Tripos Discovery Informatics helps pharmaceutical companies and research facilities around the world successfully accelerate the identification and optimisation of new compounds that have the potential to become drug products. Tripos Discovery Informatics was originally founded in 1979 based on work done in Garland Marshall’s lab at Washington University in St Louis.
Tuvalu, a group of islands in the Pacific and the second-smallest country in the world, may no longer exist by the end of this century. With virtually no industry and no cars, it produces less carbon pollution than a small American town. Yet a 50cm rise in sea level would almost completely destroy it, displacing 11,000 citizens, along with thousands of other inhabitants from low-lying islands such as the Maldives and Kiribati.
Pet owners in North America have had a worrying few months. Cats and dogs have been mysteriously falling ill and dying after eating hearty meals of their cat or dog food. The sudden deaths, mostly from kidney failure, of these pets have resulted in millions of cans and pouches of pet food being recalled.
Commentators often quote, out of context, the same lines from the poet T S Eliot to illustrate the dilemma of a pharmaceutical industry that is still finding it difficult to pick useful molecules out of the deluge of genetic and other information available: ‘Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?’
Historically, knowledge and skills start in the hands of an elite few and gradually disperse outward through the population at large. There was a time when the process took centuries or millennia to unfold; nowadays it usually occurs in only years. Multiplication and division, for long stretches of relatively recent history, were university graduate skills and the computation of square roots only for the cognoscenti. The rate of progress is technology dependent and socially directed.
Suppliers of supercomputers are looking for scientists and engineers as customers, and offering them an array of products at cheap prices.
Some people claim that the discoveries made by scientists contribute to the destruction of the natural environment. Professor Louis Gross at the University of Tennessee shows that the case can equally be made for the opposite. He is a mathematical ecologist, applying advanced mathematics to the problems of managing the natural environment to maximise the benefits to the whole natural system. The pressures of human life have an effect on the rest of nature and by understanding how the relationships work, everyone and everything might get some of what they want.