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Trending Papers in chemistry

The presence of phosphine gas suggests the potential for life within the clouds of Venus
From Paper: Phosphine gas in the cloud decks of Venus
Greaves, Jane S., et al
Published: Sep 2020
  • The presence of PH3 could be due to unknown photochemistry or geochemistry, or possibly life
  • PH3 meets most criteria for a biosignature-gas search, but is challenging as many of its spectral features are strongly absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere.
Submitted by Age Old
High-energy long-cycling all-solid-state lithium metal batteries (ASSBs) enabled by silver–carbon composite anodes
From Paper: High-energy long-cycling all-solid-state lithium metal batteries enabled by silver–carbon composite anodes
Published: Mar 2020
  • A series of heating and cutting tests were conducted which confirmed the high safety of the ASSBs based on the SSE.
  • The stacking process during the construction of ASSBs is known to be vital for their performance. With the current prototype cell structure, it is possible to design an energy density of > 1,000/l by increasing the number of cell stacks and cell area.
Submitted by Cullyn Newman
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13C-Metabolic Flux Analysis in Developing Flaxseed Embryos to Understand Storage Lipid Biosynthesis
Acket, Sébastien, et al
Published: Dec 2019
Flaxseed (Linum usitatissinum L.) oil is an important source of α-linolenic (C18:3 ω-3), this polyunsaturated fatty acid is well known for its nutritional role in human and animal diet. Understanding storage lipid biosynthesis in developing flaxseed embryos can lead to an increase in seed yield. While a tremendous amount of work has been done on different plant species to highlight their metabolism during embryos development, flaxseed metabolic flux analysis is still lacking. In this context, we have developed an in vitro cultured developing embryos of flaxseed and determined net fluxes by performing three complementary parallel labeling experiments with 13Clabeled glucose and glutamine. Metabolic fluxes were estimated by computeraided modeling of the central metabolic network including 11 cofactors of 118 reactions of the central metabolism, 12 pseudo fluxes. A focus on lipid storage biosynthesis and the associated pathways was done in comparison with rapeseed, arabidopsis, maize and sunflower embryos. In our conditions, glucose was the main source of carbone of flaxseed embryos, leading to the conversion of phosphoenolpyruvate to pyruvate. The oxidative pentose phosphate pathway (OPPP) was identified as the producer of NADPH for fatty acid biosynthesis. Overall, the use of 13C-metabolic flux analysis provided new insight into flaxseed embryos metabolic processes involved in storage lipids biosynthesis. The elucidation of the metabolic network of this important crop plant reinforces the relevance of the application of this technique to the analysis of complex plant metabolic systems.
Retrieved from semantic_scholar
A Fluorescence-Based Assay for Quantitative Analysis of Phospholipid:Diacylglycerol Acyltransferase Activity.
Lucas J. Falarz, Yang Xu, Stacy D Singer, Guanqun Chen
Published: Sep 2019
Phospholipid:diacylglycerol acyltransferase (PDAT) catalyzes the acyl-CoA-independent triacylglycerol (TAG) biosynthesis in plants and oleaginous microorganisms and thus is a key target in lipid research. The conventional in vitro PDAT activity assay involves the use of radiolabeled substrates, which, however, are expensive and demand strict regulation. In this study, a reliable fluorescence-based method using nitrobenzoxadiazole-labeled diacylglycerol (NBD-DAG) as an alternative substrate was established and subsequently used to characterize the enzyme activity and kinetics of a recombinant Arabidopsis thaliana PDAT1 (AtPDAT1). We also demonstrate that the highly toxic benzene used in typical PDAT assays can be substituted with diethyl ether without affecting the formation rate of NBD-TAG. Overall, this method works well with a broad range of PDAT protein content and shows linear correlation with the conventional method with radiolabeled substrates, and thus may be applicable to PDAT from various plant and microorganism species.
Retrieved from semantic_scholar
Measurement of UV Emission from a Diffusing Optical Fiber Using Radiochromic Film
Published: Jul 2017
Analysis of the emission pattern from optical diffuser tips is vital to their usage in biomedical applications, especially as they find growing functionality beyond established phototherapy techniques. The use of ultraviolet radiation with diffuser tips increases the need to accurately characterize these devices, both for effective application and to avoid potentially dangerous exposure conditions. This study presents a new method to capture the diffusion pattern at a high resolution through the use of radiochromic film. The film is positioned in a cylinder around the diffuser, light is emitted from the diffuser onto the film and the film expresses a color change relative to the exposure amount. The resulting emission map shows the distribution of power from the diffuser in all direction. This method, which is both quick and inexpensive, generates high-resolution data much simpler than previously published works which required precise goniometric positioning.
Retrieved from manubot
Epigenetic tinkering with neurotransmitters
Jean-Antoine Girault
Published: Apr 2020
Some neurotransmitters modify chromatin and modulate gene expression Dopamine is a monoamine neurotransmitter associated with movement and reward responses. The ventral tegmental area (VTA), a tiny midbrain region involved in motivation and addiction, and the neighboring substantia nigra contain most brain dopamine neurons. Dopamine neurons encode reward prediction errors (1, 2), and dopamine conveys motivational value and promotes movement at multiple time scales (3). VTA dopamine neurons are part of the brain reward circuit. A central mechanism activated by addictive drugs and addictive behaviors, such as gambling, is to increase extracellular dopamine in the regions innervated by these neurons, such as the nucleus accumbens (4). It therefore comes as a surprise that dopamine is also an epigenetic mark. On page 197 of this issue, Lepack et al. (5) show that covalent attachment of dopamine (dopaminylation) to histone H3 glutamine 5 (H3Q5dop) plays a role in cocaine-induced transcriptional plasticity. Reducing dopaminylation prevented withdrawal-induced changes in gene expression and reduced cocaine-seeking behavior in rats.
Retrieved from semantic_scholar
Mesenchymal stem cells as carriers for systemic delivery of oncolytic viruses
Published: May 2020
Progress in genetic engineering led to the emergence of some viruses as potent anticancer therapeutics. These oncolytic viruses combine self-amplification with dual antitumor action: oncolytic (destruction of cancer cells) and immunostimulatory (eliciting acquired antitumor response against cancer epitopes). As any other viruses, they trigger antiviral response upon systemic administration. Mesenchymal stem cells are immature cells capable of self-renewing and differentiating into many cell types that belong to three germinal layers. Due to their inherent tumor tropism mesenchymal stem cells loaded with oncolytic virus can improve delivery of the therapeutic cargo to cancer sites. Shielding of oncolytic viral construct from antiviral host immune response makes these cells prospective delivery vehicles to even hard-to-reach metastatic neoplastic foci. Use of mesenchymal stem cells has been criticized by some investigators as limiting proliferative abilities of primary cells and increasing the risk of malignant transformation, as well as attenuating therapeutic responses. However, majority of preclinical studies indicate safety and efficacy of mesenchymal stem cells used as carriers of oncolytic viruses. In view of contradictory postulates, the debate continues. The review discusses mesenchymal stem cells as carriers for delivery of genetically engineered oncolytic constructs and focuses on systemic approach to oncoviral treatment of some deadly neoplasms.
Retrieved from manubot
Toward artificial photosynthesis
Nathaniel J. Gaut, Katarzyna P Adamala
Published: May 2020
Microfluidics lights the way to a synthetic plant-like cell The creation of a fully artificial living cell would signify progress in both understanding current life and the development of synthetic organisms. A crucial component of any living organism is energy generation: the means to power its internal machinery. Because of their relative simplicity, catabolic reactions are the classical means for providing carbon and energy to synthetic cells, and much work has been done in optimizing which energy substrates work best for particular reactions (1). Despite robust success using small-molecule energy sources, the possibility of designing anabolic mechanisms that can harvest virtually limitless energy from light is very alluring yet remains unrealized. On page 649 of this issue, Miller et al. (2) leverage the capacity of microfluidics to combine natural and artificial biological networks to achieve photosynthetic anabolic reactions on a microscale level.
Retrieved from semantic_scholar
Cyber-spinach turns sunlight into sugar
Colin G. Barras
Published: May 2020
Combination of biological membrane and artificial chemistry could power future synthetic organisms. Combination of biological membrane and artificial chemistry could power future synthetic organisms.
Retrieved from semantic_scholar
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