Archive for the ‘chemistry’ category

Sep 16, 2022

CRISPR Gene Editing: State of the Tech and What’s Next featuring Dr. Jennifer Doudna

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, genetics

Chardan hosted its 4th Annual Chardan Genetic Medicines Conference in October 2020, featuring over 80 public and private companies representing in vivo gene therapy, ex vivo gene therapy, gene editing, RNA medicines, and other subsegments of the genetic medicines space. Among our various panels with preeminent thought leaders, we spoke with newly-minted Nobel laureate, President of the Innovative Genomics Institute, and Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology and Chemistry at UC Berkeley, Jennifer Doudna.

PhD about open questions and areas of innovation in the CRISPR gene editing space.

Sep 16, 2022

Self-Assembling Molecules “Suffocate” and Eliminate Cancer Cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

Development of medical treatment against cancer is a major research topic worldwide — but cancer often manages to circumvent the solutions found. Scientists around Tanja Weil and David Ng at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P), have now taken a closer look at the cancer’s countermeasures and aim to stop them. By disrupting the cellular components that are responsible for converting oxygen into chemical energy, they have demonstrated initial success in eliminating cells derived from untreatable metastatic cancer.

Treatment of cancer is a long-term process because remnants of living cancer cells often evolve into aggressive forms and become untreatable. Hence, treatment plans often involve multiple drug combinations and/or radiation therapy in order to prevent cancer relapse. To combat the variety of cancer cell types, modern drugs have been developed to target specific biochemical processes that are unique within each cell type.

However, cancer cells are highly adaptive and able to develop mechanisms to avoid the effects of the treatment. “We want to prevent such adaptation by invading the main pillar of cellular life — how cells breathe – that means take up oxygen — and thus produce chemical energy for growth,” says David Ng, group leader at the MPI-P.

Continue reading “Self-Assembling Molecules ‘Suffocate’ and Eliminate Cancer Cells” »

Sep 15, 2022

Novel implantable sensor sniffs out possible signals of osteoarthritis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, engineering, evolution

If smoke indicates a fire, nitric oxide signals inflammation. The chemical mediator promotes inflammation, but researchers suspect it can do its job too well after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures and related injuries and initiate early onset osteoarthritis. Typically, the degenerative disease is only diagnosed after progressive symptoms, but it potentially could be identified much earlier through nitric oxide monitoring, according to Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, James E. Henderson Jr. Memorial Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State.

Cheng and his student, Shangbin Liu, who earned a master’s degree in engineering science and mechanics at Penn State this year, collaborated with researchers based in China to develop a flexible biosensor capable of continuous and wireless nitric detection in rabbits. They published their approach in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Real-time assessment of biomarkers associated with inflammation, such as nitric oxide in the joint cavity, could indicate pathological evolution at the initial development of osteoarthritis, providing essential information to optimize therapies following traumatic knee injury,” Cheng said.

Sep 15, 2022

Physicists demo method for designing topological metals

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, quantum physics

U.S. and European physicists have demonstrated a new method for predicting whether metallic compounds are likely to host topological states that arise from strong electron interactions.

Physicists from Rice University, leading the research and collaborating with physicists from Stony Brook University, Austria’s Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), Los Alamos National Laboratory, Spain’s Donostia International Physics Center and Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, unveiled their new design principle in a study published online today in Nature Physics.

The team includes scientists at Rice, TU Wien and Los Alamos who discovered the first strongly correlated topological semimetal in 2017. That system and others the new design principle seeks to identify are broadly sought by the quantum computing industry because topological states have immutable features that cannot be erased or lost to .

Sep 15, 2022

Dependence of the Fluorescent Lifetime τ on the Concentration at High Dilution

Posted by in category: chemistry

Long-range interactions between electronically excited molecules and molecules at the ground state were found for distances of much more than 100 nm, as indicated by the dependence of the fluorescence lifetime on the concentration of dyes in diluted solutions. In contrast to this experimental result, the fluorescence lifetimes of distant isolated molecules should be independent from the concentration according to basic theory for light emission, such as that reported by Förster and Strickler–Berg. As a consequence, the theory of such emission should be modified for real systems to include electromagnetic interactions with distant resonating structures. Consequences of these findings concern many subjects, such as imaging methods (FLIM) in biochemistry.

Sep 15, 2022

World’s first direct air electrolyzer makes hydrogen from humidity

Posted by in categories: chemistry, solar power, sustainability

Australian researchers have developed and tested a way to electrolyze hydrogen straight out of the air, anywhere on Earth, without requiring any other fresh water source. The Direct Air Electrolyzer (DAE) absorbs and converts atmospheric moisture – even down to a “bone-dry” 4% humidity.

Such a machine could be particularly relevant to a country like Australia, which has ambitions as a clean energy exporter, along with enormous solar energy potential – but also widespread drought conditions and limited access to clean water. Decoupling hydrogen production from the need for a water supply could allow green hydrogen to be produced more or less anywhere you can ship it out from – and since water scarcity and solar potential often go hand in hand, this could prove a boon for much of Africa, Asia, India and the Middle East, too.

Chemical engineers at Melbourne University came up with what they describe as a simple design: an electrolyzer with two flat plates acting as anode and cathode. Sandwiched between the two plates is a porous material – melamine sponge, for example, or sintered glass foam. This medium is soaked in a hygroscopic ionic solution – a chemical that can absorb moisture from the air spontaneously.

Sep 15, 2022

Breakthrough reported in machine learning-enhanced quantum chemistry

Posted by in categories: chemistry, information science, quantum physics, robotics/AI

The equations of quantum mechanics provide a roadmap to predicting the properties of chemicals starting from basic scientific theories. However, these equations quickly become too expensive in terms of computer time and power when used to predict behavior in large systems. Machine learning offers a promising approach to accelerating such large-scale simulations.

Researchers have shown that machine learning models can mimic the basic structure of the fundamental laws of nature. These laws can be very difficult to simulate directly. The machine learning approach enables predictions that are easy to compute and are accurate in a wide range of chemical systems.

The improved machine learning model can quickly and accurately predict a wide range of properties of molecules (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Deep Learning of Dynamically Responsive Chemical Hamiltonians with Semi-Empirical Quantum Mechanics”). These approaches score very well on important benchmarks in computational chemistry and show how deep learning methods can continue to improve by incorporating more data from experiments. The model can also succeed at challenging tasks such as predicting excited state dynamics—how systems behave with elevated energy levels.

Sep 14, 2022

New insights revealed through century-old photochemistry technique

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, food

As the poet Dylan Thomas once explained, it is “the force that through the green fuse drives the flower.”

Organic photochemistry brings life to Earth, allowing plants to “eat” sunlight. Using this power of light to make new molecules in the lab instead of the leaf, from fuel to pharmaceuticals, is one of the grand challenges of photochemical research.

What is old is new again. Sometimes gaining new insight requires a return to old tools, with a modern twist. Now, a collaborative team from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Princeton University has resurrected a century-old microwave technique to reveal a surprising feature of well-established light-driven chemistry.

Sep 13, 2022

Three times artificial intelligence has scared scientists — from creating chemical weapons to claiming it has feelings

Posted by in categories: chemistry, military, robotics/AI

THE artificial intelligence revolution has only just begun, but there have already been numerous unsettling developments.

AI programs can be used to act on humans’ worst instincts or achieve humans’ more wicked goals, like creating weapons or terrifying its creators with a lack of morality.

Artificial intelligence is a catch-all phrase for a computer program designed to simulate, mimic or copy human thinking processes.

Continue reading “Three times artificial intelligence has scared scientists — from creating chemical weapons to claiming it has feelings” »

Sep 13, 2022

New quantum algorithm solves critical quantum chemistry problem through adaptation along a geometric path

Posted by in categories: chemistry, information science, nanotechnology, quantum physics

A team of researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University have devised a new quantum algorithm to compute the lowest energies of molecules at specific configurations during chemical reactions, including when their chemical bonds are broken. As described in Physical Review Research, compared to similar existing algorithms, including the team’s previous method, the new algorithm will significantly improve scientists’ ability to accurately and reliably calculate the potential energy surface in reacting molecules.

For this work, Deyu Lu, a Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) physicist at Brookhaven Lab, worked with Tzu-Chieh Wei, an associate professor specializing in at the C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics at Stony Brook University, Qin Wu, a theorist at CFN, and Hongye Yu, a Ph.D. student at Stony Brook.

“Understanding the quantum mechanics of a molecule, how it behaves at an atomic level, can provide key insight into its chemical properties, like its stability and reactivity,” said Lu.

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