biochemistry

05/20/2014 - 21:46

Liposomes are spheres made of a double layer of phospholipids, the fat complexes that are the building blocks for animal cell membranes. They resemble simples cells with the "guts" removed. Widespread application of manufactured liposomes as artificial drug carriers has been hindered by a number of limiting factors such as inconsistency in size, structural instability and high production costs.

 

05/20/2014 - 21:25

Crowding has notoriously negative effects at large size scales, blamed for everything from human disease and depression to community resource shortages. But relatively little is known about the influence of crowding at the cellular level. A new JILA study shows that a crowded environment has dramatic effects on individual biomolecules.

 

05/20/2014 - 09:21

The scientific progress that has made it possible to dream of a future in which faulty organs could be regrown from stem cells also holds potential as an ethical and greener source for meat. So say scientists who suggest in the Cell Press journal Trends in Biotechnology that every town or village could one day have its very own small-scale, cultured meat factory.

 

05/09/2014 - 09:44

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have engineered a bacterium whose genetic material includes an added pair of DNA “letters,” or bases, not found in nature. The cells of this unique bacterium can replicate the unnatural DNA bases more or less normally, for as long as the molecular building blocks are supplied.

 

03/17/2014 - 12:36

Small protein fragments, also called peptides, are promising as drugs because they can be designed for very specific functions inside living cells. Insulin and the HIV drug Fuzeon are some of the earliest successful examples, and peptide drugs are expected to become a $25 billion market by 2018.

 

03/14/2014 - 08:55

Chemists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have devised a greatly improved technique for making amino acids not found in nature. These “unnatural” amino acids traditionally have been very difficult to synthesize, but are sought after by the pharmaceutical industry for their potential medical uses.