Laboratory Journal – Business Web for Users in Science and Industry en New Insights into Sun-induced DNA Damage and Cell Repair A team led by a Baylor University researcher has published a breakthrough article that provides a better understanding of the dynamic process by which sunlight-induced DNA damage is recognized by the molecular repair machinery in cells as needing repair. Mon, 15 Jul 2019 16:00:00 +0000 Identification of Microplastics in Environmental Samples Determining microplastics (MP) in environmental samples quickly and reliably is a challenging task. With a largely automated combination of optical particle analysis with FTIR and Raman microscopy and spectral database search, particle sizes, particle size distributions and the type of polymer including color particles can be determined. Mon, 15 Jul 2019 05:01:00 +0000 Boosting Super-Resolution by Mirror-Enhanced dSTORM Mirror-enhanced stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (meSTORM) maximizes precision and signal-to-noise ratio in single molecule localization microscopy (SMLM): A coating on the microscopy glass cover slip creates a “mirror effect” [1]. The key for enhancement is a metal-dielectric nanocoating that acts as a tuned mirror for emitters in the vicinity. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Which Image Is the Sharpest of them All? Fri, 12 Jul 2019 05:33:00 +0000 Giving Nanowires a DNA-like Twist We see crystals all around us: snowflakes, ice cubes, table salt, gemstones, to name a few. Invisible to the naked eye, but of special interest to scientists, are crystalline "nanowires" - wires with a diameter of a mere few nanometers and a typical length of a micrometer. Normally in a rod-like shape, these wires are an interesting area of worldwide research because of their many potential applications, including semiconductors and miniaturized optical and optoelectronic devices. Thu, 11 Jul 2019 11:37:00 +0000 Successful T Cell Engineering with Gene Scissors The idea of genetically modifying a patient’s own immune cells and deploying them against infections and tumors has been around since the 1980s. But to this day modified T cells are still not as effective as natural T cells and have been only been of limited clinical value. Using the new CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tool, a team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now engineered T cells that are very similar to physiological immune cells. Thu, 11 Jul 2019 10:07:00 +0000 Yeast Research Motivated by Environmental Protection Ever since she started working on her doctorate, Elke Nevoigt has been studying yeasts. They are robust, easy to handle, and versatile: “simply a wonderful organism for laboratory research,” the scientist enthuses. Her working group at Jacobs University is playing an international leading role in yeast research. Thu, 11 Jul 2019 10:04:00 +0000 Palladium Catalyzed Amination of Aryl Chlorides Arylamines are important building blocks in many pharmaceuticals, natural products, agrochemicals and organic materials. In recent years, the palladium catalyzed C-N cross-coupling reaction (Buchwald-Hartwig amination) has become one of the most important synthetic method for their preparation. This development is mainly due to the improvements in the activity of the catalysts, which led to continuous improvements of the synthetic protocols. Tue, 09 Jul 2019 05:37:00 +0000 Storing Digital Images in Metabolite Molecules DNA molecules are well known as carriers of huge amounts of biological information, and there is growing interest in using DNA in engineered data storage devices that can hold vastly more data than our current hard drives. But new research shows that DNA isn’t the only game in town when it comes to molecular data storage. Mon, 08 Jul 2019 18:23:00 +0000 X-rays Reveal Monolayer Phase in Organic Semiconductor A team of researchers from Russia, Germany, and France featuring materials scientists from the Moscow Institute of Science and Technology has investigated how the electrical properties of dihexyl-quarterthiophene thin films depend on their structure. This material is an organic semiconductor with prospects for flexible electronics. It turned out that once the thin films undergo a transition from the crystal to the liquid-crystal state, they lose some of their electrical conductivity. Mon, 08 Jul 2019 17:37:00 +0000 Molecular Electronics The concept of single-molecule electronics – the use of individual organic molecules as active elements in electrical circuits – strongly roots in the inspirational theoretical contribution by Aviram and Ratner where a molecular diode was proposed [1]. We describe here recent experimental progress showing how an organometallic chain can be assembled molecule by molecule between metallic electrodes. Wed, 03 Jul 2019 05:45:00 +0000 Webinar: Single Cell Injection, Deposition and Aspiration One of the challenges in single cell biology is to address and manipulate single cells locally while being able to monitor their reaction after the manipulation. Tue, 02 Jul 2019 07:18:00 +0000 Hunting Gut Microbiota Metabolites Recent metagenomic studies have revealed the impact of dysregulated gut microbiota on human physiology and disease development. The fact that an altered gut microbiota composition is linked to non-bowel diseases can be explained through metabolic interaction of these microbes with their human host. Metabolomics is the method of choice to elucidate this metabolic interaction and new methods are required for selective investigation of this complex co-metabolism. Metabolomics Techniques for Microbiota Metabolism Analysis in Human Samples Fri, 28 Jun 2019 07:49:00 +0000 Coupling Methods in Mass Spectrometry Until the 1990s, the coupling of “mass-selective detectors” with separation techniques was limited to gas chromatographs. Since then, the development of new ionization techniques has greatly extended the coupling possibilities to all other common separation techniques. Coupling methods in mass spectrometry have become indispensable in chemical, environmental, food, pharmaceutical and bioanalytical applications.   Why Coupling Separation Techniques and Mass Spectrometry? Thu, 27 Jun 2019 05:12:00 +0000 A Water Repellent 'Nanoflower' for Biomedical Applications Plant leaves have a natural superpower — they’re designed with water repelling characteristics. Called a superhydrophobic surface, this trait allows leaves to cleanse themselves from dust particles. Inspired by such natural designs, a team of researchers at Texas A&M University has developed an innovative way to control the hydrophobicity of a surface to benefit to the biomedical field. Thu, 27 Jun 2019 05:11:00 +0000 Translating Proteins into Music, and Back Want to create a brand new type of protein that might have useful properties? No problem. Just hum a few bars. In a surprising marriage of science and art, researchers at MIT have developed a system for converting the molecular structures of proteins, the basic building blocks of all living beings, into audible sound that resembles musical passages. Then, reversing the process, they can introduce some variations into the music and convert it back into new proteins never before seen in nature. Wed, 26 Jun 2019 11:32:00 +0000 Symbiotic Upcycling: Turning “Low Value” Compounds into Biomass Kentron, a bacterial symbiont of ciliates, turns cellular waste products into biomass. It is the first known sulfur-oxidizing symbiont to be entirely heterotrophic. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology now report about this unexpected bacterium that turns waste into food. Tue, 25 Jun 2019 13:08:00 +0000 New Therapy Promotes Vascular Repair Following Stroke Following a stroke, antibodies that inhibit the signaling molecule Nogo-A can help repair blood vessels in the affected brain regions. This also promotes the regaining of motor functions, researchers at the University of Zurich have shown in a mouse model. The study opens up new avenues for treatment. Tue, 25 Jun 2019 05:17:00 +0000 Efficiently Producing Fatty Acids and Biofuels from Glucose Researchers have presented a new strategy for efficiently producing fatty acids and biofuels that can transform glucose and oleaginous microorganisms into microbial diesel fuel, with one-step direct fermentative production. The newly developed strain, created by Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee and his team, showed the highest efficiency in producing fatty acids and biodiesels ever reported. Wed, 19 Jun 2019 12:38:00 +0000 Uncovering Hidden Protein Structures Combining research-oriented teaching and interdisciplinary collaboration pays off: Researchers at the University of Konstanz develop a novel spectroscopic approach to investigate hitherto difficult-to-observe protein structures. On “”, the online magazine of the University of Konstanz, we report on the new approach and its origin at the interface between chemistry and biology. Wed, 19 Jun 2019 03:52:00 +0000 A New Force for Optical Tweezers Awakens When studying biological cells using optical tweezers, one main issue is the damage caused to the cell by the tool. Giovanni Volpe, University of Gothenburg, has discovered a new type of force that will greatly reduce the amount of light used by optical tweezers - and improve the study of all kinds of cells and particles. Tue, 18 Jun 2019 14:10:00 +0000 The Hidden Structure of the Periodic System The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to Dmitri Mendeleev and Lothar Meyer and the approaches of other chemists to organize the elements, involve different forms of representation of a hidden structure of the chemical elements. Tue, 18 Jun 2019 06:06:00 +0000 A Rapid, Easy-to-use DNA Amplification Method at 37°C Scientists in Japan have developed a way of amplifying DNA on a scale suitable for use in the emerging fields of DNA-based computing and molecular robotics. By enabling highly sensitive nucleic acid detection, their method could improve disease diagnostics and accelerate the development of biosensors, for example, for food and environmental applications. Fri, 14 Jun 2019 14:40:00 +0000 Immortal Quantum Particles Decay is relentless in the macroscopic world: broken objects do not fit themselves back together again. However, other laws are valid in the quantum world: new research shows that so-called quasiparticles can decay and reorganize themselves again and are thus become virtually immortal. These are good prospects for the development of durable data memories. Fri, 14 Jun 2019 14:22:00 +0000 Construction Kit for Custom-designed Products Microorganisms often assemble natural products similar to product assembly lines. Certain enzymes, non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS), play a key role in this process. Biotechnologists at Goethe University have now succeeded in changing these enzymes so that entirely new natural products, or even libraries of natural products, can be produced by microorganisms. Manufacturing process of biologics Wed, 12 Jun 2019 09:59:00 +0000 Fibrinogens Role in Regulating the Body's Response to Disease A finding from University of Alberta researchers is shining new light on the role fibrinogen has in regulating a natural defence mechanism in the body. The discovery is hoped to contribute to improved diagnosis and treatments for patients in a variety of diseases ranging from inflammation, to heart failure, to cancer. Several functions of fibrinogen Wed, 12 Jun 2019 06:53:00 +0000