Biomimetics. I love that word. Well, probably not as much as microfluidics, but it’s a close second. If you’re unfamiliar with the word, it basically refers to design that mimics biology. Biological systems have evolved into finely tuned machines, why not mimic them in order to synthesize what we need? Biomimetics isn’t new, it’s been around in one form or another for a long time (my favorite instance is Velcro), but our capabilities are broadening as we are able to manuf........ Read more »
Kang, E., Jeong, G., Choi, Y., Lee, K., Khademhosseini, A., & Lee, S. (2011) Digitally tunable physicochemical coding of material composition and topography in continuous microfibres. Nature Materials, 10(11), 877-883. DOI: 10.1038/nmat3108
Many of us, especially the current or former graduate students among us, are addicted to our breakfast caffeinated beverage of choice. Mine is tea, but if I had to guess, I’d wager that the most popular option is coffee. We chug it down in the morning to get ready for our day, we sip it thoughtfully at work, and we seek it out in the wee hours when we should be sleeping but instead we’re at the lab or at our desks, telling ourselves that we’ll run just one more gel or write jus........ Read more »
Cheng, B., Liu, X., Gong, H., Huang, L., Chen, H., Zhang, X., Li, C., Yang, M., Ma, B., Jiao, L.... (2011) Coffee Components Inhibit Amyloid Formation of Human Islet Amyloid Polypeptide in Vitro: Possible Link between Coffee Consumption and Diabetes Mellitus. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 59(24), 13147-13155. DOI: 10.1021/jf201702h
This year 134 suspect new journals have appeared from the abyss, all published by the same clandestine company “Scientific & Academic Publishing, USA“. Scientists have been quick to raise the alarm and ruthless in their response.... Read more »
Morrison, Heather. (2012) Scholarly Communication in Crisis. Freedom for scholarship in the internet age. Simon Fraser University School of Communication. info:/
Scientists at the University of Twente have developed high performance rare-earth-ion-doped optical fiber amplifiers.... Read more »
Geskus, D., Aravazhi, S., García-Blanco, S., & Pollnau, M. (2011) Giant Optical Gain in a Rare-Earth-Ion-Doped Microstructure. Advanced Materials. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201101781
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, after thirty years of silence, authors of a standard clinical psychiatric bedside test have issued take down orders of new medical research.... Read more »
As I mentioned in the latest “Top 3 Science links” post, for most of North America, New Year’s Eve signifies two things: a fresh start and/or alcohol. Sadly, the latter means that some of us will make bad decisions tonight, … Continue reading →... Read more »
Sterling, K. (2011) The Rate of Dissipation of Mouth Alcohol in Alcohol Positive Subjects. Journal of Forensic Sciences. DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.02023.x
After trying the hand-warmer my friend gave me for Christmas I thought, “cool, I wonder how this works?” Here’s the hand-warmer in action: So what’s going on? The hand-warmer heats up when you bend the metal disk that’s inside the pouch. Bending the disk causes the liquid inside the hand-warmer to solidify. This change [...]... Read more »
The Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design is having a smorgasbord of accomplished modelers reflecting upon the state and future of modeling in drug discovery research and I would definitely recommend anyone - and especially experimentalists - interested in the role of modeling to take a look at the articles. Many of the articles are extremely thoughtful and balanced and take a hard look at the lack of rigorous studies and results in the field; if there was ever a need to make journal articl........ Read more »
Clark, R., & Waldman, M. (2011) Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Three barriers to progress in computer-aided molecular design. Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design. DOI: 10.1007/s10822-011-9504-3
I had a lot of great experiences during my first year of university, even in my introductory biology classes. For example, I can remember listening to Dr. Steven Newmaster, a taxonomist who was hooked on plants, recount a story about going to a … Continue reading →... Read more »
Le Fresne, S., Popova, M., Le Vacon, F., & Carton, T. (2011) Application of Denaturing High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (DHPLC) for the Identification of Fish: A New Way To Determine the Composition of Processed Food Containing Multiple Species. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 59(23), 12302-12308. DOI: 10.1021/jf2030242
A recent issue of Science has an article discussing an issue that has been a constant headache for anyone involved with any kind of modeling in drug discovery - the lack of reproducibility in computational science. The author Roger Peng who is a biostatistician at Johns Hopkins talks about modeling standards in general but I think many of his caveats could apply to drug discovery modeling. The problem has been recognized for a few years now but there have been very few concerted efforts to addre........ Read more »
Symphonies are some of the most complex musical pieces. They involve different instruments, each with their own unique sound, and each instruments section playing their own tunes. Yet, what are symphonies in comparison to the complexity of life? Proteins for example, they are made of a limited number of building blocks, amino acids, but take [...]... Read more »
Spivak, D., Giesa, T., Wood, E., & Buehler, M. (2011) Category Theoretic Analysis of Hierarchical Protein Materials and Social Networks. PLoS ONE, 6(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023911
Giesa, T., Spivak, D., & Buehler, M. (2011) Reoccurring Patterns in Hierarchical Protein Materials and Music: The Power of Analogies. BioNanoScience, 1(4), 153-161. DOI: 10.1007/s12668-011-0022-5
Probiotics, often referred to as ‘good bacteria’, are known to promote a healthy gut, but can they promote a healthy mind? Exploring the new world of neurological probiotics, researchers in BioEssays present new ideas on how neurochemicals delivered directly to the gut, via probiotic intestinal microbiota, exert their beneficial effects in maintaining gastrointestinal health and even psychological well-being.... Read more »
Air travel constitutes the safest mode of travel in the world today. What is even more impressive is the way airplanes are designed by modeling and simulation, sometimes before the actual prototype is built. In fact simulation has been a mainstay in the aeronautical industry for a long time and what seems like a tremendously complex interaction of metal, plastic and the unpredictable movements of air flow can now be reasonably captured in a computer model.In a recent paper, Walter Woltosz of Sim........ Read more »
After the Vasa was salvaged from the bottom of Stockholm harbor nearly intact in 1961 and towed to a dry dock, archaeologists were some of the first people to board the resurrected ship. They squeezed through the Vasa’s cramped quarters and slogged through three-foot-deep mud on the lower decks, searching for artifacts. They quickly began to uncover thousands of objects: coins, bowls, cups, elegant furniture, a board game, a butter cask containing 333-year-old butter. Like a nautical Pompe........ Read more »
Hocker, Emma. (2010) Maintaining a Stable Environment: "Vasa's" New Climate-Control System. Association for Preservation Technology International Bulletin, 41(2/3), 3-9. info:/
Back in June I blogged about a research paper that we had just published with myself as the lead author. The subject of our paper was the evolution of the Insulin-like Growth Factor Binding Proteins (IGFBPs), and how this family of proteins has expanded in vertebrate evolution. Yesterday I noticed that this paper, "my" paper!, now has received its very first citation! This was a my first paper as lead author, so naturally I avidly checked it out.
The research paper that cites us is in press ........ Read more »
Nili, M., Mukherjee, A., Shinde, U., David, L., & Rotwein, P. (2011) Defining the disulfide bonds of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-5 by tandem mass spectrometry with electron transfer dissociation and collision induced dissociation. Journal of Biological Chemistry. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.285528
Ocampo Daza D, Sundström G, Bergqvist CA, Duan C, & Larhammar D. (2011) Evolution of the Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein (IGFBP) Family. Endocrinology, 152(6), 2278-89. PMID: 21505050
Almost any skilled organic chemist could create novel variations on the solid form, polymorphs, of small molecules currently used as pharmaceuticals. This represents a problem for manufacturers of generic drugs because big pharma attempts to extend the patent lifespan of its well-known products by adding such polymorphs to the patent. Prasad Vure of Indian generics [...]Pills, thrills and polymorphs is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Prasad Vure. (2011) Polymorph patents; how strong they are really?. Int. J. Intellectual Property Management, 4(4), 297-306. info:/
Curryology, the branch of science that deals with curry, is an established discipline with a long and distinguished history. The myriad ingredients of curry, such as curcumin (in turmeric), capsaicin (in chilli pepper), cumin, coriander and many others have been a topic of extensive scientific research [1,2,3,4,5].
Like many large British cities, Manchester is blessed with a large population of people from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. All this means there is a bewildering array ........ Read more »
Bettaieb, I., Bourgou, S., Wannes, W., Hamrouni, I., Limam, F., & Marzouk, B. (2010) Essential Oils, Phenolics, and Antioxidant Activities of Different Parts of Cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58(19), 10410-10418. DOI: 10.1021/jf102248j
Silva, F., Ferreira, S., Queiroz, J., & Domingues, F. (2011) Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) essential oil: its antibacterial activity and mode of action evaluated by flow cytometry. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 60(10), 1479-1486. DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.034157-0
Ringman JM, Frautschy SA, Cole GM, Masterman DL, & Cummings JL. (2005) A potential role of the curry spice curcumin in Alzheimer's disease. Current Alzheimer research, 2(2), 131-6. PMID: 15974909
Computational chemistry as an independent discipline has its roots in theoretical chemistry, itself an outgrowth of the revolutions in quantum mechanics in the 1920s and 30s. Theoretical and quantum chemistry advanced rapidly in the postwar era and led to many protocols for calculating molecular and electronic properties which became amenable to algorithmic implementation once computers came on the scene. Rapid growth in software and hardware in the 80s and 90s led to the transformation of theor........ Read more »
Bajorath, J. (2011) Computational chemistry in pharmaceutical research: at the crossroads. Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design. DOI: 10.1007/s10822-011-9488-z
Martin, E., Ertl, P., Hunt, P., Duca, J., & Lewis, R. (2011) Gazing into the crystal ball; the future of computer-aided drug design. Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design. DOI: 10.1007/s10822-011-9487-0
Maggiora, G. (2011) Is there a future for computational chemistry in drug research?. Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design. DOI: 10.1007/s10822-011-9493-2
Capsaicin, the active chemical in "pepper spray" appears to be lethal to individuals under the influence of certain stimulants with the majority of deaths reported occuring within one hour.... Read more »
Mendelson, J., Tolliver, B., Delucchi, K., Baggott, M., Flower, K., Harris, C., Galloway, G., & Berger, P. (2009) Capsaicin, an active ingredient in pepper sprays, increases the lethality of cocaine. Forensic Toxicology, 28(1), 33-37. DOI: 10.1007/s11419-009-0079-9
Sixteen-year-old boys having heart attacks. Blog reports of deaths and suicides. And a little known chemistry and public health resource mobilized to identify “legal highs.” The chemical and biological phenomenon that is “synthetic marijuana” continued to develop over the last week as we learn more about these products from the medical and public health communities. [...]... Read more »
Mir, A., Obafemi, A., Young, A., & Kane, C. (2011) Myocardial Infarction Associated With Use of the Synthetic Cannabinoid K2. Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2010-3823
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