A new spectroscopic method has been developed for the determination of the drug furosemide used to treat congestive heart failure and other conditions. The drug is alsosed illegally by some athletes as a stimulant and rapid weight-loss agent.Yali Liu, Huijuan Wang, Jian Wang and Yuanfang Li of Southwest University, in Chongqing, China, explain how furosemide 4-chloro-N-furfuryl-5-sulfamoyl-anthranillic acid, FUR is a potent diuretic. It is widely used in the treatment of chronic kidney failure, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and cirrhosis of the liver. Its effects are correlated directly with administered dose as too are its side-effects. Testing for FUR.
In a previous issue, we discussed early work on Escherichia coli as a proof of principle for understanding how bacterial resistance to antibiotics can emerge. Now, Edward Yu’s team at Iowa State University have taken another step forward in our understanding of this pressing issue by using crystallography to reveal the structure of a protein regulator that controls the expression of the multidrug efflux pump in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
An interdisciplinary study hinging on X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance studies has examined 1000 proteins from more than 40 different human pathogens, including those responsible for plague, anthrax, salmonella, cholera, tuberculosis, leprosy, amoebic dysentery and influenza.
Researchers at the Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases (CSGID) and the Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease (SSGCID) marked the 1000-structure milestone in June and suggest that the data collected and interpreted will open up paths to novel pharmaceuticals, possible vaccines and other interventions for what are some of the most lethal organisms humanity must face.
Researchers have known for some time of monochromatic light beams, such as Laguerre-Gauss beams, which carry orbital angular momentum also have a helical phase profile. According to Ole Steuernagel of the University of Hertfordshires Science and Technology Research Institute, UK, have helical wave fronts and can be made visible using interferometry. Such dark helices can be generated at higher resolution than light helices and so could be used to etch helical channels through new materials to create a molecular sieve with a left or right handedness for filtering chiral molecules such as pharmaceuticals.
I asked Steuernagel about the next step in this work and he conceded that, “I sort of hop around and am currently working on a peculiar quantum transport phenomenon, not really connected with the helices.” However, he added that, “If I have another idea about the helices I might return to it. I have done a bit of other stuff on what you might call sculpted light fields. So, quite likely I will come back to this.”
“I just like to tinker and play with theory,” he told me. “I am not an experimentalist and so all I can say is, someone will want to use helical light to make handed materials and perhaps the other applications I mentioned. I would be very happy to see my stuff applied. Maybe the underlying message is more important, the one about the resolution limit being circumvented…that and he possibility of dark patterning.”
Finding sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels that would both solve the problem of dwindling supplies of oil and cut the net carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles running on hydrocarbon fuels is a cause high on the environmental agenda. The use of biomass as a source for fuels compounds has benefits, but the setting aside of the great tracts of land required to “grow” adequate crops for conversion into biodiesel detracts from a parallel agenda of major concern: land use and food security.
Now, Johannes Lercher and his colleagues, Baoxiang Peng, Yuan Yao, Chen Zhao, at the Technische Universität München have developed a new catalytic process that might offer a solution to both problems. Their catalyst can efficiently convert biomass, or more properly biopetroleum, generated by microalgae into diesel fuels for use in suitable vehicles.