February/March 2014


Compound benefits

If you asked people on the street to describe their image of chemists working on new compounds, there would likely be some common themes: lab coats, safety glasses, glassware with colourful solutions bubbling away, fume cupboards…

What they might be less likely to describe is a scientist sitting at a computer, big datasets at his or her fingertips, and images of virtual reactions on the screen. Yet, increasingly, chemical discovery involves both types of approach to research.


HPC: predictions for 2014

A year ago, this annual look at trending topics and technologies in HPC concluded that the most important issue was applications: and the tools, standards and skills required to build them. That didn’t change during 2013 and, with many technology roadmaps focused on consolidation during 2014, applications are worth a more detailed look, as are others (including processor technologies and HPC in the cloud) that will also be pertinent for HPC in 2014.


Are apps the future of informatics?

Delegates attending the SLAS2014 Conference in San Diego California from 18 to 22 January were able to download a conference app – available free from the iTunes store and Google Play – to keep them updated on the conference programme and to build their own itinerary. Many large events offer similar apps for users of smart phones or tablet computers. But one of the speakers at SLAS2014, Dr Sean Ekins from Collaborative Drug Discovery (CDD), believes that the appliance of apps to science more generally will bring ‘a third computing revolution’ to the laboratory.


Masters of multi-tasking

The pharmaceutical industry’s drive to tighten its R&D belt and outsource aspects of its drug discovery, preclinical, and clinical development has spawned a multibillion dollar, global contract research market. It’s a highly competitive environment where pharma is looking for maximum value from dwindling budgets.