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Archive for the ‘chemistry’ category: Page 6

May 23, 2022

Sea corals are source of sought-after ‘anti-cancer’ compound

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

The bottom of the ocean is full of mysteries but scientists have recently uncovered one of its best-kept secrets. For 25 years, drug hunters have been searching for the source of a natural chemical that had shown promise in initial studies for treating cancer. Now, researchers at University of Utah Health report that easy-to-find soft corals—flexible corals that resemble underwater plants—make the elusive compound.

Identifying the source allowed the researchers to go a step further and find the animal’s DNA code for synthesizing the chemical. By following those instructions, they were able to carry out the first steps of re-creating the soft coral chemical in the laboratory.

“This is the first time we have been able to do this with any drug lead on Earth,” says Eric Schmidt, Ph.D., professor of medicinal chemistry at U of U Health. He led the study with Paul Scesa, Ph.D., postdoctoral scientist and first author, and Zhenjian Lin, Ph.D., assistant research professor.

May 23, 2022

Mechanism of gene mutations linked to autism, Alzheimer’s found by TAU

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

A mechanism that causes autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and other conditions and is shared by mutations in the genes ADNP and SHANK3 has been unraveled by Tel Aviv University researchers who developed an experimental drug they found to be effective in animal models.

The drug could also be suitable for treating a range of rare syndromes that impair brain functions, said the scientists. The researchers were led by Prof. Illana Gozes from the Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Sagol School of Neuroscience. The experimental drug, called Davunetide, had previously been developed in her lab.

The paper, which the team called a “scientific breakthrough,” was published in the scientific journal Molecular Psychiatry under the title “SH3-and actin-binding domains connect ADNP and SHANK3, revealing a fundamental shared mechanism underlying autism.”

May 22, 2022

On-Surface Synthesis of Rigid Benzenoid- and Nonbenzenoid-Coupled Porphyrin–Graphene Nanoribbon Hybrids

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nanotechnology

On-surface synthesis made the fabrication of extended, atomically precise π-conjugated nanostructures on solid supports possible, with graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) and porphyrin-derived oligomers standing out. To date, examples combining these two prominent material classes are scarce, even though the chemically versatile porphyrins and the atomistic details of the nanographene spacers promise an easy tunability of structural and functional properties of the resulting hybrid structures. Here, we report the on-surface synthesis of extended benzenoid-and nonbenzenoid-coupled porphyrin–graphene nanoribbon hybrids by sequential Ullmann-type and cyclodehydrogenation reactions of a tailored Zn(II) 5,15-bis(5-bromo-1-naphthyl)porphyrin (Por(BrNaph)2) precursor on Au(111) and Ag(111).

May 21, 2022

Programmable heating and quenching for efficient thermochemical synthesis

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy

By using a programmable electric current to allow rapid pulsed heating and quenching, a non-equilibrium, continuous synthesis technique shows improved performance in thermochemical reactions, as well as lower energy costs.

May 19, 2022

NASA Reveals Early Plans to Send Two Astronauts to Surface of Mars

Posted by in categories: chemistry, habitats, space travel

During a high-level talk on NASA’s objectives for human space exploration, we got an early glimpse of what a 30 day crewed mission to the surface of Mars could eventually look like.

It’s an exciting prospect that, while many years if not decades away, shows the agency’s commitment to fulfilling humanity’s dreams of setting foot on the Red Planet for the first time in history.

NASA director of space architectures Kurt “Spuds” Vogel outlined what such a mission could entail. The agency is envisioning a habitat spacecraft to make the months long journey there, which uses a hybrid rocket stage that combines chemical and electric propulsion.

May 19, 2022

Cartographers of the Brain

Posted by in categories: chemistry, neuroscience

Scientists are attempting to map the wiring of the nearly 100 billion neurons in the human brain. Are we close to uncovering the mysteries of the mind or are we only at the beginning of a new frontier?

PARTICIPANTS: Deanna Barch, Jeff Lichtman, Nim Tottenham, David Van Essen.
MODERATOR: John Hockenberry.
Original program date: JUNE 4, 2017

Continue reading “Cartographers of the Brain” »

May 18, 2022

The crucial role of functional motifs—microstructural units that govern material functions—in material research

Posted by in categories: chemistry, materials

The traditional trial-and-error method in material research cannot meet the growing demand of various high performance materials, so developing a new effective paradigm of material science is extremely urgent. A study led by Dr. Xiao-Ming Jiang and Prof. Guo-Cong Guo (Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Sciences) proposes a new research paradigm for material studies based on the “functional motif” concept.

Functional motif was defined as the critical microstructure units (e.g., constituent components and ) that play a decisive role in generating certain material functions. These units could not be replaced with other structure units without losing or significantly suppressing the relevant functions. The functional motif paradigm starts with the main aspects of microscopic structures and the properties of materials. On the basis of this understanding, the functional motifs governing the can be extracted and the quantitative relationships between them can be investigated, and the results could be further developed as the “functional motif theory.” The latter should be useful as a guideline for creating new materials and as a tool for predicting the physicochemical properties of materials.

The properties of materials are determined by their functional motifs and how they are arranged in the materials, with the latter determining the quantitative structure–property relationships. Uncovering the functional motifs and their arrangements is crucial in understanding the properties of materials, and the functional motif exploration enables the rational design of new materials with desired properties.

May 18, 2022

Imperial students find innovative new use for lobster shell waste

Posted by in categories: chemistry, engineering, sustainability

The four students are studying Innovation Design Engineering, a course delivered jointly by Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art. They have built a series of machines that extract, form and recycle the material, which they believe could be used as a replacement for various single-use plastics.

The project uses chitin, the world’s second most abundant biopolymer, (a naturally produced plastic). Chitin is found in crustaceans, insects and fungi, but needs to be chemically extracted from the source before it can be turned into the material.


The group of students have developed new manufacturing processes to transform lobster shell waste into biodegradable, recyclable bioplastic.

Continue reading “Imperial students find innovative new use for lobster shell waste” »

May 18, 2022

Mercedes-Benz And Sila Announce Breakthrough In Silicon Anode Chemistry

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

Adam FordAdmin.

I’m sure that’s not Deepmind’s official position atm — Nando de Freitas’s tweet was probably reactionary.

Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz And Sila Announce Breakthrough In Silicon Anode Chemistry” »

May 18, 2022

A new technique to delete single atoms can speed up molecule design

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

Every time a new cancer drug is announced, it represents hundreds of researchers spending years behind the scenes working to design and test a new molecule. The drug has to be not only effective, but also as safe as possible and easy to manufacture—and these researchers have to choose among thousands of possible options for its chemical structure.

But building each possible molecular structure for testing is a laborious process, even if researchers simply want to change a single carbon atom.

A new technique published by University of Chicago chemists and the pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. in the journal Science offers a way to leapfrog that process, allowing scientists to quickly and easily produce new molecules of interest.

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