Author Archives | Ashutosh Jogalekar

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Ashutosh (Ash) Jogalekar is a scientist at a biotech startup in Cambridge, MA. His background is in organic and computational chemistry and he currently works in pre-clinical drug discovery. Ash has been blogging since 2004 on his blog The Curious Wavefunction and since July 2012 has also been a part of the Scientific American Blog Network. His interests include the history, philosophy and future of science. He can be found on Twitter at @curiouswavefn.

All our hopes and fears: Why the Lindau meeting needs to include psychologists

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

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When I visited Lindau this year I experienced a mix of hopes and fears. The hopes came from the Nobel Prize winners and the young students and researchers gathered there. As a supposedly unbiased observer it was my job to provide skepticism and express fears. What was the source of the fears? The problem was […]

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The quiet American

Monday, July 8, 2013

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In conversation Brian Kobilka is shy, self-effacing, modest and mild-mannered. In his work he is a tour de force of science who has chipped away at an unyielding problem for more than twenty years until it gave way and got him the Nobel Prize. Kobilka and his fellow prizewinner Robert Lefkowitz were honored for their […]

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Avram Hershko’s lessons for doing good science

Thursday, July 4, 2013

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Avram Hershko – an amiable, mild-mannered Israeli biochemist – shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his co-discovery of the body’s protein waste disposal system along with Aaron Ciechanover and Irwin Rose. At Lindau Hershko delivered a succinct summary of the discovery of ubiquitin – a protein that essentially tags unwanted and defective proteins […]

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Steven Chu talks innovation, energy, climate change and awareness

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

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Former Secretary of Energy and Nobel Laureate Steven Chu gave a wide-ranging and engaging talk at Lindau about science innovation and a realistic appraisal of problems. There were two main messages in his presentation: first, that scientific innovation has often thwarted doom and gloom prognostications, and second, that an accurate recognition of the nature of […]

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Supramolecular chemistry: Moving away from synthesis and toward design

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

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The key goal of chemical science in the nineteenth and twentieth century was to understand how atoms come together to form molecules through chemical bonds. The focus was thus on understanding the covalent interactions that link atoms together, interactions that are made possible by the sharing of electrons. The theory of chemical bonding achieved its […]

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Brian and Bob’s GPCR symphony

Monday, July 1, 2013

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Brian Kobilka and Robert Lefkowitz received the 2012 Nobel Prize in chemistry for telling us how the molecular musicians in living organisms play the tune of life. Almost any molecular mechanism in our body provides an illuminating example of a superbly choreographed ballet, but Kobilka and Lefkowitz shed light on the motions of one of […]

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Lindau: A receding horizon, now within reach

Monday, July 1, 2013

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This is a post that almost did not get written. In 2009 I attended the Lindau Meeting and had a wonderful time interacting with researchers and students and partaking of choice morsels of scientific fellowship. Since then the organizers of the meeting have been kind enough to invite me every year, but each year some […]

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Unity and diversity at Lindau

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

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In the last post I described how chemistry more than many other sciences is a land of diversity. This diversity becomes especially apparent when we size up the list of Nobel Laureates who will gather at Lindau this year, especially in terms of their work which spans the fields of chemistry, physics, biology and medicine. […]

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Chemistry and diversity: Inseparable partners

Monday, June 17, 2013

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Scientists come in two flavors, unifiers and diversifiers. Unifiers try to find the common threads underlying disparate phenomena. Diversifiers try to find more disparate phenomena for the unifiers to unify. Occasionally a diversifier may wear a unifier’s hat and consolidate what he knows and sometimes a unifier may take a break from his grand goal […]

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Lost in translation

Friday, July 8, 2011

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In 1969, one of the more memorable incidents in the public advocacy of science took place. The American physicist Robert Wilson was asked to testify before Congress in support of the construction of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, known as Fermilab. For Wilson, building this huge machine had been a labor of love and nobody […]

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