Posts

January 16, 2015

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7:06 AM | Q: Explain briefly the “Exon Definition Problem” and then...
Q: Explain briefly the “Exon Definition Problem” and then describe the experiments that revealed the mechanism by which the BRCA1Glu1694Ter mutation associated with breast cancer causes exon 18 skipping. The average human gene contains 8 introns and 9 exons. While the mean intron is over 3,000 nucleotides long, the average exon is less than 150 nt. With 5′ and 3′ UTRs on average 770 and 300 nt. respectively, 90% of your average gene is removed by splicing. The exon […]
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4:57 AM | Q: How has our knowledge of gene regulation in osteoblasts aided...
Q: How has our knowledge of gene regulation in osteoblasts aided our understanding of breast cancer metastasis? Above: mammosphere shown in consecutive confocal sections, immunostained with antibodies against Orai1 (red) and SPCA2 (green), with DAPI stain of nuclei (blue). Video S3, Cross et al. 2013 In a little under a fortnight, breast cancer cells in three-dimensional media form stellate (star-like) structures. The metastatic cells break out of their regimented order, in what’s known […]
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4:43 AM | Publication of the week, number 60, 16th January 2015
This week a somewhat strangely entitled but interesting paper from the Aggarwal group at the university of Bristol, UK. The title is “Synthesis of Prostaglandin Analogues, Latanoprost and Bimatoprost, Using Organocatalysis via a Key Bicyclic Enal Intermediate”. The only organocatalytic step in the multi-step route to these prostaglandin analogues is the second one:- Reagents: 1), water 75°C; 2) 2 … Continue reading Publication of the week, number 60, […]
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4:06 AM | Q: With reference to experimental data, discuss the role of the...
Q: With reference to experimental data, discuss the role of the transcription factor complex Runx2/CBFβ in the bone and breast. In spreading from the breast to the bone (which ~70% of breast cancers will do), the phenotypic change seen is induced by transcription factors: transcription being the primary mechanism for regulating gene expression. Although perhaps wholly counterintuitive for a breast cell to migrate to compartments of bone, the transcription factor profile ‘switched […]
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12:26 AM | How will these graduate students be made whole?
Via Retraction Watch, a really terrible story of a pharmaceutical sciences laboratory run by Professor Uday B. Kompella at UC-Denver's medical school where one of the graduate students was falsifying LC/MS data and making other students look bad in the process.To left, a screenshot of the internal UC-Denver report talking about Rajendra Kadam, the "golden boy" referenced in the report.What do you think the innocent graduate students got out of this process? Do you think the UC-Denver Department […]
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12:12 AM | Once again, a note on comments
I've had some longtime, beloved readers who can't post comments on the blog. Have you had this issue? Please let me know by e-mailing me: chemjobber@gmail.comIt would be helpful to know which device and which browser you were using. At the moment, it seems to be an iPad/iPhone issue, with any browser on those platforms. Anyone else able to comment? If not, please e-mail me. Thanks! 
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12:09 AM | Goldman sees chemical companies' profits down
This seems relevant to some readers of the blog. Via Bloomberg Businessweek:Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut earnings estimates at seven U.S. chemical makers to reflect a stronger dollar and product prices that are falling with crude oil. Goldman lowered 2015 profit estimates 20 percent at Dow Chemical Co. and LyondellBasell Industries NV , 19 percent at Westlake Chemical Corp. and 6 percent at Eastman Chemical Co., analysts led by Robert Koort said in a note yesterday. The changes reflect the […]

January 15, 2015

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9:37 PM | Q: Briefly outline how methylation marks on histones are...
Q: Briefly outline how methylation marks on histones are regulated (5% of marks). Describe, with emphasis on the experimental evidence, the molecular mechanisms that lead to altered histone methylation in leukaemia (95% of marks). Methylation is a form of post-translational modification on histone proteins, established dynamically through their laying down by methyltransferases and removal by demethyltransferases (also known as demethylases) — as a general term I’ll refer to them […]
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9:29 PM | The many tragedies of Edward Teller
This is a revised version of a post written a few years ago on physicist Edward Teller's birthday.Edward Teller was born on this day 107 years ago. Teller is best known to the general public for two things: his reputation as the “father of the hydrogen bomb” and as a key villain in the story of the downfall of Robert Oppenheimer. To me Teller will always be a prime example of the harm that brilliant men can do – either by accident or design – when they are placed in […]
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8:36 PM | Perovskites provide big boost to silicon solar cells, new study finds
Stacking perovskites onto a conventional silicon solar cell dramatically improves the overall efficiency of the cell, according to a new study led by Stanford University scientists.
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8:24 PM | Liquids and glasses relax, too. But not like you thought.
A new insight into the fundamental mechanics of the movement of molecules offers a surprising view of what happens when you pour a liquid out of a cup. More important, it provides a theoretical foundation for a molecular-level process that must be controlled to ensure the stability of important protein-based drugs at room temperature.
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8:17 PM | Shining a light on quantum dots measurement
Due to their nanoscale dimensions and sensitivity to light, quantum dots are being used for a number of bioimaging applications including in vivo imaging of tumor cells, detection of biomolecules, and measurement of pH changes.
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8:06 PM | New technique enables nanoscale-resolution microscopy of large biological specimens
Instead of making their microscopes more powerful, researchers have discovered a method that enlarges tissue samples by embedding them in a polymer that swells when water is added. This allows specimens to be physically magnified, and then imaged at a much higher resolution.
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7:57 PM | Physicists detect 'charge instability' across all flavours of copper-based superconductors
Physicists have detected 'charge ordering' in electron-doped cuprate superconductors for the first time.
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7:36 PM | Rice-sized laser, powered one electron at a time, bodes well for quantum computing
Researchers have built a rice grain-sized laser powered by single electrons tunneling through artificial atoms known as quantum dots. The tiny microwave laser, or 'maser', is a demonstration of the fundamental interactions between light and moving electrons.
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6:55 PM | The Chemistry of Poisons – White Arsenic
This graphic is the first in a planned series looking at the effects and chemistry of a range of different poisons. As such, it seemed appropriate to start with one of the most well known poisons: arsenic. Arsenic has been used by poisoners for centuries, primarily in the form of white arsenic, or arsenic trioxide, […]
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4:37 PM | Falling Oil Prices and ExxonMobil
I've been preaching for a while about how ExxonMobil is incorrectly blamed for any and all possible problems around the world that can be connected to our modern petroleum-consuming economies. While ExxonMobil may indeed be at fault for many of these accused problems either directly or indirectly, I again want to emphasize that they are a small fish in a large ocean.Look at the recent price drop in petroleum around the world. ExxonMobil has nothing to do with this, and in fact, the low prices […]
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4:04 PM | Gold nanoparticles show promise for early detection of heart attacks
Researchers have developed a new test strip that is demonstrating great potential for the early detection of certain heart attacks.
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3:42 PM | 15 undergraduate research positions available this summer
From the inbox, a great opportunity for undergraduates: The Center for Sustainable Polymers (CSP) is a NSF funded Center for Chemical Innovation whose mission is to transform how plastics are made and unmade through innovative research, engaging education, and diverse partnerships that together foster environmental stewardship. CSP participants aim to design, prepare, and implement polymers derived from renewable resources for a wide range of advanced applications, and to promote future […]
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3:34 PM | What's your experience buying used equipment online?
I've asked this question before, but I'll ask again:Anyone want to talk about their experiences buying used equipment on Dovebid and the like?I've found it to be hit and miss, you? 
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3:32 PM | Daily Pump Trap: 1/15/15
A few of the positions posted on the C&EN Jobs website:Oak Ridge, TN: ORNL has an interesting Ph.D. separations chemist position; looks to be nuclear chemistry related, of course.Colorado Springs, CO: The National Swimming Pool Foundation is back looking for a Ph.D. chemist (ideally) to be a product development manager. The team is still "magically charged." Starts at 70k?Mapleton, IL: Evonik looking for a quality control manager (5-15 years experience, B.S. desired) Glycerin manufacture, […]
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3:28 PM | Who made these covers and what are they doing here?
It’s a new year and therefore a new set of exciting cover art awaits us. Last year gave us some great examples of artistic flair matched with clear science communication, as well as a good few covers that can be described as nothing but bizarre. Either way, they got my attention. But why do authors [...]
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3:09 PM | The "CSI" of Paintings
Many paintings contain secrets hidden to the naked eye. Only after careful analysis can specialists uncover the mysteries hidden underneath the top layers of paint. One long forgotten painting attributed to the 17th-century artist Pietro da Cortona has many strange features only recently revealed. I am now exploring the painting’s mysteries with a team at Villanova University as part of a two-year restoration project. As an art conservator, I had questions at the start of the […]
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3:09 PM | The "CSI" of Paintings
Many paintings contain secrets hidden to the naked eye. Only after careful analysis can specialists uncover the mysteries hidden underneath the top layers of paint. One long forgotten painting attributed to the 17th-century artist Pietro da Cortona has many strange features only recently revealed. I am now exploring the painting’s mysteries with a team at Villanova University as part of a two-year restoration project. As an art conservator, I had questions at the start of the […]
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2:57 PM | Top 10 Crystal Growing Kits
One of the most popular Science experiments at school is the one where students get to grow their own crystals. You can now purchase Crystal Growing Kits from Amazon at a range of different prices. They make a great rainy day activity so your children can discover the magic of science by growing real crystals at [...]
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2:11 PM | Vector electromagnet syytem creates 3D magnetic fields in samples
Researchers have set up a unique measurement station at BESSY II: a vector electromagnet consisting of three mutually perpendicular Helmholtz coils which enables setting the local magnetic field at the sample position to any orientation desired.
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2:04 PM | Glass for battery electrodes
Chemists and materials scientists have developed a type of glass that can be used as an electrode material in lithium-ion batteries - likely making a vast improvement in these batteries' capacity and energy density.
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1:51 PM | Extra-short nanowires best for brain
If in the future electrodes are inserted into the human brain - either for research purposes or to treat diseases - it may be appropriate to give them a 'coat' of nanowires that could make them less irritating for the brain tissue. However, the nanowires must not exceed a certain length, according to new research.
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1:45 PM | Wichtiger Schritt für die Nanotechnologie: Erste Messung elektrischer Felder zwischen Atomen
Wissenschaftlern ist es jetzt erstmals gelungen, elektrische Felder zwischen Atomen in einem Kristall zu messen.
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12:26 PM | First demonstration of micromotor operation and payload release in living organism (w/video)
New findings address the challenges of operating synthetic motors in living organisms through the use of biocompatible motors that are powered by body fluid (acidic stomach environment). As the zinc body of the motor is dissolved by the acid fuel, the motors are self-destroyed, leaving no harmful chemicals behind. The study reports on the distribution, retention, cargo delivery and toxicity profile of zinc/polymer-based microrockets in a mouse stomach.
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