Laboratory Journal – Business Web for Users in Science and Industry en Researchers Gain Control over Soft-molecule Synthesis By gaining control over shape, size and composition during synthetic molecule assembly, researchers can begin to probe how these factors influence the function of soft materials. Finding these answers could help advance virology, drug delivery development and the creation of new materials. Shape, size and composition of molecules Tue, 15 Jan 2019 20:15:00 +0000 DNA Origami Using DNA origami - DNA-based design of precise nanostructures - scientists at Karolinska Institute, Sweden, in collaboration with researchers at University of Oslo, Norway, have been able to demonstrate the most accurate distance between densely packed antigens in order to get the strongest bond to antibodies in the immune system. Tue, 15 Jan 2019 17:39:00 +0000 Velcro for Human Cells The ability of cells to adhere to each other and to their environment is the basis for multicellular life. Adhesion occurs via diverse receptors at the surface of cells that bind to specific ligands in their surroundings. Tue, 15 Jan 2019 17:30:00 +0000 Electricity-producing Bacteria Living in extreme conditions requires creative adaptations. For certain species of bacteria that exist in oxygen-deprived environments, this means finding a way to breathe that doesn’t involve oxygen. These hardy microbes, which can be found deep within mines, at the bottom of lakes, and even in the human gut, have evolved a unique form of breathing that involves excreting and pumping out electrons. In other words, these microbes can actually produce electricity. Tue, 15 Jan 2019 08:47:00 +0000 Bioinspired Nanoscale Drug Delivery Method Developed Washington State University researchers have developed a novel way to deliver drugs and therapies into cells at the nanoscale without causing toxic effects that have stymied other such efforts. The work could someday lead to more effective therapies and diagnostics for cancer and other illnesses. Fri, 11 Jan 2019 18:34:00 +0000 Chemical Synthesis of Nanotubes For the first time, researchers used benzene - a common hydrocarbon - to create a novel kind of molecular nanotube, which could lead to new nanocarbon-based semiconductor applications. Fri, 11 Jan 2019 16:52:00 +0000 New Catalyst Changes the Structure of Druglike Molecules A University of Illinois team of researchers led by chemistry professor M. Christina White has developed a new manganese-based catalyst that can change the structure of druglike molecules to make new drugs, advancing the pace and efficiency of drug development. Controlling bonds inside a molecule Fri, 11 Jan 2019 09:18:00 +0000 Chirality in “Real-time” Distinguishing between left-handed and right-handed (“chiral”) molecules is crucial in chemistry and the life sciences, and is commonly done using a method called circular dichroism. However, during biochemical reactions the chiral character of molecules may change. EPFL scientists have for the first time developed a method that uses ultrashort deep-ultraviolet pulses to accurately probe such changes in real-time in (bio)molecular systems. Fri, 11 Jan 2019 07:45:00 +0000 Saving Energy by Taking a Close Look Inside Transistors Transistors are needed wherever current flows, and they are an indispensable component of virtually all electronic switches. In the field of power electronics, transistors are used to switch large currents. However, one side-effect is that the components heat up and energy is lost as a result. One way of combating this and potentially making considerable savings is to use energy-efficient transistors. Thu, 10 Jan 2019 14:28:00 +0000 Building a Bigger Brain The human brain owes its characteristic wrinkled appearance to its outer layer, the cerebral cortex. During human evolution, the neocortex, the evolutionarily youngest part of the cerebral cortex, expanded dramatically and had to fold into wrinkles to fit inside the restricted space of the skull. The human neocortex supports advanced cognitive skills such as reasoning and language. But how did the human neocortex become so big? Tue, 08 Jan 2019 09:35:00 +0000 Seawater Turns into Freshwater Through Solar Energy According to FAO estimates, by 2025 nearly 2 billion people may not have enough drinking water to satisfy their daily needs. One of the possible solutions to this problem is desalination, namely treating seawater to make it drinkable. However, removing salt from seawater requires 10 to 1000 times more energy than traditional methods of freshwater supply, namely pumping water from rivers or wells. Tue, 08 Jan 2019 07:06:00 +0000 Green Catalysts Accelerate Production of Bio-based Plastic Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have developed and analyzed a novel catalyst for the oxidation of 5-hydroxymethyl furfural, which is crucial for generating new raw materials that replace the classic non-renewable ones used for making many plastics. Natural resources - a key topic in curretn research Mon, 07 Jan 2019 17:02:00 +0000 Engineers Create an Inhalable Form of Messenger RNA Messenger RNA, which can induce cells to produce therapeutic proteins, holds great promise for treating a variety of diseases. The biggest obstacle to this approach so far has been finding safe and efficient ways to deliver mRNA molecules to the target cells. In an advance that could lead to new treatments for lung disease, MIT researchers have now designed an inhalable form of mRNA. This aerosol could be administered directly to the lungs to help treat diseases such as cystic fibrosis, the researchers say. Sat, 05 Jan 2019 18:49:00 +0000 Food Allergies: Less Common Than Patients Think Over 10 percent of adults in the U.S. - over 26 million - are estimated to have food allergy, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open that was led by Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern University. However, researchers found that 19 percent of adults think they are currently food allergic, although their reported symptoms are inconsistent with a true food allergy, which can trigger a life-threatening reaction. Results are based on a nationally representative survey of over 40,000 adults. Fri, 04 Jan 2019 16:01:00 +0000 DNA on Auto-pilot Nature has made extravagant use of a simple molecule--DNA, the floorplan of all earthly life. Inventive researchers have used the same base-pairing properties that bond two strands of DNA into the familiar double helix to build innumerable useful structures at the nanometer scale. One such method, known as DNA origami, has yielded rich results in recent years, enabling the construction of a rapidly growing menagerie of 2- and 3-dimensional objects, with far-flung applications in material science, nanoelectronics, photonics and the biomedical arena. Fri, 04 Jan 2019 10:28:00 +0000 Programmable Self-assembled Nanostructures Biological nanostructures that grow and change shape may have an important role to play in drug-delivery systems, sensors, and other future applications. But designing nanostructures for specific settings will require control over the self-assembly process. Fri, 04 Jan 2019 10:24:00 +0000 Natural Inhibitors of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria New developments in antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) with antibiofilm properties are rapidly materializing. ABP works by inhibiting antibiotic resistant bacteria in the biofilm through nucleotide signaling molecules. Alternative Antibiotics Antimicrobial peptides and antibiofilm peptide (ABP) are new antibiotic molecules derived from microorganisms for the treatment of infections. The authors have discussed significance, limitations and trials of these antimicrobial peptides from bacteria, fungi, protozoa and yeast. Wed, 02 Jan 2019 17:29:00 +0000 Cell Death Mechanisms in Stroke and Novel Treatment This article by Dr. Emine Sekerdag et al. is published in Current Neuropharmacology, Volume 16, Issue 9, 2018 Fri, 28 Dec 2018 18:29:00 +0000 Sustainable 'plastics' are on the horizon A new Tel Aviv University study describes a process to make bioplastic polymers that don't require land or fresh water -- resources that are scarce in much of the world. The polymer is derived from microorganisms that feed on seaweed. It is biodegradable, produces zero toxic waste and recycles into organic waste. Thu, 27 Dec 2018 16:14:00 +0000 Fish Bones Yield New Tool for Tracking Coal Ash Contamination A Duke University study shows that trace elements in a fish's ear bones can be used to identify and track coal ash contamination in the waters where it lived. Thu, 27 Dec 2018 13:34:00 +0000 Beyond Einstein When stars collapse, they can create black holes, which are everywhere throughout the universe and therefore important to be studied. Black holes are mysterious objects with an outer edge called an event horizon, which traps everything including light. Einstein's theory of general relativity predicted that once an object falls inside an event horizon, it ends up at the center of the black hole called a singularity where it is completely crushed. Fri, 21 Dec 2018 10:43:00 +0000 Bacteria Rely on Classic Business Model The pneumonia causing pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa has developed a twin-track strategy to colonize its host. It generates two different cells – motile spreaders and virulent stickers. Researchers at the University of Basel’s Biozentrum have now elucidated how the germ attaches to tissue within seconds and consecutively spreads. Just like the business model: settling – growing – expanding. Thu, 20 Dec 2018 18:07:00 +0000 X Chromosome: How Genetics Becomes Egalitarian In cell biology, men and women are unequal: men have an X chromosome, while women have two. How can we get around this difference? Geneticists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, turned to some historic research dating from the 1960s to sequence skin and blood cells one by one. They observed how the second X chromosome in females gradually becomes inactive in order to avoid an overdose of genes encoded by the X. Wed, 19 Dec 2018 14:42:00 +0000 Powder could Help Cut CO2 Emissions The powder, created in the lab of Zhongwei Chen, a chemical engineering professor at Waterloo, can filter and remove CO2 at facilities powered by fossil fuels before it is released into the atmosphere and is twice as efficient as conventional methods. Wed, 19 Dec 2018 13:14:00 +0000 New RNA Sequencing Strategy Provides Insight into Microbiomes The new tools analyze transfer RNA (tRNA), a molecular Rosetta Stone that translates the genetic information encoded in DNA into proteins that perform basic biological functions. Developing a clear picture of tRNA dynamics will allow scientists to understand the activity of naturally occurring microbiomes, and study their responses to environmental changes, such as varying temperatures or changing availability of nutrients. Wed, 19 Dec 2018 13:10:00 +0000