- Rutgers Offers Hope in New Treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries – Scientists at the W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience at Rutgers University and Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc. have developed a chemically synthesized siRNA molecule that allows regeneration of nerve cells.
- Sweet chemistry: Carbohydrate adhesion gives stainless steel implants beneficial new functions – A new chemical bonding process can add new functions to stainless steel and make it a more useful material for implanted biomedical devices. Developed by an interdisciplinary team at the University of Alberta and Canada's National Institute for Nanotechnology, this new process was developed to address some of the problems associated with the introduction of stainless steel into the human body.
- Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have evolved a unique chemical mechanism, new discovery reveals – For the first time, scientists have been able to paint a detailed chemical picture of how a particular strain of bacteria has evolved to become resistant to antibiotics. The research is a key step toward designing compounds to prevent infections by the recently evolved, drug-resistant "superbugs" that are infecting hospitalized patients and others.
- Iowa State chemist designs new polymer structures for use as ‘plastic electronics’ – Malika Jeffries-EL, an Iowa State assistant professor of chemistry, is designing new organic polymer structures that conduct electricity and could be useful in solar cells, light-emitting diodes and thin-film transistors. She and her research group are doing fundamental studies of the relationship between the polymer structures and their electronic, physical and optical properties.
- New method for aromatic coupling – The Friedel-Crafts reaction can now be used to couple two aromatic sites using clever silane chemistry.
- Natural Product? Not! – Contrary to previous claims, a team has presented irrefutable evidence that Antrodia camphorata does not produce the acid chloride 2,3,4,5-tetramethoxybenzoyl chloride.
Chemist and writer Robert Slinn picks six of the best for his regular web column on Reactive Reports – Slinn Pickings.
- Researcher lists more than 4,000 components of blood chemistry – After three years of exhaustive analysis led by a University of Alberta researcher, the list of known compounds in human blood has exploded from just a handful to more than 4,000.
- Bone drug zoledronic acid may help prevent spread of early lung cancer – A drug that is currently used to help treat bone metastases in patients with lung cancer could also be useful at an earlier stage of treatment, to prevent the cancer from spreading in the first place, Italian researchers have found.
- Elusive form of iron captured – Researchers in the US and Germany have synthesised and characterised an iron nitride compound that reacts with water to produce high yields of ammonia under mild conditions. The work could help elucidate the mechanisms behind iron-based catalysts, both for industrial and biological ammonia production, which could allow for cheaper non-toxic catalysts.
- Diagnosing diseases with CDs – A digital compact disc integrated with a microfluidic device to analyse cells has been developed by scientists in the US. The disc can be inserted into a standard computer disc drive for analysis and could be used to diagnose diseases.
- Bendy batteries a step closer – Scientists from Korea have found that with the use of graphene nanosheets, the fabrication of bendable power sources is possible.
- Mystery of natural sunscreen solved – Spanish scientists have established how natural products protect plants from sun damage. The compounds could be used as active ingredients in sunscreens. Using computational techniques on palythine – a compound found in coral – as a model compound, Diego Sampedro at the University of La Rioja, Logroño, investigated what happens to the molecule after it absorbs UV light.
- Vertex Unveils Exciting Data for Cystic Fibrosis Drug – In one of those rare cases of good science translating directly into good medicine, Vertex Pharmaceuticals yesterday unveiled positive results from a Phase III trial of VX-770, a small molecule that treats the underlying defect of cystic fibrosis.
- IMEC creates flexible microprocessor with organic semiconductors — computational clothing right around the corner – Organic semiconductors have been teasing us with the possibility of computationally-inclined clothing for years, but until now we could only dream about our pants being the computer. That dream is closer to reality than ever, as researchers from IMEC have created a cheap (potentially 1/10th the cost of silicon chips), bendable microprocessor by layering a plastic substrate, gold circuits, organic dielectric, and a pentacene organic semiconductor to create an 8-bit logic circuit with 4000 transistors.
- Mapping brain networks – US scientists have created a model of the ring-shaped networks of neurons in the brain, which could help researchers to understand small changes within diseased brain cells.
- Seaweed recruited in fight against malaria – Compounds found in seaweed have shown anti-malarial properties, killing even drug-resistant malaria parasites
Robert Slinn selects ten from the latest chemistry news for Reactive Reports.
- The lock shapes the key – Proteins normally recognize each other by their specific 3-D structure. If the key fits in the lock, a reaction can take place. However there are reactions at the onset of which the key does not really have a shape. Chemists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen and the Max Planck Research Unit for Enzymology of Protein Folding (Halle/Saale) have now shown how this might work. Their results will appear in PNAS this week.
- Researchers develop new hydrogen storage technology – Working with scientists from the STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the University of Oxford, LCN researchers Zeynep Kurban and Professor Neal Skipper and UCL graduate Dr Arthur Lovell have developed a new technology that allows hydrogen to be stored in a cheap and practical way, making it promising for widespread use as a carbon-free alternative to petrol.
- Atomic model of tropomyosin bound to actin – New research sheds light on the interaction between the semi-flexible protein tropomyosin and actin thin filaments. The study, published by Cell Press on Feb. 15 in the Biophysical Journal, provides the first detailed atomic model of tropomyosin bound to actin and significantly advances the understanding of the dynamic relationship between these key cellular proteins.
- Unique New Probe of Proton Spin Structure at RHIC – Scientists hoping to unravel the mystery of proton spin at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a 2.4-mile-circumference particle accelerator at Brookhaven National Laboratory, have a new tool at their disposal — the first to directly explore how quarks of different types, or "flavors," contribute to the overall spin of the proton.
- Two-faced proteins? – Cancer researchers are identifying an increasing number of proteins that have a dual nature when it comes to cancer -they may initially promote the development of tumors, but in the long run make them less aggressive, or vice versa.
- Worms’ diet the key to coloured silk – Scientists in Singapore have found out how to produce coloured silk based on the diet fed to silkworms. The discovery has the potential to end the expensive and environmentally harmful methods currently used to dye silk fibres, and could also pave the way for luminescent silk scaffolds for use in medicine.
- Building up a natural product toolkit – US scientists have come up with a method that makes it easier to extract compounds that are difficult to isolate from crude natural product mixtures.<br />
Erin Carlson and her team at the University of Indiana, Bloomington, have used resins to target and isolate desired compounds in crude extract mixtures, in this case alcohols.
- Top Pharmaceuticals Poster from Njarðarson Group – TOP 200 DRUGS: Jón Tryggvi Njarðarson's research group at the University of Arizona has created pharmaceutical posters which can be downloaded free as high resolution PDF files. This is a useful tool for teaching students and serves as a spring board of ideas for researchers for development of new synthetic strategies.
- Worldwide sulfur emissions rose between 2000-2005, after decade of decline – A new analysis of sulfur emissions appearing in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics shows that after declining for a decade, worldwide emissions rose again in 2000 due largely to international shipping and a growing Chinese economy. An accurate read on sulfur emissions will help researchers predict future changes in climate and determine present day effects on the atmosphere, health and the environment.
- Quest for designer bacteria uncovers a Spy – Scientists have discovered a molecular assistant called Spy that helps bacteria excel at producing proteins for medical and industrial purposes.
Another high yielding news day from Robert Slinn for Reactive Reports in his regular column: Slinn Pickings.
Chemist Robert Slinn and Reactive Reports webmaster David Bradley contribute their favorite news snippets from the world of chemistry
- About dopamine and brain chemistry –
- YouTube – Aspirin – Periodic Table of Videos –
- The handedness of DNA – DNA is handed. Henry Rzepa reflects on this fact.
- Alchemist chemistry news – This week The Alchemist learns, it seems, that IUPAC has been meddling with alchemical matters and changing the atomic weights of ten chemical elements while carbon allotrope graphene gets turned on and tuned in to radio. In the natural world new insights into how terpenes are biosynthesized could open up a whole new approach to organic synthesis of natural product like molecules. Mimicking mussels looks like a good way to stick DNA to any surface for biotech applications, as it were, while metal methane could be the next step in the evolution of the chemical industry away from oil-based feedstocks. Finally, the US government is sending out strict memos to scientists ordering greater transparency and scientific integrity; heads of departments are on a deadline to set their compliance programs in motion.
These are my reactive chemistry links for October 15th through October 16th:
- Evergreen anticancer drug – Yet another natural product for treating a form of cancer has been uprooted from an evergreen tree.
- Milky stats – A statistical model based on chemical spectra can reveal the fat content and profile of milk samples quickly and easily. To make appropriate nutritional and management decisions on a dairy farm, additional tools assessing the nutritional status of a dairy herd, such as milk urea or beta-hydroxybutyrate estimates can help guide management.
- Composition, that’s the name of the game – A research team in France, writing in the journal Angewandte Chemie, has introduced a novel, highly versatile approach to the large-scale synthesis of a new family of bioorganic-inorganic nanocomposites. Their approach used X-ray diffraction and spectroscopy to monitor the previously unattainable degree of control over the composition and structure of the materials.