Happy new year!! The passing 2012 admonished me for not explaining the structure in my blog to curious readers. Some words appear repeatedly in this blog; yet it was only yesterday that I realized I never told the story behind using these terms. For example, why “minding our molecules”, and why “curator”…
Here is a list of terms that define the structure of the blog, the idea behind the blog’s title, and its purpose. I promise to update this list of definitions as and when I realize the need for the same:
Our molecules MAKE our universe
Medicinal chemists work with a universe of molecules that is a subset of all the molecules possible in chemistry (refer article). This set is constantly expanding and contracting, just as the theory goes with the boundary of our universe. With the discovery of new drugs or new uses for existing drugs, new drug stars, meteors, dust or planets appear in each ‘anti-disease galaxy‘. Existing stars of each galaxy of drugs may be faded away owing to excessive toxicity or other problems such as drug resistance.
Minding our molecules – we the curator
If we were creator (here, curator) and if we had to work systematically with our universe to create, we have to first place all the cards and the cards’ cards on the table. Say, we decide to work on anticancer drugs. We need to first study the collection of all the anticancer drugs. This is a galaxy in our universe. A study of the molecules would include a study of the world that each molecule is associated with – their synthesis, administration, effects on the body, their metabolism, their end, the impact their discovery had on the disease, the economics associated with them, etc. The curator would then be someone gathering, analyzing and presenting all these stack of cards.
Paraphrasing Albert Einstein, the creator does not play dice; however, Einstein never said anything about cards… -Curator
Curators would also need to make sense of all these discrete quanta of information to throw light on the evolution of medicinal chemistry. By constantly minding the stacks of cards and their inter-galactic shuffling (for those tired brains going through this pun over pun write-up, this means one drug = star from a group of drugs for a particular disease = galaxy finding other uses = presence in other galaxies) in parallel and in sequence, we can keep track of the physiology and biochemistry of diseases and their germs. Various virtual studies such as docking studies, structure-activity relationship studies, pharmacokinetic profile studies, the various -omics, etc. are some ways of minding our molecules‘ behaviors in wet-lab experiments and nature.