Invest in IT support for research!

Friday, October 30th, 2009 by hinrich

Research relies more and more on the use of computers. We work on ways that deal with the ever increasing amounts of data that our new research tools generate. What data to store? How to process them? How to find the interesting bits? We need to find ways to convert the results of such analyses into knowledge. The list goes on... Most will agree that this is challenging but we will need to tackle it.

Contrast the above with the desire to save money where possible - especially in economically difficult times or to increase shareholder value / be sensible with tax payer money. It is understandable that from a financial point of view people see potential cost savings in the IT area. Why not (1) simplify, minimize and standardize as much as possible the use of hardware and software and then (2) outsource?

Companies and institutions who will resist cost cuttings in the IT support of research and rather invest in optimal support and flexibility will provide the best environment for future generations of new research tools and approaches. Those will be the ones with a competitive advantage.

Posted in Science

Little effect of TMC207/R207910 in the Loebel model

Friday, October 16th, 2009 by hinrich

Structure of TMC207/R207910

Martin Gengenbacher et al. of the Novartis Institute For Tropical Diseases have recently published an article about observations they have made on Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria that were cultivated under nutrient deprivation in oxygen-rich medium (Loebel model).

The authors were surprised to see that Mycobacterium tuberculosis cultivated under these conditions were not affected by TMC207/R207910. As the compound is inhibiting the ATP synthase it is puzzling that viability was not affected and the intracellular levels of ATP were only slightly reduced.

While it is disappointing to see limited efficacy of TMC207/R207910 in the Loebel model, the authors of the paper do conclude that ATP level reduction might be an important step in the adaptation of M. tuberculosis to non-growing survival. We will need to look closely at the observations in this paper especially regarding the work that we are doing with TMC207/R207910 in the context of dormant Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Please read the article for more detailed information. The abstract can be found here.

Posted in Tuberculosis