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Keyword: biochemistry

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  • Hairy proteins survive stomach trip

    06/10/2013 11:46:18 PM PDT · by neverdem
    Chemistry World ^ | 9 June 2013 | James Urquhart
    Swiss researchers have discovered a way to stabilise enzymes in the digestive tract by linking polymers to the enzymes. It offers a route for developing protein-based drugs that can be administered orally without rapidly degrading, and could provide new therapeutic strategies for conditions involving abnormal enzyme activity such as coeliac disease.Modifying enzymes with polymers for pharmaceuticals is nothing new and has been done for years to prolong their lifetime in the body and dampen any immune response. But protein-based drugs are typically injected or administered in a way that bypasses the gastrointestinal tract. The protecting effect of the polymer may...
  • Team solves mystery associated with DNA repair

    12/14/2012 4:01:29 PM PST · by neverdem · 12 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | December 13, 2012 | NA
    Every time a human or bacterial cell divides it first must copy its DNA. Specialized proteins unzip the intertwined DNA strands while others follow and build new strands, using the originals as templates. Whenever these proteins encounter a break – and there are many – they stop and retreat, allowing a new cast of molecular players to enter the scene. Scientists have long sought to understand how one of these players, a repair protein known as RecA in bacterial cells, helps broken DNA find a way to bridge the gap. They knew that RecA guided a broken DNA strand to...
  • Make or break: the laws of motion

    11/30/2012 6:10:29 PM PST · by neverdem · 1 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 28 November 2012 | Philip Ball
    Calling chemistry ‘molecular architecture’ is even more apt than it might seem. There was a time when architectural engineering was largely about getting buildings to stay up: to withstand the stresses and forces that act on them. But today’s architecture is responsive, mutable, adaptive and dynamic. Likewise, chemistry could appear in its first flush to be about making bonds that will last, but today’s chemistry is just as concerned with breaking as it is with making. The dynamic role of weak hydrogen bonding, for example, was illustrated with the discovery of DNA’s structure: to template replication and transcription, the molecule...
  • Receptor Scientists Nab Chemistry Nobel

    10/10/2012 7:49:50 PM PDT · by neverdem · 2 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 10 October 2012 | Robert F. Service
    According to George Bernard Shaw: "The most intolerable pain is produced by prolonging the keenest pleasure." Not to be picky George, but actually both sensations result from the activity of a diverse family of proteins on the surface of cells. This year's Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to two Americans—Robert Lefkowitz of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and Brian Kobilka of Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California—who revealed the inner workings of these proteins, which also orchestrate a variety of things such as the way we see, smell, taste, feel, and fight infections. The notion...
  • Chemists develop reversible method of tagging proteins

    09/21/2012 3:53:34 PM PDT · by neverdem · 2 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | September 17, 2012 | NA
    Chemists at UC San Diego have developed a method that for the first time provides scientists the ability to attach chemical probes onto proteins and subsequently remove them in a repeatable cycle. Their achievement, detailed in a paper that appears online this week in the journal Nature Methods, will allow researchers to better understand the biochemistry of naturally formed proteins in order to create better antibiotics, anti-cancer drugs, biofuels, food crops and other natural products. It will also provide scientists with a new laboratory tool they can use to purify and track proteins in living cells. The development was the...
  • Seeing cells under stress

    09/18/2012 7:42:06 AM PDT · by neverdem · 1 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 17 September 2012 | Jennifer Newton
    The assembly includes a cell-stretching device, an atomic force microscopy head and an objective of the inverted microscopeAn analytical platform that imposes controlled mechanical strain onto live cells whilst monitoring changes in cell morphology and molecular signalling has been developed by scientists in Germany. Cellular processes induced by mechanical forces are crucial for bone healing and lung function. Understanding these processes could help to prevent and aid the development of therapies for mechanically induced lung and cardiovascular diseases and injuries.Christine Kranz and colleagues from the University of Ulm combined fluorescence microscopy with atomic force microscopy to analyse the cells. They...
  • Researchers Invent New Tool to Study Single Biological Molecules

    08/05/2012 11:16:26 PM PDT · by neverdem · 1 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | Aug. 3, 2012 | NA
    By blending optical and atomic force microscope technologies, Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researchers have found a way to complete 3-D measurements of single biological molecules with unprecedented accuracy and precision. Existing technologies allow researchers to measure single molecules on the x and y axes of a 2-D plane. The new technology allows researchers to make height measurements (the z axis) down to the nanometer -- just a billionth of a meter -- without custom optics or special surfaces for the samples. "This is a completely new type of measurement that can be used to determine the z position...
  • The Body’s Protein Cleaning Machine

    06/19/2012 10:51:30 AM PDT · by neverdem · 4 replies
    NY Times ^ | June 18, 2012 | CLAUDIA DREIFUS
    When Dr. Avram Hershko, 74, a biochemist at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and a winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was recently asked to name the most important fact of his life, he answered: “That I love my three grandchildren. For two, three days every week, I take them to dance class, sport and school. I am completely in their lives.” Among top scientists, responses to such a question might well focus on prizes they’ve won or the import of their research. For Dr. Hershko, whose family was separated and sent to forced labor in...
  • Two in one technique for biological imaging

    05/01/2012 5:14:17 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 24 April 2012 | Rebecca Brodie
    A UK based team has combined two methods into a new technique to investigate cell-substrate interactions in biomedical research.The new technique, correlative light-ion microscopy (CLIM), combines both ion and fluorescence microscopy to obtain topographical and biochemical information for the same area of a sample.The idea for the technique came to Molly Stevens and her colleagues at Imperial College London, when they observed unknown structures while conducting characterisation tests on human tissue samples. 'We realised that there was no simple and efficient method to correlate structural and biochemical information at the micro and nanoscale. Therefore, the only way forward was to...
  • Enzymes grow artificial DNA

    04/28/2012 11:37:57 AM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies
    Nature News ^ | 19 April 2012 | Helen Shen
    Synthetic strands with different backbones replicate and evolve just like the real thing. Nearly all organisms share a single genetic language: DNA. But scientists have now demonstrated that several lab-made variants of DNA can store and transmit information much like the genuine article. Researchers led by Philipp Holliger, a synthetic biologist at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, say that the alternative molecules could help others to develop new drugs and nanotechnologies. They publish their results today in Science1. DNA is made up of nucleic acid bases — labelled A, C, G and T —...
  • Prions in the brain eliminated by homing molecules

    04/28/2012 2:16:56 AM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies ^ | April 24, 2012 | NA
    Toxic prions in the brain can be detected with self-illuminating polymers. The originators, at Linköping University in Sweden, has now shown that the same molecules can also render the prions harmless, and potentially cure fatal nerve-destroying illnesses. Linköping researchers and their colleagues at the University Hospital in Zürich tested the luminescent conjugated polymers, or LCPs, on tissue sections from the brains of mice that had been infected with prions. The results show that the number of prions, as well as their toxicity and infectibility, decreased drastically. This is the first time anyone has been able to demonstrate the possibility of...
  • Frozen Fruit Flies Come Back to Life - Feeding flies a "cryoprotectant" can save them from the cold

    02/19/2012 12:10:56 AM PST · by neverdem · 13 replies
    Popular Science ^ | 02.13.2012 | Rebecca Boyle
    A larval fruit fly is hatched in the year 2011 and frozen while still pupating, half its body water solidified in frigid temperatures. After spending many generations in a state of suspended animation, the wee Drosophila melanogaster awakens and is allowed to grow up. One day, it wonders if it will ever be able to mate — but should it bring new larvae into this dystopian future? As it turns out, the fly can successfully mate after all, and its offspring are perfectly healthy new larvae. Too bad for the fly, it dies in the lab so scientists can find...
  • Brain gene activity changes through life

    12/25/2011 11:22:02 PM PST · by neverdem · 9 replies
    Science News ^ | November 19th, 2011 | Laura Sanders
    Studies track biochemical patterns from just after conception to old age Human brains all work pretty much the same and use roughly the same genes in the same way to build and maintain the infrastructure that makes people who they are, two new studies show. And by charting the brain’s genetic activity from before birth to old age, the studies reveal that the brain continually remodels itself in predictable ways throughout life. In addition to uncovering details of how the brain grows and ages, the results may help scientists better understand what goes awry in brain disorders such as schizophrenia...
  • Focus Issue: Recruiting Players for a Game of ERK

    10/29/2011 10:23:33 PM PDT · by neverdem · 2 replies
    Science Signaling ^ | 25 October 2011 | Nancy R. Gough
    Sci. Signal., 25 October 2011 Vol. 4, Issue 196, p. eg9 [DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2002601] EDITORIAL GUIDES Focus Issue: Recruiting Players for a Game of ERK Nancy R. Gough1* 1 Editor of Science Signaling, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1200 New York Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20005, USA. Abstract: The extracellular signal–regulated kinase (ERK) pathway is one of the superfamily of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. Signals transmitted by this kinase cascade activate a pair of related proteins, ERK1 and ERK2. Research published in Science Signaling shows that, despite the wealth of knowledge about this pathway, previously unknown functions continue to...
  • Hunting elusive green fluorescent proteins

    06/01/2011 3:27:10 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 26 May 2011 | Russell Johnson
    After a 40 year hunt, scientists have tracked down the genes responsible for fluorescent proteins in Obelia medusa - a type of jellyfish. Knowledge of these genes could lead to new fluorescent protein tags for use in cell biology. The discovery of the gene encoding green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the jellyfish Aequorea victoria paved the way for GFP to be introduced as a fluorescent tag in cell biology. It is used to track the positions and interactions of proteins in cells, and led to the Nobel prize in chemistry in 2008. Fluorescent proteins similar to GFP were discovered in Obelia medusa during biochemical...
  • Homosexual Marriage Is Absurd

    04/04/2011 10:38:37 AM PDT · by kathsua · 17 replies · 1+ views
    Town Hall ^ | 4/03/11 | reasonmclucus
    Regardless of how government may artificially define marriage in legal terms, marriage is really the union of the two different types of human beings -- males and females. Two members of the same sex cannot have a marriage relationship regardless of what some politicians might say. Marriage unites members of the different sexes to form a unit that has all the human characteristics. Two men or two women cannot form such a unit. They are like two left shoes or two right shoes. A man and a woman fit together like two puzzle pieces. Two people of the same sex...
  • Enzyme logic biosensor for security surveillance

    02/18/2011 11:38:41 PM PST · by neverdem · 11 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 11 February 2011 | Emma Shiells
    Scientists in the US have made a system that rapidly detects both explosives and nerve agents, providing a simple yes-no response. The technique could replace two time-consuming tests that are currently used to assess these threats.Joseph Wang and colleagues from the University of California, San Diego, combined their expertise in threat detection and electrochemical biosensors with the biocomputing experience of Evgeny Katz from Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY. The team produced an enzyme-based logic gate with the ability to simultaneously detect both nitroaromatic explosives and organophosphate nerve agents. The team fed 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) and the nerve agent paraoxon into the system, in which a series of...
  • Biohydrogen produced in air

    12/18/2010 9:33:26 AM PST · by neverdem · 19 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 15 December 2010 | James Urquhart
    A strain of nitrogen-fixing ocean microbe has been found to be the most efficient hydrogen-producing microbe to date, boosting the prospect of one day using hydrogen as an environmentally friendly fuel. The US team behind the discovery says the naturally occurring cyanobacteria Cyanothece 51142 turns solar energy into hydrogen under aerobic conditions at rates several times higher than any other known photosynthetic microbe.Normally, microbes that produce hydrogen do so under anaerobic conditions. This is because the enzymes they use for hydrogen production, namely nitrogenase and/or hydrogenase, are inhibited by oxygen. By understanding the way Cyanothece  51142 grows and fixes nitrogen, the team learned that...
  • Predicting drug response

    08/29/2010 11:07:25 PM PDT · by neverdem · 4 replies
    Highlights in Chemical Biology ^ | 27 August 2010 | Harriet Brewerton
    Scientists in China have developed a probe that could be used to test how well a patient will respond to certain drug treatments. The new probe measures the activity of N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2), an enzyme that metabolises drugs and other toxins containing aryl amines and hydrazines. The activity of NAT2 differs between individuals, which affects how well a drug will work, and dysfunction of the enzyme has been linked to breast cancer, Parkinson's and other diseases. A simple measure of NAT2 activity could help ensure patients are given drugs that they can metabolise effectively with minimal side effects. Xuhong Qian and colleagues...
  • Bio battery based on cellular power plant

    08/27/2010 5:19:17 PM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies · 1+ views
    Chemistry World ^ | 27 August 2010 | Leigh Krietsch Boerner
    Leigh Krietsch Boerner/Boston, US Mitochondria, often called the powerhouse of the cell, have been harnessed in a new battery-like device that could one day power small portable devices like mobile phones or laptops. Mitochondria convert fatty acids and pyruvate, formed from the digestion of sugars and fats, to adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cell's energy supply. Along the way a tiny electrical current is generated, and Shelley Minteer and coworkers from Saint Louis University in Missouri, US, have now harnessed those flowing electrons to put them to work in a new biological battery device.  Speaking at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Boston, US, Minteer described how her team has...