Today I took a tough... Read more »
Halpern JH, Sherwood AR, Hudson JI, Gruber S, Kozin D, & Pope HG Jr. (2011) Residual neurocognitive features of long-term ecstasy users with minimal exposure to other drugs. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 106(4), 777-86. PMID: 21205042
Last week I was in sunny Cascais, and in three days experienced -23oC and +18oC. The reason I was there was the kick-off meeting of the EU FP7 cluster SEURAT, which includes 'our' ToxBank project.
Data types we will host include many different types, including my favorite metabolomics. Don't ask me what this will practically mean, but some keywords we already know include RDF, OpenTox, and ToxML. With metabolomics, I hope to squeeze in metabolomics.
And that data warehousing for metabolo........ Read more »
Bais, H., Prithiviraj, B., Jha, A., Ausubel, F., & Vivanco, J. (2005) Mediation of pathogen resistance by exudation of antimicrobials from roots. Nature, 434(7030), 217-221. DOI: 10.1038/nature03356
One great example of nanomaterials that can address environmental problems is photocatalytic water splitting, which produces hydrogen gas through a chemical reaction that consumes only water and sunlight. This eco-friendly hydrogen can power zero-emissions fuel cells found in cars and a number of other emerging clean technologies. The goal is to replace conventional methods of manufacturing hydrogen, which generally consume fossil fuels and/or large amounts of electricity.
In photocatalysis, ........ Read more »
Chen X, Liu L, Yu PY, & Mao SS. (2011) Increasing solar absorption for photocatalysis with black hydrogenated titanium dioxide nanocrystals. Science (New York, N.Y.), 331(6018), 746-50. PMID: 21252313
To sell a bottle of Champagne as "bubbly" a vendor must ensure that the wine has absorbed between five and six atmospheres of carbon dioxide. To anyone who has ever popped the cork on champagne you know there is enough force there to do some serious damage to an innocent bystander in the event of poor aim.
Viruses spend part of their existence as a kind of bottle (capsid) with a message inside (DNA or RNA). The message inside carries the code or blueprint to make more viruses, more message........ Read more »
Yu, J., Moffitt, J., Hetherington, C., Bustamante, C., & Oster, G. (2010) Mechanochemistry of a Viral DNA Packaging Motor. Journal of Molecular Biology, 400(2), 186-203. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmb.2010.05.002
Moffitt, J., Chemla, Y., Aathavan, K., Grimes, S., Jardine, P., Anderson, D., & Bustamante, C. (2009) Intersubunit coordination in a homomeric ring ATPase. Nature, 457(7228), 446-450. DOI: 10.1038/nature07637
Engaging the public in science is something lots of us are passionate about but how do you measure its impact? This might seem like an unimportant question, but it’s something that funding agencies are increasingly interested in, as they understandably want to check their money isn’t being wasted. It’s also a question addressed by the [...]... Read more »
Haran B, & Poliakoff M. (2011) How to measure the impact of chemistry on the small screen. Nature chemistry, 3(3), 180-2. PMID: 21336314
This is the second in a planned series of posts relating to mercury exposure and toxicity (see also Part 1: measuring mercury exposure). In this part I’m going to look at some of the causes of high mercury levels measured in the population, and specifically at a recent population biomonitoring study conducted in New York [...]... Read more »
McKelvey, W., Jeffery, N., Clark, N., Kass, D., & Parsons, P. (2010) Population-Based Inorganic Mercury Biomonitoring and the Identification of Skin Care Products as a Source of Exposure in New York City. Environmental Health Perspectives, 119(2), 203-209. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1002396
Once I dreamed a dream of being an evolutionary biologist. As I imagined it, I would hang out in a natural history museum, comparing fossils to one another, taking notes on the minute differences, and piecing together the history of life. It wasn’t until a job fair years ago, when I babbled to an evolutionary [...]... Read more »
Barnes, D., Kuklinski, P., Jackson, J., Keel, G., Morley, S., & Winston, J. (2011) Scott's collections help reveal accelerating marine life growth in Antarctica. Current Biology, 21(4). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.01.033
Hoeksema, B., van der Land, J., van der Meij, S., van Ofwegen, L., Reijnen, B., van Soest, R., & de Voogd, N. (2011) Unforeseen importance of historical collections as baselines to determine biotic change of coral reefs: the Saba Bank case. Marine Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0485.2011.00434.x
Parker, P., Buckles, E., Farrington, H., Petren, K., Whiteman, N., Ricklefs, R., Bollmer, J., & Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G. (2011) 110 Years of Avipoxvirus in the Galapagos Islands. PLoS ONE, 6(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015989
Steege, H., Haripersaud, P., Banki, O., & Schieving, F. (2010) A model of botanical collectors' behavior in the field: Never the same species twice. American Journal of Botany, 98(1), 31-37. DOI: 10.3732/ajb.1000215
Our sense of smell has a undeniable role in sexual arousal, from oxytocin to that sexy smell just called 'man'. In the case of the capuchin monkey, attaining this irresistable the smell of maleness is pretty simple: a pee bath.
Several different species of New World monkey have been observed giving themselves golden showers, mostly just by washing their hands and feet in their own urine. Various explanations for this behaviour have floated aroun........ Read more »
Phillips, K., Buzzell, C., Holder, N., & Sherwood, C. (2011) Why do capuchin monkeys urine wash? An experimental test of the sexual communication hypothesis using fMRI. American Journal of Primatology. DOI: 10.1002/ajp.20931
In 2003, Yamaguchi et al. tested the treewidth of 9712 molecules, and found that 19.4% had treewidth one, 75.7% had treewidth two, 4.9% had treewidth three, and only one molecule had treewidth four. They also tested the local tree-width; you can see those results in Table 2 of their paper here. Their conclusion: “tree-width of compounds is not only a useful complexity measure, but it is also an appropriate factor to consider in characterizing chemical compounds.”... Read more »
Atsuko Yamaguchi, Kiyoko F. Aoki, & Hiroshi Mamitsuka. (2003) Graph Complexity of Chemical Compounds in Biological Pathways. Genome Informatics, 376-377. info:/
Targeted drug delivery is a popular area of research that melds together the disciplines of chemistry, medicine, and materials. The basic idea is to develop ways to give a person a and somehow get that medicine to go to exactly … Continue reading →... Read more »
Pornpattananangkul, D., Zhang, L., Olson, S., Aryal, S., Obonyo, M., Vecchio, K., Huang, C., & Zhang, L. (2011) Bacterial Toxin-Triggered Drug Release from Gold Nanoparticle-Stabilized Liposomes for the Treatment of Bacterial Infection. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/ja111110e
Today is my second synchro-blogging of the week! When Laelaps showed me the video that went with this paper, and explained the concept…I was HOOKED. We had to blog it. It’s too good. It’s too GROSS. Just you wait. So we HAVE blogged it, and when you’re done reading this, go over to Laelaps and [...]... Read more »
Haritos, V., Niranjane, A., Weisman, S., Trueman, H., Sriskantha, A., & Sutherland, T. (2010) Harnessing disorder: onychophorans use highly unstructured proteins, not silks, for prey capture. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1698), 3255-3263. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0604
With the world abuzz about dwarfism preventing cancer, we wondered: what other sorts of genetic tinkering can, unexpectedly, prevent or cure cancer? Dwarfism Laron syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes dwarfism. Individuals with Laron syndrome possess a mutation on the GHR gene, rendering the gene defective and body insensitive to human growth hormone—hence stunted [...]... Read more »
Guevara-Aguirre, J., Balasubramanian, P., Guevara-Aguirre, M., Wei, M., Madia, F., Cheng, C., Hwang, D., Martin-Montalvo, A., Saavedra, J., Ingles, S.... (2011) Growth Hormone Receptor Deficiency Is Associated with a Major Reduction in Pro-Aging Signaling, Cancer, and Diabetes in Humans. Science Translational Medicine, 3(70), 70-70. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001845
Baek, K., Zaslavsky, A., Lynch, R., Britt, C., Okada, Y., Siarey, R., Lensch, M., Park, I., Yoon, S., Minami, T.... (2009) Down's syndrome suppression of tumour growth and the role of the calcineurin inhibitor DSCR1. Nature, 459(7250), 1126-1130. DOI: 10.1038/nature08062
Wang, X., Di Pasqua, A., Govind, S., McCracken, E., Hong, C., Mi, L., Mao, Y., Wu, J., Tomita, Y., Woodrick, J.... (2011) Selective Depletion of Mutant p53 by Cancer Chemopreventive Isothiocyanates and Their Structure−Activity Relationships. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 54(3), 809-816. DOI: 10.1021/jm101199t
If you were going to design the perfect immune system, what would you do? This question is often posed to beginning immunology students, and the best answer may be so obvious that it doesn't occur to most. The best immune system is one that prevent pathogens from ever gaining access to your squishy bits in the first place.
And so we have barriers - lots of them. Unfortunately, the best barriers are not always practical. Plants have rigid cell walls that are almost impervious to pathogens, but p........ Read more »
Schroeder BO, Wu Z, Nuding S, Groscurth S, Marcinowski M, Beisner J, Buchner J, Schaller M, Stange EF, & Wehkamp J. (2011) Reduction of disulphide bonds unmasks potent antimicrobial activity of human β-defensin 1. Nature, 469(7330), 419-23. PMID: 21248850
The authors and editor knew exactly what they were doing with this one:... Read more »
An interview with Professor David Nutt on the future direction of UK drugs policy.... Read more »
Nutt DJ, King LA, Phillips LD, & Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs. (2010) Drug harms in the UK: a multicriteria decision analysis. Lancet, 376(9752), 1558-65. PMID: 21036393
Nutt, D. (2008) Equasy -- An overlooked addiction with implications for the current debate on drug harms. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 23(1), 3-5. DOI: 10.1177/0269881108099672
My latest post for Wired Playbook reports on a new idea that two UK researchers have proposed for keeping tabs on which Olympic athletes are using performance-enhancing drugs. Rather than having the athletes pee in a cup or get blood drawn just before competition, the researchers believe that searching for drug metabolites in the wastewater [...]... Read more »
Katsoyiannis A, & Jones KC. (2011) An anti-doping sampling strategy utilizing the sewerage systems of sport villages. Environmental science , 45(2), 362-3. PMID: 21142144
Schröder HF, Gebhardt W, & Thevis M. (2010) Anabolic, doping, and lifestyle drugs, and selected metabolites in wastewater--detection, quantification, and behaviour monitored by high-resolution MS and MS(n) before and after sewage treatment. Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry, 398(3), 1207-29. PMID: 20652555
Zuccato, E., Chiabrando, C., Castiglioni, S., Bagnati, R., & Fanelli, R. (2008) Estimating Community Drug Abuse by Wastewater Analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives, 116(8), 1027-1032. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.11022
Cocaine produces its powerful high by stimulating “reward” signals in the brain, sending users back again and again for more. Cocaine gains this effect, in part, by stimulating a receptor called the metabotropic glutamate receptor 2 (mGluR2). Dr. Nicholas Cosford’s group is currently collaborating with Dr. Athina Markou at UC San Diego and Dr. P. [...]... Read more »
Barrett JE. (2010) mGluR2-Positive allosteric modulators: Therapeutic potential for treating cocaine abuse?. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 35(10), 2007-8. PMID: 20711209
Jin X, Semenova S, Yang L, Ardecky R, Sheffler DJ, Dahl R, Conn PJ, Cosford ND, & Markou A. (2010) The mGluR2 positive allosteric modulator BINA decreases cocaine self-administration and cue-induced cocaine-seeking and counteracts cocaine-induced enhancement of brain reward function in rats. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 35(10), 2021-36. PMID: 20555310
Dhanya RP, Sidique S, Sheffler DJ, Nickols HH, Herath A, Yang L, Dahl R, Ardecky R, Semenova S, Markou A.... (2010) Design and Synthesis of an Orally Active Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Subtype-2 (mGluR2) Positive Allosteric Modulator (PAM) That Decreases Cocaine Self-Administration in Rats. Journal of medicinal chemistry. PMID: 21155570
Craig Venter describes synthetic biology as a process of ‘digitizing’ life, where the possibility for designing new life forms is limited only “by biological reality and our imagination.”... Read more »
Gibson, D., Glass, J., Lartigue, C., Noskov, V., Chuang, R., Algire, M., Benders, G., Montague, M., Ma, L., Moodie, M.... (2010) Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome. Science, 329(5987), 52-56. DOI: 10.1126/science.1190719
A brief look at the RNA World hypothesis & new data that approaches its understanding.... Read more »
HIV is an elusive virus. Affecting more than 30 million people worldwide, the virus thrives in the human immune system by adapting in a number of ways, which makes effective treatments and an eventual cure exceedingly difficult. However, scientists at the University of Rochester and Emory University recently unveiled one of the mechanisms by which [...]... Read more »
Kennedy EM, Gavegnano C, Nguyen L, Slater R, Lucas A, Fromentin E, Schinazi RF, & Kim B. (2010) Ribonucleoside triphosphates as substrate of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcriptase in human macrophages. The Journal of biological chemistry, 285(50), 39380-91. PMID: 20924117
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