The Less Known Side of the Thalidomide Story

| March 29, 2019

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You cannot fit your left glove onto your right hand, nor the right glove on the left hand, because hands and gloves possess a property called chirality; each object cannot be superimposed on its mirror image. The same is true of your feet and your shoes, and the phenomenon applies to many organic compounds –chemicals whose molecules are based on carbon atoms. Organic compounds include limonene, the chemical that gives lemons and oranges their citric taste and smell –but this means limonene only in what chemists call its R enantiomer, one of the two mirror image forms in which limonene molecules can exist. The opposite mirror image form, known as S-limonene provides a minty, pungent taste in foods that contain it. Similarly, biological catalysts known as enzymes locate and attach to building blocks of proteins, known as amino acids, drawing them close together into chains. But this works because each enzyme has a particular 3-dimensional shape that allows it to bind only to left-handed amino acids. The same enzymes will not recognize right handed amino acids, the mirror image forms of the amino acids that our cells need.

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Biochemical Diagnostics, Inc. - A Kova Internatio

Manufacturer of FDA cleared controls for in vitro diagnostic testing including Detectabuse® and Stat-Skreen® Liquid urine controls, Salivabuse® oral fluid controls and Pregnancy-Skreen controls. We also manufacture SP/E columns, hardware and reagents for drugs of abuse testing.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Southeast polyolefins demand growth could be negative again in 2021

Article | July 13, 2021

BEFORE the pandemic, GDP growth rates in the developing world were always higher than in developed economies.And because developing economies had much lower levels of petrochemicals consumption than their rich counterparts, it meant that the multiples over GDP were higher than in the rich word, where consumption was pretty much saturated. For instance, polyethylene (PE) demand in a developed country such as Germany might have grown at 0.3% times GDP whereas in Indonesia the growth could have been one or more times higher than the rate of growth in GDP.But as The Economist wrote in this 11 July article: “In 2021 the poorest countries, which are desperately short of vaccines, are forecast to grow more slowly than rich countries for only the third time in 25 years.” Might the multiples over GDP growth also be adversely affected in the developing world, trending lower than the historic norms? They will almost certainly remain higher than the rich countries. But here is the thing: as millions more people are pushed back into extreme poverty by the pandemic or are denied the opportunity to achieve middle-income status, I believe that developing-world multiples may well decline.Escaping extreme poverty means being able to, say, afford a whole bottle of shampoo for the first time rather than a single-serve sachet, thereby raising per capita polymers consumption.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Pandemic’s third wave seems unlikely to damage global petrochemicals demand

Article | July 22, 2021

Petrochemical stocks plunged worldwide on 19 July ahead of the Q2 earnings season. The declines were consistent with those in economically sensitive sectors such as steel, copper, automotive and housing,” wrote my ICIS colleague, Joseph Chang, in this Insight article.

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CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

Reimagining the Workforce with Anglo American

Article | June 21, 2021

“At Anglo-American, we’re really focused on finding the best ways to attract the most talented people in the industry and effectively equipping our existing workforce based on what they need today and what the future will mean for their careers. We’re also committed to providing learning opportunities that lead to growth and development in the communities in which we operate. Our people are a strategic advantage. We want to ensure that continues to be the case as the mining industry evolves and faces more disruption.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Energy portfolio restructuring: Charting the future

Article | June 17, 2021

Consumer needs and preferences in the energy industry are evolving. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns are becoming more acute—inspiring action and shifting value towards low-carbon solutions. These trends accelerated in 2020 and for the first time, market capitalization of leading low-carbon solutions companies began to overtake those of oil and gas (O&G) majors. This is despite the majors laying out energy transition strategies, setting low carbon energy targets and generating higher revenues by an order of magnitude.1 In response to this radically changing landscape, energy companies are charting divergent courses for their futures. Some continue to bet on their ability to generate returns from the O&G value chain. They are focusing on growing margins and lowering carbon intensity. Others are supplementing their capabilities with low-carbon energy solutions or exiting hydrocarbons altogether. This blog focuses on the path forward for the energy majors in Europe who are betting big on diversification.

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Biochemical Diagnostics, Inc. - A Kova Internatio

Manufacturer of FDA cleared controls for in vitro diagnostic testing including Detectabuse® and Stat-Skreen® Liquid urine controls, Salivabuse® oral fluid controls and Pregnancy-Skreen controls. We also manufacture SP/E columns, hardware and reagents for drugs of abuse testing.

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