A peptide called magainin, first found in the skin of the African clawed frog, holds the secret to creating bacteria-killing surfaces, according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. The Penn scientists have taken a joint experimental-computational approach to mimicking magainin. They designed, synthesized, tested, and then improved novel antibacterial compounds, using a combination of laboratory experiments and painstaking simulations on supercomputers. The resulting material could be anchored to the surface of almost any type of product that you would prefer to keep bacteria-free – from bandages to picnic tables.
Robert Doerksen, a postdoctoral researcher in Penns Department of Chemistry, will present how the Penn team successfully modified the arylamide-based polymers to be safe for contact with human cells today at the American Chemical Societys 227th National Meeting in Anaheim, Calif.
"Our original approach was to replace the peptide backbone found in magainin with one of arylamide, which is relatively easy to create in the lab," Doerksen said. "Like magainin, the modified arylamide polymer can disrupt the cell membranes of bacteria without harming the membranes of other types of cells, such as our own."
Greg Lester | EurekAlert!
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
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Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
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An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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