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Archive for the ‘chemistry’ category: Page 3

Nov 11, 2019

DNA is only one among millions of possible genetic molecules

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

Biology encodes information in DNA and RNA, which are complex molecules finely tuned to their functions. But are they the only way to store hereditary molecular information? Some scientists believe life as we know it could not have existed before there were nucleic acids, thus understanding how they came to exist on the primitive Earth is a fundamental goal of basic research. The central role of nucleic acids in biological information flow also makes them key targets for pharmaceutical research, and synthetic molecules mimicking nucleic acids form the basis of many treatments for viral diseases, including HIV. Other nucleic acid-like polymers are known, yet much remains unknown regarding possible alternatives for hereditary information storage. Using sophisticated computational methods, scientists from the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Emory University explored the “chemical neighbourhood” of nucleic acid analogues. Surprisingly, they found well over a million variants, suggesting a vast unexplored universe of chemistry relevant to pharmacology, biochemistry and efforts to understand the origins of life. The molecules revealed by this study could be further modified to gives hundreds of millions of potential pharmaceutical drug leads.

Nucleic acids were first identified in the 19th century, but their composition, biological role and function were not understood by scientists until the 20th century. The discovery of DNA’s double-helical structure by Watson and Crick in 1953 revealed a simple explanation for how biology and evolution function. All living things on Earth store information in DNA, which consists of two polymer strands wrapped around each other like a caduceus, with each strand being the complement of the other. When the strands are pulled apart, copying the complement on either template results in two copies of the original. The DNA polymer itself is composed of a sequence of “letters,” the bases adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine © and thymine (T), and living organisms have evolved ways to make sure during DNA copying that the appropriate sequence of letters is almost always reproduced. The sequence of bases is copied into RNA by proteins, which then is read into a protein sequence.

Nov 7, 2019

Celebrating Two Women In Science — Marie Curie And Lise Meitner

Posted by in categories: chemistry, life extension, science

Both Marie Curie and Lise Meitner, the only two women to be immortalized on the Periodic Table, celebrate the same November 7 birthday. Here are more reasons why they’re remarkable.

Nov 6, 2019

Theoretical spin battery could see magnet powered cars

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

Circa 2009


March 19, 2009 Researchers at the University of Miami and at the Universities of Tokyo and Tohoku, Japan, have been able to prove the existence of a “spin battery,” that could have significant applications including much faster, less expensive and use less energy consuming computer hard drives with no moving parts, and could even be developed to power cars.

A “spin battery” is “charged” by applying a large magnetic field to nano-magnets in a device called a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ). Like a toy car, the spin battery is “wound up” by applying a large magnetic field — no chemistry involved.

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Nov 4, 2019

Scientists develop industrial-strength adhesive which can be unstuck in magnetic field

Posted by in categories: chemistry, mobile phones, sustainability, transportation

Researchers at the University of Sussex have developed a glue which can unstick when placed in a magnetic field, meaning products otherwise destined for landfill, could now be dismantled and recycled at the end of their life.

Currently, items like mobile phones, microwaves and car dashboards are assembled using adhesives. It is a quick and relatively cheap way to make products but, due to problems dismantling the various materials for different recycling methods, most of these products will be destined for landfill.

However, Dr. Barnaby Greenland, Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry, working in conjunction with Stanelco RF Technologies Ltd and Prof Wayne Hayes at the University of Reading, may have found a solution.

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Oct 29, 2019

Advances in anti-ageing research: how chemistry could hold the key to better health

Posted by in categories: chemistry, life extension

Has the chemistry of ageing come of age?

Oct 27, 2019

Scientists say solar technology may detect, attack cancer cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, solar power, sustainability

A study claims a new way to detect and attack cancer cells using technology traditionally reserved for solar power as the results showcased dramatic improvements.

The results published in Scientific Reports said that dramatic improvements were seen in light-activated fluorescent dyes for disease diagnosis, image-guided surgery and site-specific tumor treatment.

“We’ve tested this concept in breast, lung cancer and skin cancer cell lines and mouse models, and so far it’s all looking remarkably promising,” said Sophia, Michigan State University’s (MSU) biochemistry and molecular biologist.

Oct 26, 2019

Lattice QCD Calculations Predict Exotic Nuclei Not on Periodic Table

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

Have you ever wondered how the Sun creates the energy that we get from it every day and how the other elements besides hydrogen have formed in our universe? Perhaps you know that this is due to fusion reactions where four nuclei of hydrogen join together to produce a helium nucleus. Such nucleosynthesis processes are possible solely due to the existence, in the first place, of stable deuterons, which are made up of a proton and a neutron.

Probing deeper, one finds that a deuteron consists of six light quarks. Interestingly, the strong interaction between quarks, which brings stability to deuterons, also allows for various other six-quark combinations, leading to the possible formation of many other deuteron-like nuclei. However, no such nuclei, though theoretically speculated about and searched for experimentally many times, have yet been observed.

All this may get changed with an exciting new finding, where, using a state-of-the-art first-principles calculation of lattice quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the basic theory of strong interactions, a definite prediction of the existence of other deuteron-like nuclei has been made by TIFR’s physicists. Using the computational facility of the Indian Lattice Gauge Theory Initiative (ILGTI), Prof. Nilmani Mathur and postdoctoral fellow Parikshit Junnarkar in the Department of Theoretical Physics have predicted a set of exotic nuclei, which are not to be found in the Periodic Table. The masses of these new exotic nuclei have also been calculated precisely.

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Oct 23, 2019

Dr. Virginia Byers Kraus, MD, PhD — Cartilage Regeneration — Duke University — ideaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, DNA, genetics, health, life extension, posthumanism, science

Oct 19, 2019

The universe might be full of Earth-like exoplanets, study suggests

Posted by in categories: chemistry, space

Earth-like exoplanets may be quite common in the universe, a new UCLA study suggests.

Scientists led by Alexandra Doyle, a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) graduate student of geochemistry and astrochemistry, came up with a new method to analyze the geochemistry of planets outside our solar system for the study, which was published in the journal Science this week.

“We have just raised the probability that many rocky planets are like the Earth and there’s a very large number of rocky planets in the universe,” co-author Edward Young, UCLA professor of geochemistry and cosmochemistry, said in a statement.

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Oct 16, 2019

An Interview with Dr. Ronald Kohanski

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, life extension

It was a pleasure speaking to Dr. Ronald Kohanski at the 2019 Ending Age-Related Diseases conference. Dr. Kohanski joined the field of aging research in 2005 as a Program Officer for the Division of Aging Biology at the National Institute on Aging. He moved on to become its Deputy Director in 2007 and has held the position ever since. Within aging research, he has focused his efforts on the areas of stem cell and cardiovascular biology.

Besides his work at the NIA, Ronald Kohanski is a co-founder and co-leader of the trans-NIH Geroscience Interest Group (GSIG) with which he has organized several summits to discuss and disseminate the group’s focus. The GSIG directs its attention toward aging as the major risk factor for most chronic age-related diseases, and Dr. Kohanski actively encourages researchers to expand studies beyond laboratory animals. He underwrites the importance of addressing the basic biology of aging explicitly in human and non-laboratory animal populations. He believes that age should be considered a fundamental parameter in research that uses animal models of chronic disease.

Dr. Kohanski was trained in the field of biochemistry. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1981, after which he conducted a postdoctoral fellowship with M. Daniel Lane at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He held a faculty position at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine for 17 years before returning to Johns Hopkins as a faculty member and researcher in the areas of enzymology and developmental biology of the insulin receptor.

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