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Archive for the ‘chemistry’ category: Page 3

Dec 24, 2023

Increasing the Energy Density of Hybrid Supercapacitor Electrodes

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy

New research enhances hybrid supercapacitors by creating more efficient electrodes, marking a significant step forward in energy storage technology.

Like batteries, supercapacitors are a type of energy-storage device. However, while batteries store energy electrochemically, supercapacitors store energy electrostatically—through the buildup of charge on their electrode surfaces.

Hybrid supercapacitors (HSCs) combine the advantages of both systems by incorporating battery-type and capacitor-type electrodes. Despite synthesis techniques that allow the active components in HSC electrodes to grow directly on conductive substrates without added binders (“self-supporting” electrodes), the fraction of active material in these electrodes has remained too low for commercial requirements.

Dec 23, 2023

Sniffing women’s tears cut men’s aggressive behavior by over 40%

Posted by in category: chemistry

“We found that just like in mice, human tears contain a chemical signal that blocks conspecific male aggression. This goes against the notion that emotional tears are uniquely human,” the authors stated.

Overall, the study concluded that the scent of women’s tears might contain chemical signals that can influence men’s behavior by reducing aggressive tendencies.

Dec 23, 2023

The First Stars and the Cosmic Dawn: A Journey to the Beginning of Time with Webb

Posted by in categories: alien life, chemistry, evolution, physics

Have you ever wondered what the universe looked like before the first stars were born? How did these stars form and how did they change the cosmos? These are some of the questions that the James Webb Space Telescope, or Webb for short, will try to answer. Webb is the most powerful and ambitious space telescope ever built, and it can observe the infrared light from the most distant and ancient objects in the universe, including the first stars. The first stars are extremely hard to find, because their light is very faint and redshifted by the expansion of the universe. But Webb has a huge mirror, a suite of advanced instruments, and a unique orbit that allows it to detect and study the first stars. By finding the first stars, Webb can learn a lot of information that can help us understand the early history and evolution of the universe, and test and refine the theoretical models and simulations of the first stars and their formation processes. Webb can also reveal new and unexpected phenomena and raise new questions about the first stars and their role in the universe. Webb is opening a new window to the cosmic dawn, where the first stars may shine. If you want to learn more about Webb and the first stars, check out this article1 from Universe Today. And don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more videos like this. Thanks for watching and see you next time. \
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Dec 23, 2023

This first CRISPR gene-editing treatment is just the beginning. Here’s what’s coming next

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

2023 was the year that CRISPR gene-editing sliced its way out of the lab and into the public consciousness—and American medical system. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first gene-editing CRISPR therapy, Casgevy (or exa-cel), a treatment from CRISPR Therapeutics and partner Vertex for patients with sickle cell disease. This comes on the heels of a similar green light by U.K. regulators in a historic moment for a gene-editing technology whose foundations were laid back in the 1980s, eventually resulting in a 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering CRISPR scientists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier.

That decades-long gap between initial scientific spark, widespread academic recognition, and now the market entry of a potential cure for blood disorders like sickle cell disease that afflict hundreds of thousands of people around the world is telling. If past is prologue, even newer CRISPR gene-editing approaches being studied today have the potential to treat diseases ranging from cancer and muscular dystrophy to heart disease, birth more resilient livestock and plants that can grapple with climate change and new strains of deadly viruses, and even upend the energy industry by tweaking bacterial DNA to create more efficient biofuels in future decades. And novel uses of CRISPR, with assists from other technologies like artificial intelligence, might fuel even more precise, targeted gene-editing—in turn accelerating future discovery with implications for just about any industry that relies on biological material, from medicine to agriculture to energy.

With new CRISPR discoveries guided by AI, specifically, we can expand the toolbox available for gene editing, which is crucial for therapeutic, diagnostic, and research applications… but also a great way to better understand the vast diversity of microbial defense mechanisms, said Feng Zhang, another CRISPR pioneer, molecular biologist, and core member at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in an emailed statement to Fast Company.

Dec 22, 2023

An advanced computational tool for understanding quantum materials

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, engineering, particle physics, quantum physics

Researchers at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME), Argonne National Laboratory, and the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia have developed a new computational tool to describe how the atoms within quantum materials behave when they absorb and emit light.

The tool will be released as part of the open-source software package WEST, developed within the Midwest Integrated Center for Computational Materials (MICCoM) by a team led by Prof. Marco Govoni, and it helps scientists better understand and engineer new materials for quantum technologies.

“What we’ve done is broaden the ability of scientists to study these materials for quantum technologies,” said Giulia Galli, Liew Family Professor of Molecular Engineering and senior author of the paper, published in Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation. “We can now study systems and properties that were really not accessible, on a large scale, in the past.”

Dec 22, 2023

Direct-to-biology, automated, nano-scale synthesis, and phenotypic screening-enabled E3 ligase modulator discovery

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, nanotechnology

Targeted protein degradation (TPD) is an emerging therapeutic modality and has attracted great attention from academia and industry1,2. The prototypical TPD agents, molecular glues (MGs) and proteolysis targeting chimeras (PROTACs), can lead to temporal proteasomal degradation of the protein-of-interest (POI). PROTACs are small heterobifunctional molecules integrating an E3-ligase binder and a POI binding moiety through a synthetic linker construct. The PROTACs technology has been applied to degrade numerous pathological proteins and a rich pipeline is currently progressing into preclinical and early clinical trials3,4,5. However, overcoming PK/PD issues towards clinical compounds is demanding due to the intrinsically high molecular weight and related physicochemical properties6. On the other hand, MGs are small molecules with beneficial ‘drug-like’ physicochemical properties binding to an E3 ligase, and, similarly to PROTACs, leading to neosubstrate proteasomal degradation. Their mechanism of action is however less predictable; their often hydrophobic surface-exposed portions of the MGs seem to change the hydrophobic surface area of the E3 ligase and thereby leading to neosubstrate ubiquitination and degradation7,8. MGs have already proven their validity as marketed drugs, as there are several approved drugs or clinical compounds working by an MG mechanism (Fig. 1A), for example, the IKZF1/3 degrader thalidomide and its analogs pomalidomide and lenalidomide8, and the RBM39 degrader indisulam9. Thalidomide analogs induce selective ubiquitination and degradation of two lymphoid transcription factors, IKZF1 and IKZF3, by the CRBN-CRL4 ubiquitin ligase10. Additionally, CSNK1A1 (CK1α) was recently discovered as a lenalidomide-specific neo-substrate11. Interestingly, modification of pomalidomide or lenalidomide can have a profound impact on the degradation potency and degradation profiles. For example, CC-220 (Fig. 1A) showed 10-fold more potency in the cells than lenalidomide, and CC-885 (Fig. 1A) was found to induce degradation of the substrate GSPT112,13. Both MGs and PROTACs are emerging drug modalities providing interesting features over classical pharmacology-driven drugs by their ability to drive the destruction of proteins that have multiple functions, thereby potentially overcoming resistance mechanisms and providing new pharmacology. While PROTACs can be developed highly rationally, MGs are discovered rather serendipitously requiring synthesis and testing of large series of compounds14,15. Additionally, the discovery of MGs and PROTACs is done in a sequential, often mmol scale synthesis which is time-consuming and expensive.

In this work, to address current shortcomings in MGs discovery, we use the direct-to-biology (D2B) approach and combined the automated, high throughput miniaturized synthesis with cell-based phenotypic screening (Fig. 1B). The I.DOT (Immediate Drop on Demand Technology, a pressure-based nano dispensing technology) is employed to accelerate the synthesis of diverse MGs libraries on nano scale16,17,18,19,20,21. In a subsequent cell-based phenotypic screening cascade, the compounds are tested in the thalidomide and analog sensitive MM.1S multiple myeloma cell line which reportedly is used for MGs screening22. In this D2B screening platform, the crude compounds are directly screened on cells without further chromatographic purification or clean up. Then, the 19 best compounds are selected for re-synthesis on mmol scale followed by purification and fully characterized.

Dec 22, 2023

Powering a DNA origami nanoengine with chemical fuel

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

A biohybrid, leaf-spring design of DNA origami functions as a pulsating nanoengine that exploits the DNA-templated RNA transcription mechanism while consuming nucleoside triphosphates as fuel. The nanoengine also drives a nanomechanical follower structure.

Dec 22, 2023

Researchers develop self-assembling, self-illuminating therapeutic proteins

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

When it comes to delivering drugs to the body, a major challenge is ensuring that they remain in the area they’re treating and continuing to deliver their payload accurately. While major strides have been made in delivering drugs, monitoring them is a challenge that often requires invasive procedures like biopsies.

Researchers at NYU Tandon led by Jin Kim Montclare, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, have developed proteins that can assemble themselves into fibers to be used as therapeutic agents for the potential treatments of multiple diseases.

These biomaterials can encapsulate and deliver therapeutics for a host of diseases. But while Montclare’s lab has long worked on producing these materials, there was once a challenge that was hard to overcome—how to make sure that these proteins continued to deliver their therapeutics at the correct location in the body for the necessary amount of time.

Dec 22, 2023

AI Coscientist automates scientific discovery

Posted by in categories: chemistry, robotics/AI

A non-organic intelligent system has for the first time designed, planned and executed a chemistry experiment, Carnegie Mellon University researchers report in the journal Nature (“Autonomous chemical research with large language models”).

  • A non-organic intelligent system has successfully conducted a chemistry experiment, demonstrating a new approach to scientific research.
  • The system, named Coscientist, leverages large language models to streamline the experimental process, enhancing speed, accuracy, and efficiency.
  • Dec 22, 2023

    A Comprehensive Study on Nanoparticle Drug Delivery to the Brain: Application of Machine Learning Techniques

    Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

    The delivery of drugs to specific target tissues and cells in the brain poses a significant challenge in brain therapeutics, primarily due to limited understanding of how nanoparticle (NP) properties influence drug biodistribution and off-target organ accumulation. This study addresses the limitations of previous research by using various predictive models based on collection of large data sets of 403 data points incorporating both numerical and categorical features. Machine learning techniques and comprehensive literature data analysis were used to develop models for predicting NP delivery to the brain. Furthermore, the physicochemical properties of loaded drugs and NPs were analyzed through a systematic analysis of pharmacodynamic parameters such as plasma area under the curve. The analysis employed various linear models, with a particular emphasis on linear mixed-effect models (LMEMs) that demonstrated exceptional accuracy. The model was validated via the preparation and administration of two distinct NP formulations via the intranasal and intravenous routes. Among the various modeling approaches, LMEMs exhibited superior performance in capturing underlying patterns. Factors such as the release rate and molecular weight had a negative impact on brain targeting. The model also suggests a slightly positive impact on brain targeting when the drug is a P-glycoprotein substrate.

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