll tell you….

Stabilization of vaccines and antibiotics in silk and eliminating the cold chain [article]

This would be huge for pharmacy if/when it all gets worked out and commercialized. Eliminating cold chain? Wow.

chemistry world:

Kaplan’s process to formulate drugs with silk is incredibly simple. After preparing a solution of silk protein in water, the medicines are added and the mixture is freeze-dried to create a stable preservative matrix. Kaplan explains that the silk protein is generally quite hydrophobic and forms strong stabilising interactions with molecules embedded in it. ‘Coupled with the ability to process silk just in water at ambient conditions means you can put sensitive molecules in there and not lose their function,’ he adds.

….

The group prepared films of silk containing the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and showed that it can be stored for six months at 45°C and retain more than 85% of its activity, compared to powdered forms that degraded in a few weeks.

Silk films impregnated with the antibiotic tetracycline also lasted longer than solutions, but an unexpected result was that the silk also seemed to stabilise the antibiotic against degradation by light. ‘Tetracycline is inherently light-sensitive,’ says Kaplan, ‘and we noticed that the films weren’t changing colour at the same rate as the solutions [when they were stored in the light].’ He explains that the stabilisation mechanism is unclear – the silk is transparent, so it’s not just that it’s physically blocking the light out. ‘We assume it’s the same reason we see the other stabilisation effects,’ he says, ‘but we need to probe that further.’

An abstract of the article can be found online at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Scinces website.

(10.173/pnas.1206210109)

Bibliography

Happy 4th of July 2012

Ah, the 4th of July. Independence Day. The day in 1776 when the Continental Congress gave Great Britain the finger and declared that the thirteen American colonies were no longer a part of the British Empire. America was born.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Well said.

In addition, the 4th of July is a time for celebration with family and friends. Swimming, talking, playing and lots and lots of BBQ, ice cream, other junk food and so on. This years grub includes a Swiss Meat Roll, BBQ hot dogs, two types of homemade ice cream – vanilla and strawberry, my daughters famous Red, White, and Blue cake, and all the sides that make it fun.

It’s also a time to enjoy the beauty of fireworks lighting up the night. And believe me, when the Fahrni brothers get together on the 4th there’s sure to be plenty of that.

Have fun everyone and try not to get carried away. On second thought, don’t worry about getting carried away. Just have fun and be safe.

Foiled again!

A couple of months ago I received an email from the ASHP Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology (SOPIT). It basically said, “hey dude, you’re a pharmacy informatics guy. You should throw your hat in the ring for a position on the SOPIT Executive Committee.” My initial reaction was to ignore it as these things never go well for me. My personality isn’t general suited for committee work. I know this.

However, the issue wouldn’t go away. A couple of weeks later it popped up again as a friend and colleague shot me an email asking why I hadn’t completed the on-line biographical nomination form and upload my Curriculum Vitae for a position on the SOPIT Executive Committee. I gave the canned response that I wasn’t interested and that type of thing wasn’t for me. But the seed had been planted. About a week later I logged into the ASHP website and proceeded to jump through all the hoops associated with running for one of the positions on the executive committee. You know, lots of questions about how you would change the world and make it a far better pharmacy friendly place to live.

Anyway, I was informed today via email that not only did I not get nominated for a position on the executive committee; I didn’t even make the cut to be included on the list of possible candidates. Ouch! Here’s the actual wording “The Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology’s Committee on Nominations met this month to develop a slate of candidates for the summer 2012 elections. We received many letters and nominations for the two offices of the Section. Unfortunately, we were not able to slate you for this year’s election. “ Doh!

I won’t lie, my ego took a hit. Even though I’m generally not well suited to sit on committees I thought this would be cool. Should have gone with my gut and ignored the email. Humility is a good thing, but sometimes being humbled stings a bit. Better to think you turned them down than the other way around.

I’ll eventually get over it. People are resilient that way. In the meantime I’m forming my own committee of which I will be the Executive Vice President; I’m not President material. Haven’t decided what the committee will do, but it must involve Diet Pepsi, popcorn and movies. If you’re interested in being on the committee let me know. Space is limited.

Technology still can’t beat pen and paper

I am a tablet PC guy, no question. My tablet of choice is the Levnovo x201t, but I’ve tried several and enjoy the constant hunt for a new one. I don’t travel with it much these days as I’ve grown tired of carrying multiple machines, dealing with security, etc. But when I’m at home my tablet PC is a workhorse. Between Microsoft OneNote and Evernote I’ve basically eliminated my need for a notebook. Or so I thought.

For whatever reason I decided to take a long hard look at my note taking needs this week. I’ve been rather irritable lately and found myself nitpicking many of the cons associated with using a tablet PC for taking notes that I previously overlooked. The shortcoming of using a tablet PC are obvious: battery life, “boot time”, size and the mother of all….you can’t take notes on a tablet of any kind when it’s turned off, which has been a real issue for me while traveling.
Continue reading Technology still can’t beat pen and paper

Happy 4th of July

Ah, the 4th of July. Independence Day. The day in 1776 when the Continental Congress gave Great Britain the finger and declared that the thirteen American colonies were no longer a part of the British Empire. America was born.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Well said. In addition, the 4th of July is a time for celebration with family and friends to include eating lots of BBQ, ice cream, potato salad and so on. It’s also a time to enjoy the beauty of fireworks lighting up the night.

Have fun everyone and try not to get carried away. On second thought, don’t worry about getting carried away. Just have fun and be safe.