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Apr 2, 2018

Biomimetic chemistry—DNA mimic outwits viral enzyme

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

Not only can synthetic molecules mimic the structures of their biological models, they can also take on their functions and may even successfully compete with them, as an artificial DNA sequence designed by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich chemist Ivan Huc now shows.

Chemist Ivan Huc finds the inspiration for his work in the molecular principles that underlie biological systems. As the leader of a research group devoted to biomimetic supramolecular chemistry, he creates ‘unnatural’ molecules with defined, predetermined shapes that closely resemble the major biological polymers, proteins and DNA found in cells. The backbones of these molecules are referred to as ‘foldamers’ because, like origami patterns, they adopt predictable shapes and can be easily modified. Having moved to LMU from his previous position at Bordeaux University last summer, Huc has synthesized a helical molecule that mimics surface features of the DNA double helix so closely that bona fide DNA-binding proteins interact with it.

This work is described in a paper published in Nature Chemistry. The new study shows that the synthetic compound is capable of inhibiting the activities of several DNA-processing enzymes, including the ‘integrase’ used by the (HIV) to insert its genome into that of its host cell. The successful demonstration of the efficacy of the synthetic DNA mimic might lead to a new approach to the treatment of AIDS and other retroviral diseases.

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Apr 2, 2018

SpaceX or ISRO, Who’s Winning the Race to Space?

Posted by in category: space travel

India’s premier space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has built a reputation for launching rockets into space at very convenient prices. The consequent effect?

A lot of customers from around the world have come flocking to avail India’s economical rocket-launching services and this has helped the country make some extra bucks from its space exploration program.

However, it’s a pretty competitive space.

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Apr 2, 2018

Lensed star in the cluster MACS j1149.5+223

Posted by in category: space

This image shows the huge galaxy cluster MACS J1149.5+223, whose light has taken over 5 billion years to reach us.

Highlighted is the position where the star LS1 appeared — its image magnified by a factor 2000 by gravitational microlensing. The galaxy in which the star is located can be seen three times on the sky — multiplied by strong gravitational lensing.

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Apr 2, 2018

Mystery solved: The seafloor depressions off South Island

Posted by in category: futurism

Meteorites or gas explosions were blamed for the huge depressions on NZ’s seafloor. Scientists were wrong.

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Apr 2, 2018

Scientists Explore The Possibility Of Life Hidden Inside The Clouds Of Venus

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, space

A new study has posited the idea that microbial life could exist in Venus’s clouds.

In a new study, scientists are exploring the idea that life could be lurking high up in the clouds of Venus, and suggest that the planet’s atmosphere would be the perfect place to begin a search for microbial life.

Scientist Sanjay Limaye, who works at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Space Science and Engineering Center, conducted the latest research with a group of international researchers and noted that it is highly possible that Venus may have once had a plentiful supply of liquid water on the planet’s surface that could have been in existence for at least 2 billion years, according to Phys. Org.

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Apr 2, 2018

Why the Nobel Prize might need a makeover

Posted by in category: futurism

In Losing the Nobel Prize, astrophysicist Brian Keating discusses the downsides of science’s top honor.

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Apr 2, 2018

Supernova shot ‘runaway star’ into space at high speed

Posted by in categories: cosmology, space travel

Astronomer Kathryn Neugent discusses how scientists found the supermassive star moving at 300,000 miles per hour—and what caused its speedy travel.

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Apr 2, 2018

What Artificial Intelligence Will Do to Creativity

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Humans plus machines equals heightened creativity.

By Elizabeth Kiehner

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Apr 2, 2018

DNA tests for IQ are coming, but it might not be smart to take one

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, neuroscience

Scientists have linked hundreds of genes to intelligence. One psychologist says it’s time to test school kids.

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Apr 2, 2018

Scientists invent cheaper and greener wastewater treatment

Posted by in category: energy

A new energy-efficient process developed at Murdoch University is set to revolutionise wastewater treatment by significantly reducing the industry’s electricity consumption.

Dr. Ralf Cord-Ruwisch and Dr. Wipa Charles, along with two Phd students have collaborated with engineers Professor Liang Cheng and Dr. Lee Walker to form BioFilmTec Pty. Ltd – a research team designing and developing a new system that requires less than half the electricity to operate.

With current wastewater technology in Australia more than 100 years old, Dr. Cord-Ruwisch believes the time is right for a more energy-efficient approach.

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