Monday, 18 June 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, 16 Jun 2012 12:05:01 EDTSat, 16 Jun 2012 12:05:01 EDT60ScienceDaily: Biochemistry News For more science articles, visit ScienceDaily.Improving 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 the genetic alphabet may be easier than previously thought A new study suggests that the replication process for DNA -- the genetic instructions for living organisms that is composed of four bases (C, G, A and T) -- is more open to unnatural letters than had previously been thought. An expanded "DNA alphabet" could carry more information than natural DNA, potentially coding for a much wider range of molecules and enabling a variety of powerful applications, from precise molecular probes and nanomachines to useful new life forms.Sun, 03 Jun 2012 19:17:17 EDT breakthrough could dramatically improve medical tests A laboratory test used to detect disease and perform biological research could be made more than 3 million times more sensitive, according to researchers who combined standard biological tools with a breakthrough in nanotechnology.Thu, 31 May 2012 16:57:57 EDT laser probes biomolecules to individual atoms Scientists have demonstrated how the world's most powerful X-ray laser can assist in cracking the structures of biomolecules, and in the processes helped to pioneer critical new investigative avenues in biology.Thu, 31 May 2012 14:57:57 EDT molecular 'cages' to fight disease Biochemists have designed specialized proteins that assemble themselves to form tiny molecular cages hundreds of times smaller than a single cell. The creation of these miniature structures may be the first step toward developing new methods of drug delivery or even designing artificial vaccines.Thu, 31 May 2012 14:57:57 EDT lasers reveal detailed architecture of proteins Ultrashort flashes of X-radiation allow atomic structures of macromolecules to be obtained even from tiny protein crystals.Thu, 31 May 2012 14:56:56 EDT DNA to understand what it says Our ability to "read" DNA has made tremendous progress in the past few decades, but the ability to understand and alter the genetic code, that is, to "rewrite" the DNA-encoded instructions, has lagged behind. A new study advances our understanding of the genetic code: It proposes a way of effectively introducing numerous carefully planned DNA segments into genomes of living cells and of testing the effects of these changes. New technology speeds up DNA "rewriting" and measures the effects of the changes in living cells.Thu, 31 May 2012 10:22:22 EDT manufacturing strategy using DNA 'Building blocks' Researchers have developed a method for building complex nanostructures out of interlocking DNA "building blocks" that can be programmed to assemble themselves into precisely designed shapes. With further development, the technology could one day enable the creation of new nanoscale devices that deliver drugs directly to disease sites.Wed, 30 May 2012 15:22:22 EDT may make diagnosis of leukemia and HIV faster, cheaper Inexpensive, portable devices that can rapidly screen cells for leukemia or HIV may soon be possible thanks to a chip that can produce three-dimensional focusing of a stream of cells, according to researchers.Wed, 30 May 2012 10:40:40 EDT computers? Scientists train cells to perform boolean functions Scientists have engineered cells that behave like AND and OR Boolean logic gates, producing an output based on one or more unique inputs. This feat could eventually help researchers create computers that use cells as tiny circuits.Wed, 30 May 2012 10:00:00 EDT electronic chip to control muscles: Entirely new circuit technology based on ions and molecules An integrated chemical chip has just been developed. An advantage of chemical circuits is that the charge carrier consists of chemical substances with various functions. This means that we now have new opportunities to control and regulate the signal paths of cells in the human body. The chemical chip can control the delivery of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This enables chemical control of muscles, which are activated when they come into contact with acetylcholine.Tue, 29 May 2012 11:35:35 EDT for building artificial tissue devised Physicists have developed a method that models biological cell-to-cell adhesion that could also have industrial applications.Mon, 28 May 2012 15:48:48 EDT possible five-ringed structure made: 'Olympicene' molecule built using clever synthetic organic chemistry Scientists have created and imaged the smallest possible five-ringed structure -- about 100,000 times thinner than a human hair. Dubbed 'olympicene', the single molecule was brought to life in a picture thanks to a combination of clever synthetic chemistry and state-of-the-art imaging techniques.Mon, 28 May 2012 10:02:02 EDT'Unzipped' carbon nanotubes could help energize fuel cells and batteries Multi-walled carbon nanotubes riddled with defects and impurities on the outside could replace some of the expensive platinum catalysts used in fuel cells and metal-air batteries, according to scientists.Sun, 27 May 2012 15:38:38 EDT tests could detect diseases earlier Scientists have developed an ultra-sensitive test that should enable them to detect signs of a disease in its earliest stages.Sun, 27 May 2012 15:37:37 EDT transport pods look like a molecular version of robots from Transformers Images of the cell's transport pods have revealed a molecular version of the robots from Transformers. Previously, scientists had been able to create and determine the structure of 'cages' formed by parts of the protein coats that encase other types of vesicles, but this study was the first to obtain high-resolution images of complete vesicles, budded from a membrane.Fri, 25 May 2012 10:36:36 EDT data may hold the key to a sharper view of molecules There's nothing like a new pair of eyeglasses to bring fine details into sharp relief. For scientists who study the large molecules of life from proteins to DNA, the equivalent of new lenses have come in the form of an advanced method for analyzing data from X-ray crystallography experiments.Thu, 24 May 2012 14:35:35 EDT modified nanoparticle opens window on future gene editing technologies Researchers are using nanoparticles to simultaneously deliver proteins and DNA into plant cells. The technology could allow more sophisticated and targeted editing of plant genomes. And that could help researchers develop crops that adapt to changing climates and resist pests.Thu, 24 May 2012 12:32:32 EDT quantum effect discovered in earliest stages of photosynthesis Quantum physics and plant biology seem like two branches of science that could not be more different, but surprisingly they may in fact be intimately tied. Scientists have discovered an unusual quantum effect in the earliest stages of photosynthesis.Thu, 24 May 2012 09:29:29 EDT step toward quantum computing: Efficient and tunable interface for quantum networks Quantum computers may someday revolutionize the information world. But in order for quantum computers at distant locations to communicate with one another, they have to be linked together in a network. While several building blocks for a quantum computer have already been successfully tested in the laboratory, a network requires one additonal component: A reliable interface between computers and information channels. Austrian physicists now report the construction of an efficient and tunable interface for quantum networks.Wed, 23 May 2012 13:55:55 EDT DNA sequencing may soon be routine part of each patient's medical record Rapid DNA sequencing may soon become a routine part of each individual's medical record, providing enormous information previously sequestered in the human genome's 3 billion nucleotide bases. Recent advances in sequencing technology using a tiny orifice known as a nanopore are covered in a new a article.Tue, 22 May 2012 15:26:26 EDT to strengthen proteins with polymers Scientists have synthesized polymers to attach to proteins in order to stabilize them during shipping, storage and other activities. The study findings suggest that these polymers could be useful in stabilizing protein formulations.Mon, 21 May 2012 16:41:41 EDT RAD: Bioengineers create rewritable digital data storage in DNA Scientists have devised a method for repeatedly encoding, storing and erasing digital data within the DNA of living cells. In practical terms, they have devised the genetic equivalent of a binary digit -- a "bit" in data parlance.Mon, 21 May 2012 16:37:37 EDT't like blood tests? New microscope uses rainbow of light to image the flow of individual blood cells Blood tests convey vital medical information, but the sight of a needle often causes anxiety and results take time. A new device however, can reveal much the same information as a traditional blood test in real-time, simply by shining a light through the skin. This portable optical instrument is able to provide high-resolution images of blood coursing through veins without the need for harsh fluorescent dyes.Mon, 21 May 2012 11:56:56 EDT in on bacterial weapons in 3-D: Structure of bacterial injection needles deciphered at atomic resolution The plague, bacterial dysentery, and cholera have one thing in common: These dangerous diseases are caused by bacteria which infect their host using a sophisticated injection apparatus. Through needle-like structures, they release molecular agents into their host cell, thereby evading the immune response. Researchers have now elucidated the structure of such a needle at atomic resolution. Their findings might contribute to drug tailoring and the development of strategies which specifically prevent the infection process.Mon, 21 May 2012 10:38:38 EDT use droplet microfluidics to create glucose-sensing microbeads Tiny beads may act as minimally invasive glucose sensors for a variety of applications in cell culture systems and tissue engineering.Fri, 18 May 2012 13:26:26 EDT merge experimentation with theory in understanding of water molecule Using newly developed imaging technology, chemists have confirmed years of theoretical assumptions about water molecules, the most abundant and one of the most frequently studied substances on Earth.Fri, 18 May 2012 08:11:11 EDT used to produce graphene quantum dots and nano-ribbons of controlled structure Researchers have come closer to solving an old challenge of producing graphene quantum dots of controlled shape and size at large densities, which could revolutionize electronics and optoelectronics.Thu, 17 May 2012 19:31:31 EDT chemical reactions, water adds speed without heat Scientists have discovered how adding trace amounts of water can tremendously speed up chemical reactions -? such as hydrogenation and hydrogenolysis ?- in which hydrogen is one of the reactants, or starting materials.Thu, 17 May 2012 14:35:35 EDT protein discovery could boost bioeconomy Three proteins have been found to be involved in the accumulation of fatty acids in plants. The discovery could help plant scientists boost seed oil production in crops. And that could boost the production of biorenewable fuels and chemicals.Mon, 14 May 2012 10:48:48 EDT New approach to generating terahertz radiation will lead to new imaging and sensing applications A new approach to generating terahertz radiation will lead to new imaging and sensing applications. The low energy of the radiation means that it can pass through materials that are otherwise opaque, opening up uses in imaging and sensing ? for example, in new security scanners. In practice, however, applications have been difficult to implement.Thu, 10 May 2012 09:56:56 EDT's a trap: New lab technique captures microRNA targets To better understand how microRNAs -- small pieces of genetic material -- influence human health and disease, scientists first need to know which microRNAs act upon which genes. To do this scientists developed miR-TRAP, a new easy-to-use method to directly identify microRNA targets in cells.Wed, 09 May 2012 13:59:59 EDT dots brighten the future of lighting Researchers have boosted the efficiency of a novel source of white light called quantum dots more than tenfold, making them of potential interest for commercial applications.Tue, 08 May 2012 17:33:33 EDT container gives drug dropouts a second chance Chemists have designed a molecular container that can hold drug molecules and increase their solubility, in one case up to nearly 3,000 times.Tue, 08 May 2012 15:21:21 EDT idea: Prototype bioreactor evaluates engineered tissue while creating it Researchers have developed a prototype bioreactor that both stimulates and evaluates tissue as it grows, mimicking natural processes while eliminating the need to stop periodically to cut up samples for analysis.Thu, 03 May 2012 19:42:42 EDT technique generates predictable complex, wavy shapes: May explain brain folds and be useful for drug delivery A new technique predictably generates complex, wavy shapes and may help improve drug delivery and explain natural patterns from brain folds to bell peppers.Thu, 03 May 2012 12:01:01 EDT smallest scale, liquid crystal behavior portends new materials Liquid crystals, the state of matter that makes possible the flat screen technology now commonly used in televisions and computers, may have some new technological tricks in store.Wed, 02 May 2012 13:29:29 EDT nanotube nose out in front A new nanotube super sensor is able to detect subtle differences with a single sniff. For example, the chemical dimethylsulfone is associated with skin cancer. The human nose cannot detect this volatile but it could be detected with the new sensor at concentrations as low as 25 parts per billion.Wed, 02 May 2012 11:29:29 EDT polymer synthesis enhances structure control A new biomimetic approach to synthesising polymers will offer unprecedented control over the final polymer structure and yield advances in nanomedicine, researchers say.Wed, 02 May 2012 09:18:18 EDT microscopes reveal inner workings of sex cells Scientists using high-powered microscopes have made a stunning observation of the architecture within a cell ? and identified for the first time how the architecture changes during the formation of gametes, also known as sex cells, in order to successfully complete? the process.Tue, 01 May 2012 08:55:55 EDT silk scaffolds improve bone repair Biomedical engineers have demonstrated the first all-polymeric bone scaffold that is fully biodegradable and offers significant mechanical support during repair. The technique uses silk fibers to reinforce a silk matrix. Adding microfibers to the scaffolds enhances bone formation and mechanical properties. It could improve repair after accident or disease.Mon, 30 Apr 2012 15:17:17 EDT spectroscopy tracks living mammalian cells in real time as they differentiate Cells regulate their functions by adding or subtracting phosphates from proteins. If scientists could study the process in detail, in individual cells over time, understanding and treating diseases would be greatly aided. Formerly this was impossible without damaging the cells or interfering with the process itself, but scientists have now achieved the goal by using bright infrared beams and a technique called Fourier transform spectromicroscopy.Mon, 30 Apr 2012 11:49:49 EDT charge disorder: A key to biological order? Researchers have shown how small random patches of disordered, frozen electric charges can make a difference when they are scattered on surfaces that are overall neutral. These charges induce a twisting force that is strong enough to be felt as far as nanometers or even micrometers away. These results could help scientists to understand phenomena that occur on surfaces such as those of large biological molecules.Mon, 30 Apr 2012 10:53:53 EDT Nanotech gets boost from nanowire decorations Engineers have found a novel method for "decorating" nanowires with chains of tiny particles to increase their electrical and catalytic performance. The new technique is simpler, faster and more effective than earlier methods and could lead to better batteries, solar cells and catalysts.Fri, 27 Apr 2012 10:01:01 EDT custom designed protein crystal created Protein design is technique that is increasingly valuable to a variety of fields, from biochemistry to therapeutics to materials engineering. Chemists have taken this kind of design a step further; Using computational methods, they have created the first custom-designed protein crystal.Wed, 25 Apr 2012 14:04:04 EDT sensing allows imaging of live cell structures Researchers have advanced the ability to view a clear picture of a single cellular structure in motion. By identifying molecules using compressed sensing, this new method provides needed spatial resolution plus a faster temporal resolution.Mon, 23 Apr 2012 10:40:40 EDT

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