Articles by Sean
Are Distributed Computing Systems Like [email protected] Becoming Redundant?
In high school, I remember connecting my overheating brick of a laptop to the school’s network and watching an animation of a protein dance across the monitor. [email protected] allowed anyone with a computer to participate in actual scientific research, a revolutionary concept at the turn of the millennium. Fast forward to 2023, and despite more people owning a computer than ever before, such distributed computing systems seem to be on the verge of redundancy. […]
The Patent System is Poorly Optimized for Medicine, Here’s Why
If you invent something new, filing a patent for it legally protects you from others who wish to steal your idea and use it as their own. These patent laws apply to any new and useful product, from large machines to tiny molecules. While such intellectual property (IP) protection is crucial for pharmaceutical companies developing novel drugs, they can also prevent patients’ access to medicines. […]
The Cool(ing) Chemistry of Computer Thermal Paste
If you’ve ever built your own PC, you would have squeezed a tube of dodgy-looking dull-colored paste to cover the CPU before placing the heat sink on top. What role does thermal paste serve, and what is the chemistry behind it? And what can we expect from the next generation of computer thermal pastes? […]
Is Open Access Really the Ideal Future for Academic Publishing?
Open access should be the exciting new frontier of academic publishing, where papers are accessible to the public completely free of charge. Yet the problems with such a system go beyond researchers paying higher publishing fees to cover the costs, with issues like predatory journals slowing the adoption of open access. This article takes you through what is wrong with the current state of academic publishing, and how we drive the change that the industry desperately needs. […]
Barbiturates—The Rise and Fall of the First Sleeping Pills
Barbiturates are a class of drugs were popular for the first half of the 20th century as sedatives and anesthetics. However, their severe risks of addiction and overdose, highlighted in high-profile cases such as Marilyn Monroe’s death from Nembutal (pentobarbital) in the 1960s, quelled its popularity as an easily accessible sleeping pill. Today, most countries treat barbiturates as controlled substances, with minimal medical use. […]
Sean is a consultant for clients in the pharmaceutical industry and is a lecturer at a local university, where unfortunate undergrads are subject to his ramblings on chemistry and pharmacology.