Saturday, July 14, 2012

ScienceDaily: Biochemistry News

ScienceDaily: Biochemistry News Read the latest research in biochemistry -- protein structure and function, RNA and DNA, enzymes and biosynthesis and more biochemistry news.en-usSat, 14 Jul 2012 13:16:38 EDTSat, 14 Jul 2012 13:16:38 EDT60ScienceDaily: Biochemistry News For more science articles, visit ScienceDaily.Advanced drug testing method detects 'spice' drugs A new method of drug testing makes it possible to detect a wider range of synthetically-produced ?designer? drugs.Thu, 12 Jul 2012 22:45:45 EDT, medically important class of proteins starts to yield its secrets New research illuminates a large and medically important family of proteins called G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).Thu, 12 Jul 2012 16:27:27 EDT resolution ever for human protein Never has a crystal structure of a human protein molecule in a cell wall been so crystal clear. Researchers have achieved the most detailed crystal structure ever of a target protein for medicines.Thu, 12 Jul 2012 14:18:18 EDT is wrong stuff for fuel cells because it wastes energy, expert says Fuel cells are inefficient because the catalyst most commonly used to convert chemical energy to electricity is made of the wrong material, a researcher argues. During the oxygen reduction reaction, intermediate molecules bond too tightly or too loosely to platinum, slowing the reaction and causing a drop in voltage.Thu, 12 Jul 2012 11:17:17 EDT molecular nanocapsules created by simple mixing 'green-environmentally friendly' metal ions and bent organic blocks New fluorescent molecular nanocapsules have potential applications as sensors, displays, and drug delivery systems (DDS).Thu, 12 Jul 2012 11:16:16 EDT technique identifies cellular 'Needle in a haystack' Rare cells can be identified within mixed cell populations with near perfect accuracy using a new detection technique. This technique may facilitate cancer diagnosis, which often relies on the detection of rare cancerous cells in tiny amounts of biopsy tissue or fluid.Wed, 11 Jul 2012 11:14:14 EDT to watts: Improving microbial fuel cells Some of the planet's tiniest inhabitants may help address two of society's biggest environmental challenges: How to deal with the vast quantities of organic waste produced and where to find clean, renewable energy. Anode respiring bacteria generate useful energy in a device known as a microbial fuel cell.Tue, 10 Jul 2012 13:31:31 EDT insights into how the most iconic reaction in organic chemistry really works The Diels-Alder reaction is the most iconic organic chemistry reaction. Scientists now report on exactly how this chemical reaction, discovered in 1928, occurs.Mon, 09 Jul 2012 15:54:54 EDT helps cells find their way by keeping their 'antennae' up A lipid that helps lotion soften the skin also helps cells find and stay in the right location in the body by ensuring they keep their "antennae" up, scientists report.Mon, 09 Jul 2012 12:16:16 EDT'Fingerprinting' nanoscale objects and viruses Scientists have found a way of effectively identifying nanoscale objects and viruses that could offer a breakthrough for biomedical diagnostics, environmental protection and nano-electronics.Mon, 09 Jul 2012 09:30:30 EDT avenue to better medicines: Metal-peptide complexes Scientists have used metal complexes to modify peptide hormones. They report for the first time on the three-dimensional structure of the resulting metal-peptide compounds. "With this work, we have laid the molecular foundation for the development of better medicines" says one of the researchers. The team examined hormones that influence the sensation of pain and tumour growth.Mon, 09 Jul 2012 09:25:25 EDT iron interacts as strong as solid iron Scientists have applied a new method -- "inverse Partial Fluorescence Yield" (iPFY) on micro-jets -- which will enable them to probe the electronic structure of liquids free of sample damages. The experiments are performed in vacuum conditions at the LiXEdrom experimental chamber, where a fluid stream of micrometer diameter is moving freely through vacuum and is continuously irradiated with X-ray radiation.Fri, 06 Jul 2012 16:42:42 EDT direct evidence that elemental fluorine occurs in nature Fluorine is the most reactive chemical element. Until now the accepted scientific doctrine was, that therefore it cannot exist in nature in its elemental form. A team of chemists has now, for the first time, successfully identified natural elemental fluorine in a special fluorite, the "fetid fluorite" or "antozonite."Thu, 05 Jul 2012 17:20:20 EDT vision: Muscle-like action allows camera to mimic eye movement Using piezoelectric materials, researchers have replicated the muscle motion of the human eye to control camera systems in a way designed to improve the operation of robots. This new muscle-like action could help make robotic tools safer and more effective for MRI-guided surgery and robotic rehabilitation.Thu, 05 Jul 2012 14:44:44 EDT, electrically conductive gel with unprecedented electrical performance synthesized Researchers have invented an electrically conductive gel that is quick and easy to make, can be patterned onto surfaces with an inkjet printer and demonstrates unprecedented electrical performance.Wed, 04 Jul 2012 18:25:25 EDT carbonate templates for drug delivery The fast and targeted delivery of drugs could soon be made easier. Microcontainers for medical substances can be produced in different sizes using calcium carbonate microspheres as templates, new research shows.Wed, 04 Jul 2012 12:40:40 EDT plant protein converted into drug-delivery vehicles Finding biocompatible carriers that can get drugs to their targets in the body involves significant challenges. Researchers have now shown a new approach for making vesicles and fine-tuning their shapes. By starting with a protein that is found in sunflower seeds, they used genetic engineering to make a variety of protein molecules that assemble into vesicles and other useful structures.Tue, 03 Jul 2012 20:05:05 EDT inspire better X-rays: Nanostructures modeled like moth eyes may boost medical imaging Using the compound eyes of the humble moth as their inspiration, physicists have developed new nanoscale materials that could someday reduce the radiation dosages received by patients getting X-rayed, while improving the resolution of the resulting images.Tue, 03 Jul 2012 16:26:26 EDT Unlock Some Key Secrets of Photosynthesis New research is seeking to detail the individual steps of highly efficient reactions that convert sunlight into chemical energy within plants and bacteria.Mon, 02 Jul 2012 19:24:24 EDT'Trophy molecule' breakthrough may result in cleaner, cooler nuclear energy Experts have created a stable version of a ?trophy molecule? that has eluded scientists for decades. They have prepared a terminal uranium nitride compound which is stable at room temperature and can be stored in jars in crystallized or powder form. The breakthrough could have future implications for the nuclear energy industry ? uranium nitride materials may potentially offer a viable alternative to the current mixed oxide nuclear fuels used in reactors since nitrides exhibit superior high densities, melting points, and thermal conductivities and the process the scientists used to make the compound could offer a cleaner, low temperature route than methods currently used.Mon, 02 Jul 2012 13:35:35 EDT by nature: Paints and coatings containing bactericidal agent nanoparticles combat marine fouling Scientists have discovered that tiny vanadium pentoxide nanoparticles can inhibit the growth of barnacles, bacteria, and algae on surfaces in contact with water, such as ship hulls, sea buoys, or offshore platforms. Their experiments showed that steel plates to which a coating containing dispersed vanadium pentoxide particles had been applied could be exposed to seawater for weeks without the formation of deposits of barnacles, bacteria, and algae.Mon, 02 Jul 2012 13:35:35 EDT living tissues: 3-D printed vascular networks made of sugar New advances in tissue engineering could one day make a replacement liver from a patient's cells, or animal muscle tissue that could be cut into steaks. One problem with making 3-D tissue structures, however, is keeping the interior cells from suffocating. Now, researchers have developed an innovative solution: they've shown that 3-D printed templates of filament networks can be used to rapidly create vasculature and improve the function of engineered living tissues.Sun, 01 Jul 2012 19:16:16 EDT microscopy method visualizes E. coli sub-cellular structure in 3-D A sub-cellular world has been opened up for scientists to study E. coli and other tissues in new ways, thanks to a microscopy method that stealthily provides 3-D, high-quality images of the internal structure of cells without disturbing the specimen.Fri, 29 Jun 2012 14:26:26 EDT DNA scissors found for bacterial immune system Scientists have discovered a programmable RNA complex in the bacterial immune system that guides the cleaving of DNA at targeted sites. This discovery opens a new door to genome editing with implications for the green chemistry microbial-based production of advanced biofuels, therapeutic drugs and other valuable chemical products.Thu, 28 Jun 2012 19:30:30 EDT on fungi helps explain coal formation and may advance future biofuels production The evolution of white rot fungi might have helped bring an end to the geologic period characterized by the formation of large coal deposits, and may help lay the groundwork for the future production of biofuels.Thu, 28 Jun 2012 18:17:17 EDT an ancestral fungus may have influenced coal formation The fossilized remains of plants that lived from around 360 to 300 million years ago, coal generated nearly half of the roughly four trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity consumed in the United States in 2010. An international team of scientists proposes that the evolution of fungi capable of breaking down the polymer lignin in plants may have played a key role in ending the development of coal deposits, contributing to the end of the Carboniferous period.Thu, 28 Jun 2012 18:17:17 EDT Stripping gold from AFM probes allows better measurement of picoscale forces Researchers found that removing an AFM probe's gold coating -- until now considered helpful -- greatly improved force measurements performed in a liquid, the medium favored for biophysical studies such as stretching DNA or unfolding proteins.Thu, 28 Jun 2012 16:46:46 EDT re-wired: Chemists use nanowires to power photosynthesis-like process Chemists have developed a process that closely resembles photosynthesis and proved capable of synthesizing compounds found in the pain-killers ibuprofen and naproxen.Thu, 28 Jun 2012 14:57:57 EDT tweezers capture and manipulate tiny creatures with ultrasound Bioengineers and biochemists are using a miniaturized ultrasound device to capture and manipulate biological materials, such as the tiny roundworm, C. elegans.Thu, 28 Jun 2012 14:55:55 EDT delve into airborne particulates Scientists have peered into the makeup of complex airborne particulate matter so small that it can be transported into human lungs -- usually without a trace.Wed, 27 Jun 2012 13:21:21 EDT measure soot particles in flight For the first time, air-polluting soot particles have been imaged in flight down to nanometer resolution. Pioneering a new technique scientists snapped the most detailed images yet of airborne aerosols.Wed, 27 Jun 2012 13:20:20 EDT way to make new drug compounds Scientists have developed a powerful new technique for manipulating the building-block molecules of organic chemistry. The technique enables chemists to add new functional molecules to previously hard-to-reach positions on existing compounds?making it easier for them to generate new drugs and other organic chemicals.Wed, 27 Jun 2012 13:19:19 EDT step toward minute factories that produce medicine inside the body Scientists are reporting an advance toward treating disease with minute capsules containing not drugs -- but the DNA and other biological machinery for making the drug. They describe engineering micro- and nano-sized capsules that contain the genetically coded instructions, plus the read-out gear and assembly line for protein synthesis that can be switched on with an external signal.Wed, 27 Jun 2012 10:33:33 EDT technique controls crystalline structure of titanium dioxide Researchers have developed a new technique for controlling the crystalline structure of titanium dioxide at room temperature. The development should make titanium dioxide more efficient in a range of applications, including photovoltaic cells, hydrogen production, antimicrobial coatings, smart sensors and optical communication technologies.Wed, 27 Jun 2012 10:33:33 EDT at last: A pure phosphorus cation Ever since Hennig Brand's discovery in 1669, elementary phosphorus has fascinated chemists around the world. It is industrially produced by the ton and its compounds have numerous applications in materials science and the life sciences. The main known forms of the element are white, red, and black phosphorus. Chemists have now succeeded in creating a positively charged pure phosphorus compound.Wed, 27 Jun 2012 09:20:20 EDT inside tissue for no-cut surgeries: Researchers develop technique to focus light inside biological tissue Imagine if doctors could perform surgery without ever having to cut through your skin. Or if they could diagnose cancer by seeing tumors inside the body with a procedure that is as simple as an ultrasound. Thanks to a new technique, all of that may be possible in the not-so-distant future.Tue, 26 Jun 2012 11:43:43 EDT switch paves way for improved biofuel production A mechanism that controls the way organisms breathe or photosynthesize has been discovered by scientists. The research could pave the way for improved biofuel production.Mon, 25 Jun 2012 16:04:04 EDT technique slims down solar cells, improves efficiency Researchers have found a way to create much slimmer thin-film solar cells without sacrificing the cells' ability to absorb solar energy. Making the cells thinner should significantly decrease manufacturing costs for the technology.Mon, 25 Jun 2012 12:58:58 EDT up bone growth by manipulating stem cells Differentiation of stem cells into bone nodules is greatly accelerated by nanomolecular scaffolds.Mon, 25 Jun 2012 10:09:09 EDT technique allows simulation of noncrystalline materials Scientists have found a new mathematical approach to simulating the electronic behavior of noncrystalline materials, which may eventually play an important part in new devices including solar cells, organic LED lights and printable, flexible electronic circuits.Sat, 23 Jun 2012 09:43:43 EDT 'sensor' may shut down DNA transcription A key component found in an ancient anaerobic microorganism may serve as a sensor to detect potentially fatal oxygen, researchers have found. This helps researchers learn more about the function of these components, called iron-sulfur clusters, which occur in different parts of cells in all living creatures.Tue, 19 Jun 2012 09:29:29 EDT use nanopores to detect DNA damage Scientists are racing to sequence DNA faster and cheaper than ever by passing strands of the genetic material through molecule-sized pores. Now, scientists have adapted this ?nanopore? method to find DNA damage that can lead to mutations and disease.Mon, 18 Jun 2012 15:34:34 EDT is key for getting algae to pump out more oil Overturning two long-held misconceptions about oil production in algae, scientists show that ramping up the microbes' overall metabolism by feeding them more carbon increases oil production as the organisms continue to grow. The findings may point to new ways to turn photosynthetic green algae into tiny "green factories" for producing raw materials for alternative fuels.Mon, 18 Jun 2012 11:18:18 EDT liquid improves speed and efficiency of hydrogen-producing catalyst The design of a nature-inspired material that can make energy-storing hydrogen gas has gone holistic. Usually, tweaking the design of this particular catalyst -- a work in progress for cheaper, better fuel cells -- results in either faster or more energy efficient production but not both. Now, researchers have found a condition that creates hydrogen faster without a loss in efficiency.Sat, 16 Jun 2012 14:55:55 EDT hold promise to improve blood cancer treatment Researchers have engineered nanoparticles that show great promise for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM), an incurable cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow.Fri, 15 Jun 2012 20:47:47 EDT high-tech medical scanners A powerful color-based imaging technique is making the jump from remote sensing to the operating room. Scientists are working to ensure it performs as well when spotting cancer cells in the body as it does with oil spills in the ocean.Wed, 13 Jun 2012 15:33:33 EDT synthesize first genetically evolved semiconductor material In the not-too-distant future, scientists may be able to use DNA to grow their own specialized materials, thanks to the concept of directed evolution. Scientists have, for the first time, used genetic engineering and molecular evolution to develop the enzymatic synthesis of a semiconductor.Wed, 13 Jun 2012 13:33:33 EDT energy source for future medical implants: Sugar An implantable fuel cell could power neural prosthetics that help patients regain control of limbs. Engineers have developed a fuel cell that runs on the same sugar that powers human cells: glucose. This glucose fuel cell could be used to drive highly efficient brain implants of the future, which could help paralyzed patients move their arms and legs again.Wed, 13 Jun 2012 13:31:31 EDT mighty creature of the ocean inspires strong new material for medical implants and armour A scientist may be onto an ocean of discovery because of his research into a little sea creature called the mantis shrimp. The research is likely to lead to making ceramics -- today's preferred material for medical implants and military body armour -- many times stronger. The mantis shrimp's can shatter aquarium glass and crab shells alike.Wed, 13 Jun 2012 10:21:21 EDT residues kiss, don't tell: Genomes reveal contacts, scientists refine methods for protein-folding prediction Researchers have created a computational tool to help predict how proteins fold by finding amino acid pairs that are distant in sequence but change together. Protein interactions offer clues to the treatment of disease, including cancer.Tue, 12 Jun 2012 14:51:51 EDT carbon capture role for new CO2-absorbing material A novel porous material that has unique carbon dioxide retention properties has just been developed.Tue, 12 Jun 2012 10:14:14 EDT behind promising inexpensive catalyst revealed A newly developed carbon nanotube material could help lower the cost of fuel cells, catalytic converters and similar energy-related technologies by delivering a substitute for expensive platinum catalysts.Mon, 11 Jun 2012 19:36:36 EDT in polluted air, smoke & nanotechnology products have serious impact on health New groundbreaking research has found that exposure to nanoparticles can have a serious impact on health, linking it to rheumatoid arthritis and the development of other serious autoimmune diseases. The findings have health and safety implications for the manufacture, use and ultimate disposal of nanotechnology products and materials. They also identified new cellular targets for the development of potential drug therapies in combating the development of autoimmune diseases.Mon, 11 Jun 2012 10:53:53 EDT SMART(er) way to track influenza Researchers have created a reliable and fast flu-detection test that can be carried in a first-aid kit. The novel prototype device isolates influenza RNA using a combination of magnetics and microfluidics, then amplifies and detects probes bound to the RNA. The technology could lead to real-time tracking of influenza.Mon, 11 Jun 2012 09:23:23 EDT watch tiny living machines self-assemble Enabling bioengineers to design new molecular machines for nanotechnology applications is one of the possible outcomes of a new study. Scientists have developed a new approach to visualize how proteins assemble, which may also significantly aid our understanding of diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, which are caused by errors in assembly.Sun, 10 Jun 2012 15:13:13 EDT A new way of looking at photosystem II Using ultrafast, intensely bright pulses of X-rays scientists have obtained the first ever images at room temperature of photosystem II, a protein complex critical for photosynthesis and future artificial photosynthetic systems.Wed, 06 Jun 2012 15:58:58 EDT million billion billion billion billion billion billion: Number of undiscovered drugs A new voyage into "chemical space" ? occupied not by stars and planets but substances that could become useful in everyday life ? has concluded that scientists have synthesized barely one tenth of one percent of potential medicines. The report estimates that the actual number of these so-called "small molecules" could be one novemdecillion (that's one with 60 zeroes), more than some estimates of the number of stars in the universe.Wed, 06 Jun 2012 13:23:23 EDT bonding helps design new drugs Halogens particularly chlorine, bromine, and iodine ? have a unique quality which allows them to positively influence the interaction between molecules. This ?halogen bonding? has been employed in the area of materials science for some time, but is only now finding applications in the life sciences.Tue, 05 Jun 2012 12:16:16 EDT, more sensitive photodetector created by tricking graphene Researchers have developed a highly sensitive detector of infrared light that can be used in applications ranging from detection of chemical and biochemical weapons from a distance and better airport body scanners to chemical analysis in the laboratory and studying the structure of the universe through new telescopes.Tue, 05 Jun 2012 10:28:28 EDT life in the fast lane A new microscope enabled scientists to film a fruit fly embryo, in 3D, from when it was about two-and-a-half hours old until it walked away from the microscope as a larva.Mon, 04 Jun 2012 09:28:28 EDT


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