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Latest Biomolecules Stories

2009-11-03 16:04:28

Researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have for the first time successfully reconstituted in the laboratory the enzyme responsible for producing the blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin. The research, published Oct. 23 in the journal Science, could potentially lead to the development of other compounds with similarly beneficial effects. The lovastatin-synthesizing enzyme is one of the most interesting but least understood of the...

2009-10-23 11:01:56

Dutch researcher successfully packages enzymes Dutch researcher Saskia Lindhoud has discovered a new way to package enzymes by causing charged polymers to form a 'ball of hair' around these. Her approach significantly increases the utility of the enzymes. For example, healthy enzymes with a foul taste can be packaged in such a way that they are released in the stomach without being tasted. Enzymes are molecules that can trigger specific chemical reactions. They are responsible for the taste...

2009-10-22 10:02:19

Custom built enzyme to replace harsh and hazardous chemicals Perilous and polluting industrial processes can be made safer with enzymes. But only a short range of enzymes have been available for the chemical industry. Recently a group of researchers at The Department of Chemistry at University of Copenhagen succeeded in producing an artificial enzyme that points the way to enzymes tailor-made for any application. With their group leader, Professor Mikael Bols, Ph.d. students Jeanette Bjerre...

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2009-10-21 10:45:57

With would-be goblins and ghosts set to drape those huge fake spider webs over doorways and trees for Halloween, scientists in Wyoming are reporting on a long-standing mystery about real spider webs: It is the secret of spider web glue. The findings are an advance toward a new generation of biobased adhesives and glues "” "green" glues that replace existing petroleum-based products for a range of uses. A report on the study is in the October issue of ACS' Biomacromolecules, a monthly...

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2009-10-16 13:50:43

Researchers have solved the mystery of how barnacles attach themselves to other objects, showing that barnacle glue binds together exactly the same way as human blood does when it clots, BBC News reported. Barnacles are crustaceans that live in shallow ocean environments. As larvae they affix to hard substrates, then remain stationary for the rest of their lives. The barnacles secrete an adhesive substance in order to attach themselves to a surface. Scientists have long been aware of the...

2009-10-09 14:40:46

Scientists at the University of York have uncovered the structure of an unusual enzyme which can be used to reverse the contamination of land by explosives. The discovery, by scientists in the York Structural Biology Laboratory and the Center for Novel Agricultural Products, will support the development of plants that can help tackle pollution caused by royal demolition explosive, also known as RDX. Researchers at York have identified bacteria that use RDX as a food source and used that...

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2009-09-13 07:51:40

Best known as the oxygen-carrying component of hemoglobin, the protein that makes blood red, heme also plays a role in chemical detoxification and energy metabolism within the cell. Heme levels are tightly maintained, and with good reason: Too little heme prevents cell growth and division; excessive amounts of heme are toxic. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered a molecular circuit involving heme that helps maintain proper metabolism in the body,...

2009-08-21 08:24:30

Malaria kills anywhere from one to three million people around the world annually and affects the lives of up to 500 million more. Yet until now, scientists did not fully understand exactly how the process that caused the disease's severe hallmark fevers began.A team led by Dr. Martin Olivier from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and McGill University in Montreal has solved this mystery, and may have blazed a trail towards the development of vaccine-like...

2009-08-19 12:38:33

Computational biologists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have shown that proteins have an intrinsic ability to change shape, and this is required for their biological activity. This shape-changing also allows the small molecules that are attracted to a given protein to select the structure that permits the best binding. That premise could help in drug discovery and in designing compounds that will have the most impact on protein function to better treat a host of...

2009-08-17 09:28:08

Better tools for manipulating DNA in the laboratory may soon be possible with newly discovered deoxyribozymes (catalytic DNA) capable of cleaving single-stranded DNA, researchers at the University of Illinois say.The deoxyribozymes accomplish the DNA cleavage with the sequence-selectivity and site-selectivity required for a practical catalyst, the researchers say."Our work suggests that deoxyribozymes have significant potential as sequence-specific DNA cleavage reagents," said chemistry...


Word of the Day
callithump
  • A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises; also, a burlesque serenade; a charivari.
'Callithump' is a back-formation of 'callithumpian,' a 'fanciful formation' according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However, the English Dialect Dictionary, says 'Gallithumpians' is a Dorset and Devon word from the 1790s that refers to 'a society of radical social reformers' or 'noisy disturbers of elections and meetings.'
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