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Sunday, January 01, 2006

UsefulChem project

I would like to thank Steve for inviting me to Chemists Without Borders.

It is wonderful to see these bottom-up efforts towards open science come together and I see a nice opportunity for a synergy with the UsefulChem project.

Our efforts are geared towards chemical solutions to current important problems. Thanks to help from Find-A-Drug, we have been working to synthesize and test new anti-malarial agents. We are looking to discuss problems on as detailed a level as possible so that we can solve them quickly. Currently, our bottleneck step in the malaria project involves finding quick and cheap synthetic routes to target compounds and thus most of the blog posts are about synthetic details. If you know of any clever organic chemists who might want to contribute their brain power, please send them to the UsefulChem blog.

There is also a wiki with big picture summaries of the projects.

Anyone is free to contribute a problem or solution. Just please make it as specific as possible. For example, "a cure for cancer" is not a useful contribution but "inhibitors for enzyme X, which has just been reported in Journal Y would offer a new approach to treating disease Z" gives us something to work with.

I have an organic chemistry lab and I am willing to have my students work on synthesizing compounds when it makes sense. It would be great if other labs contributed chemicals, lab time or ideas.

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