J.J. La Clair, the controversial chemist (for background, see http://www.nature.com/news/2006/060731/full/442492c.html) in the mutton chop sideburns, gave a talk today to a packed room. It was hot, stuffy, and young in there, as he talked us, mic-less, through what he called “an approach used in a number of labs that I’ve developed, optimized and made easier to use.” As far as I could tell as a layman, the approach had to do with designing synthesis of natural products with florescent labeling and biological tests in mind. I’ll leave an evaluation of the technical content to others more synthesis (or biology)-savvy than I. I’ll just mention that his first slide talked about his Xenobe Research Institute (which is pronounced “zen-OH-bee”). His slide said that the company was working on 80 studies with academe, industry and government. He must be a pretty busy man.