Has A Blog Entry Or Tweet Led To New Discoveries?

That's an incredibly broad question I have up in my subject line, there. But it's not my own. I've paraphrased one of the questions that folks have submitted at the survey I've set up so the chemblogging panel I'm moderating can get questions from folks who won't be in Boston (or who wish to ask questions anonymously). Here's the exact question that was asked:
Are there any examples of blogging/tweeting that have directly lead to new discoveries or benefits to patients?
Chemjobber inspired me to give folks an early look at a couple of the questions I've been getting. I thought this question would be the perfect one to throw out there to the masses. While I'm sure Derek, Mike, David, and Ed will have ideas, I get the feeling readers will too.

Author: Carmen Drahl

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4 Comments

  1. Cool- didn’t read that paper when it came out. Thought I’d post a comment I got from Jean-Claude Bradley on Friendfeed (I need to get around to installing a plugin that captures those conversations)

    He wrote:
    That’s kind of a misleading question in the sense that most “discoveries” are not instantaneous but then to come into focus with incrementally added data points. The closest thing from our work that sort of maps onto that theme would be
    http://usefulchem.blogspot.com/2008/01/we-have-anti-malarial-activity.html

  2. I’d forgotten about Rzepa’s paper, despite the fact that I covered it. I couldn’t get into the blog aspect in the space of a science concentrate item, but I did appreciate that he talked about the blog interactions in the abstract and the body of the paper: “The topic of putative helium chemistry itself came to the attention of the present author under relatively novel circumstances compared with the more conventional processes of scientific discourse.” He then goes on to describe the ways the different people interacted on the two blogs involved (Rzepa’s and Bachrach’s, http://comporgchem.com/blog/). I thought it was a nice way to give credit for the discussions in what was otherwise a single-author paper.