Slinn Pickings chemistry news

  • Host or foreign — the body’s frontline defense mechanism understood – The US Academy of Sciences journal (PNAS) have published an article describing how the first line of defence of the human immune system distinguishes between microbes and the body's own structures. The basis of this recognition mechanism has been unclear since the key protein components were discovered over 30 years ago – and has now finally been cracked by a collaboration between high-level research groups at the University of Helsinki, Finland.
  • Sugar boost for Oxfordshire scientists who are planning ahead for future medicines – Scientists continuing to investigate a 50 year mystery have discovered another vital clue that could help pave the way for improved medicines. The findings reveal an important insight into the way carbohydrates (sugars) bond and this will influence the way drugs are designed in the future.
  • Scientific research reveals brain alterations linking omega 3 deficit with depression – The link between deficits of omega-3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids (AGPO-3) and the onset of depressive disorders is not new in the medical field. However, what has not been known until now is the brain mechanism by which diet can condition mental health to a certain extent.
  • Blood-clotting protein linked to cancer and septicaemia – Scientists in a collaboration between EMBL Heidelberg and the University of Heidelberg Medical Centre have discovered how stressed cells boost the production of the key blood-clotting factor, thrombin.
  • Exfoliating layered materials – Layered materials can be separated into individual sheets with enhanced electronic properties using a new quick and simple method, says an international team of researchers.

Robert Slinn refluxes the chemistry news and extracts a goodly yield for Reactive Reports in his regular column: Slinn Pickings.