If there is one thing that is consistent in this world, it is change. We may be fooled into a sense of constancy by the apparently stationary nature of Earth’s geological make-up, or the habitual motion of celestial bodies – but warp the lens of time a little and a maelstrom of transformation is revealed.
Despite this, it is one of the rules of the universe that energy is conserved – however violent or casual the change, the energy balance sheet must always add-up. Subatomic particles can pop and fizz in and out of existence just as stars can form and collapse – as long as the energetic books are balanced then it can happen.
With this in mind we have embraced the notion of change and put in place a new look for Laboratory News. As pompous as it may seem, I hope that in some way the changes you see in the magazine shadow the nature of the universe – we have tinkered with the look, yet the quality of the content remains constantly high. I hope we have got the balance of our own change equation right – please do let me know your thoughts and feedback.
In this issue we also explore another focus of change. With drug pipelines running dry and patents coming to an end the drug discovery model of the big pharmaceutical companies must surely change. And where better to look for help than nature herself – on p24 we look at a very promising set of natural molecules that could prove to be excellent tools for the drug discovery community. Venoms. We visited the UK’s only commercial venom lab to find out what life is like dealing with some of the world’s deadliest animals, and we even managed to hold our nerve long enough to make a video of the experience. Please do have a look at the result on labnews.co.uk.