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Posts tagged with "Chemical Biology"

  • 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
  • Biological News

    The Chemistry Nobels, 2018

    The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has gone to Frances Arnold (for directed evolution of enzymes) and to George Smith and Gregory Winter for phage display. These are worthy discoveries, techniques that have gone on to be used for a huge variety of work ranging from blue-sky research to marketed drugs, and the Nobel committee… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    Watching Protein Degradation Happen

    You know that a technique has attained wide currency when the vendors start selling reagents and tools around it. Here’s an example in the protein degradation field: a team at Promega (well-known vendors of assay reagents and kits) report a new system to evaluate the extent and time course of protein degradation compounds. For those… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    In Situ Click Chemistry For Antibiotics

    I have always had a liking for the technique of having target proteins assemble their own inhibitors. This goes under several names: target-guided synthesis or protein-templated reactions more generally, and in situ click chemistry when the triazole/alkyne reaction is used as the assembly method. But the idea is the same in each case. You bring… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    Only Bind

    Here’s a new piece by Stuart Schreiber that lays out a shift in thinking that many people in the chemical biology field have been experiencing over the last few years. Medicinal chemists are used to making functional drug candidates – and by “functional” I mean compounds that make protein targets do something. For an enzyme… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Clicked DNA: From Lab Curiosity to Analytical Technique

    I’ve written a few times about an odd sort of unnatural DNA sequence, where some of the nucleotides are connected via “click” triazole units rather than the traditional polyphosphate backbone. I remember wondering what the chemical biology community would make out of these things, and I wanted to report on at least one ingenious a… Read More
  • Chemical Biology

    4-Azidophenylalanine: A Warning

    There’s a reagent used in chemical biology and protein labeling that should be getting a bit more attention than it does. Not because it’s useful – that’s already known – but because it can explode. Here’s the paper (from UC-Irvine and Amgen), and the compound is the 4-azido derivative of phenylalanine. Interest… Read More