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Posts tagged with "Chemical Biology"

  • Analytical Chemistry

    Vibrating Proteins, Resolved

    Here’s something that many of us don’t tend to think about when we think about enzymes: vibrational energy. But it’s long been thought that anisotropic vibrational energy transfer (VET) plays a role in both enzyme active sites and in things like coupling to allosteric sites. Getting a handle on that, though, has not been easy… Read More
  • Biological News

    Quinine’s Target

    Every “history of pharmaceuticals” article ever written probably mentions quinine, and well they should. (I certainly reserved an entry for it while writing my own chemical history book). It’s a classic example of a natural product drug, one that was not known to the classical Mediterranean world but was only appreciated by Europe… Read More
  • Biological News

    Bacteria and Depression: Something to Test

    Microbiome, microbiome – you haven’t been able to turn around in this business the last few years without hitting some sort of story about the microbiome. It’s easy to roll your eyes and decide that it’s all hype, but that’s the thing: it really is important. It can’t be dismissed just because we don’t unde… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    Come One, Come All to These Kinases

    Why do some proteins in a family prove very hard to target, while others bind a whole list of inhibitors? This paper takes a look at a particularly dramatic example in the kinase field. That’s a good place for studying such things, since there are a lot of kinases out there, and a lot of… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Disorder and Order

    An interesting feature of many proteins is a disordered region down at the carboxy end. The reason for this feature has been obscure: if there’s part of the protein that just spends its days flailing around uselessly, why go to the trouble of translating it? Many of these tails certainly seem to have no defined structural… Read More
  • Cancer

    Bromopyruvate Revealed

    3-bromopyruvate is an interesting and controversial compound. It’s been reported to be an active chemotherapy agent, apparently acting via covalent inhibition of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and subsequent metabolic effects via loss of pyruvate itself. Several years ago, you could come across numerous web pages touting it… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    Rewiring Plankton. And Reality.

    OK, the “Silicon Valley Meets Biotech” subject has come up around here numerous times, most recently here, about a startup out of YCombinator called Verge Genomics. But several people have called my attention to this proposal over at (yes) YCombinator, so by gosh, it’s coming up again. Because this is just too much to believe. Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Seeing Ethylene

    Plenty of people know that there’s a gas given off by ripe fruit that can itself accelerate ripening in others – the “banana in a bag” technique. That gas is of course ethylene, identified as such in plants in the early 20th century, and the more chemistry you know, the odder it seems that it… Read More
  • Biological News

    Sunlight And the Brain

    One of the impressive things about biochemistry and cell biology is how it can produce physical correlates to things that we know and experience, but have no detailed explanation for. There’s a really interesting example out in Cell that has to do with the effects of sunlight on mood and learning. Those effects are real, but… Read More
  • Biological News

    Soluble Proteins – And Those Other Ones

    Modifying proteins with unnatural amino acids is a wide field with a lot of interesting research areas. Nature has provided us with twenty-odd amino acids (counting some rare ones), but there’s no reason that we have to play the hand that we’re dealt. Modifications of protein transcription and translation machinery have increasingly all… Read More
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