Electrons at the speed limit

Electrons at the speed limit

Speed may not be witchcraft, but it is the basis for technologies that often seem like magic. Modern computers, for instance, are as powerful as they are because tiny switches inside them steer electric currents in fractions of a billionth of a second. The incredible data flows of the internet, on the other hand, are only possible because extremely fast electro-optic modulators can send information through fibre-optic cables in the shape of very short light pulses.

Researchers succeed in developing a genome editing technique that does not cleave DNA

Researchers succeed in developing a genome editing technique that does not cleave DNA

A team involving Kobe University researchers has succeeded in developing Target-AID, a genome editing technique that does not cleave the DNA. The technique offers, through high-level editing operation, a method to address the existing issues of genome editing. It is expected that the technique will be applied to gene therapy in the future in addition to providing a powerful tool for breeding useful organisms and conducting disease and drug-discovery research. The findings were published online in Science on August 5 (Japan Standard Time).

Selective protection of genetic information by epigenetic system

Selective protection of genetic information by epigenetic system

DNA is replicated to pass genetic information to the daughter cells during cell proliferation. Replication errors, if not repaired, can lead to genetic mutations. For an individual organism, some DNA mutations may cause disease, even lethality. Robust DNA repair system exists in cells to ensure efficient correction of replication errors, and thus safeguard genetic fidelity. However, a small percentage of replication errors escape DNA repair, and provide an important basis for evolution. Epigenetics studies heritable phenotype changes that are not attributed to changes in DNA sequences.

Allergy research: Response to house dust mites is age-dependent

Allergy research: Response to house dust mites is age-dependent

In adults with a house dust mite allergy, a cascade of inflammatory signals on the surface of the airways leads to airway remodeling. This process cannot be influenced by standard cortisone therapy. Researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich have reported these findings in the latest issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

CAS researchers and Nobel Laureate develop new monomer fluorescent protein for SR imaging

CAS researchers and Nobel Laureate develop new monomer fluorescent protein for SR imaging

To understand the cell, it is necessary to study its dynamics at high resolution in space and time in a way that does not adversely affect it. Recently developed superresolution (SR) microscopy breaks the diffraction limit and offers the requisite spatial resolution but usually at the cost of slow imaging speed and excessive damage.

Moth takes advantage of defensive compounds in Physalis fruits

Moth takes advantage of defensive compounds in Physalis fruits

Insects versus plants in the evolutionary arms race: specialists and generalists

Sights set on the next generation of shuttle peptides to target the brain

Sights set on the next generation of shuttle peptides to target the brain

IRB Barcelona scientists Benjamí Oller, Macarena Sánchez, Ernest Giralt, and Meritxell Teixidó, all from the Peptides and Proteins Lab of the Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Programme, have written a review on the emerging field of shuttle peptides -- molecules that have the capacity to transport drugs across the blood-brain barrier and thus treat diseases affecting the central nervous system. The article will be featured on the cover of September's issue of Chemical Society Reviews, which has an impact factor of 33.

Next steps in understanding brain function

The most complex piece of matter in the known universe is the brain. Neuroscientists have recently taken on the challenge to understand brain function from its intricate anatomy and structure. There is no sure way to go about it, and Dr. Javier DeFelipe at the Cajal Institute in Madrid proposed a solution, in his Frontiers in Neuroanatomy Grand Challenge article "The anatomical problem posed by brain complexity and size: a potential solution."

Aquatic scientists take big steps toward successful management of alien invasive weeds in Botswana

Teams of scientists and labourers from the Department of Water Affairs in Botswana undertook a decades old challenge since the 1970s to combat invasive weeds in wetlands of Botswana, namely the Okavango Delta, off the Kwando-Linyanti-Chobe River and the Limpopo River. Continuous monthly surveys and monitoring of rivers, lagoons and other wetlands resulted in success and shall serve as inspiration in aquatic weeds management.

Nanocatalysis for organic chemistry

Nanocatalysis has attracted much attention in the past few years. Functionalized materials with a nano-/submicro-dimension display a significant and dramatically powerful catalytic capability than traditional catalysts in organic chemical reactions due to the increased surface area which they provide and multiple catalytic centers in their structures. This is especially true for chiral catalysis and natural product synthesis, where nanocatalysts play an important role in enhancing the yield and TON (turn-over number) of specific chemical products.