Archive for the ‘chemistry’ category

Mar 14, 2024

Motixafortide and Stem Cell Transplants for Multiple Myeloma

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

The recently approved drug motixafortide may help improve stem cell transplants for people with multiple myeloma. Learn more about this treatment:

However, Dr. Schulz cautioned, this finding is not definitive because the two drugs were not tested head-to-head in a randomized trial. A randomized clinical trial comparing the drugs “would have been a better and fairer comparison,” he said, since plerixafor and motixafortide both work by blocking a chemical signal that tells stem cells to stay in the bone marrow.

Finally, Dr. Crees and his colleagues did a series of experiments looking at the different types of blood-forming stem cells mobilized by G-CSF plus placebo, motixafortide, or plerixafor.

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Mar 14, 2024

Next-generation stool DNA test found to have best detection rate of noninvasive colorectal cancer screening tools

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

A study of more than 21,000 average risk patients at 186 sites across the U.S., led by Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine research scientist Thomas Imperiale, M.D., has found that the next-generation multi-target stool DNA colorectal cancer screening test detects 94% of colorectal cancers. This test has the best performance for detection of both colorectal cancer and advanced precancerous polyps of any noninvasive colorectal cancer screening test.

The study results are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“We found that the next-generation stool DNA test had a good balance of sensitivity—detecting disease—and specificity—low false positive results. Compared to the fecal immunochemical test (FIT), the next gen test had superior sensitivity for both colorectal cancer and advanced pre-cancerous polys, especially the subgroup of advanced polyps containing high grade dysplasia,” said Dr. Imperiale, first author of the study.

Mar 13, 2024

Scientists Discover Method To Stop Active Cancer Cells in Their Tracks

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

Researchers have found a way to stop active cancer cells in their tracks – meaning they can then be eliminated by new drug treatments.

A collaborative research project between the University of Dundee’s Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) and Queen Mary University of London, has identified chemical compounds, called tool molecules, that can halt active cancer cells.

Mar 12, 2024

Researchers explore quantum computing’s ability to speed solutions for financial sector

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, computing, finance, mathematics, quantum physics

The work, facilitated by the Chicago Quantum Exchange (CQE) and led by a team that includes UD, Argonne, JPMorgan Chase and University of Chicago scientists, lays groundwork for future applications—and highlights the need for cross-sector collaboration.

The third category, stochastic modeling, is used across the sciences to predict the spread of disease, the evolution of a chemical reaction, or weather patterns. The mathematical technique models complex processes by making random changes to a variable and observing how the process responds to the changes.

The method is used in finance, for instance, to describe the evolution of stock prices and interest rates. With the power of quantum computing behind it, stochastic modeling can provide faster and more accurate predictions about the market.

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Mar 11, 2024

Titan’s Atmosphere: Insights into Methane Chemistry and Beyond

Posted by in categories: chemistry, space

What can Titan’s methane-rich atmosphere teach us about finding life beyond Earth? This is what a recent study published in Planetary and Space Science hopes to address as a team of international researchers investigated the photochemistry of Saturn’s largest moon, which is also the only moon in the solar system with a dense atmosphere, to ascertain if the moon’s methane-rich atmosphere can support life. This study holds the potential to help researchers better understand the conditions necessary for life to emerge, along with where to search for it beyond Earth.

“Titan’s atmosphere works like a planetary-sized chemical reactor, producing many complex carbon-based molecules,” said Rafael Rianço-Silva, who is a master’s degree student at the University of Lisbon and lead author of the study. “Of all the atmospheres we know in the Solar System, the atmosphere of Titan is the most similar to the one we think existed on the early Earth.”

For the study, the team used the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (VLT-UVES) to conduct high resolution analyses of Titan’s hazy and methane-rich atmosphere. Using this data, the team identified possible traces of the tricarbon molecule (C3), which is known for being a building block for the development of complex molecules and has been previously identified in cometary comas and interstellar clouds, the latter of which was found using VLT-UVES. If confirmed, Titan will be the first planetary body to possess tricarbon either in its atmosphere or on its surface.

Mar 11, 2024

High-Intensity Exercise can Reverse Neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s, study suggests

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, health, neuroscience

High-intensity exercise induces brain-protective effects that have the potential to not just slow down but possibly reverse the neurodegeneration associated with Parkinson’s disease, a new pilot study suggests.

Prior research has shown that many forms of exercise are linked to improved symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. But there has been no evidence that hitting the gym could create changes at the brain level. Now, a small proof-of-concept study involving 10 patients showed that high-intensity aerobic exercise preserved dopamine-producing neurons, the brain cells that are most vulnerable to destruction in patients with the disease.

In fact, after six months of exercise, the neurons actually had grown healthier and produced stronger dopamine signals. Dopamine is a chemical that helps brain cells communicate with one another. The researchers published their findings in npj Parkinson’s Disease on February 9.

Mar 10, 2024

Space cement is here: How it could be used to build houses on Mars and the Moon

Posted by in categories: chemistry, space

Researcher Norman Wagner speaks to Interesting Engineering about the complex chemistry of extraterrestrial cement.

Mar 10, 2024

Revolutionary 3D Snapshot Unveils Secret Machine Behind Photosynthesis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, evolution, genetics

For the survival of life on Earth, the process where plants perform photosynthesis to generate oxygen and chemical energy using sunlight is crucial. Scientists from Göttingen and Hannover have now achieved a breakthrough by creating a high-resolution 3D visualization of the chloroplasts’ copying mechanism, the RNA polymerase PEP, for the first time. This intricate structure offers fresh perspectives on the operation and evolutionary history of this vital cellular apparatus, instrumental in interpreting the genetic blueprints for proteins involved in photosynthesis.

Without photosynthesis, there would be no air to breathe – it is the basis of all life on Earth. This complex process allows plants to convert carbon dioxide and water into chemical energy and oxygen using light energy from the sun. The conversion takes place in the chloroplasts, the heart of photosynthesis. Chloroplasts developed in the course of evolution when the ancestors of today’s plant cells absorbed a photosynthetic cyanobacterium. Over time, the bacterium became increasingly dependent on its “host cell”, but maintained some significant functions such as photosynthesis and parts of the bacterial genome. The chloroplast therefore still has its own DNA, which contains the blueprints for crucial proteins of the “photosynthesis machinery”

Mar 10, 2024

Primordial Magnetism: The Hidden Force Behind Life’s Origin

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry

The perplexing phenomenon of homochirality in life, where biomolecules exist in only one of two mirror-image forms, remains unexplained despite historical attention from scientific figures like Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, and Pierre Curie. Recent research suggests the combination of electric and magnetic fields might influence this preference through experiments showing enantioselective effects on chiral molecules interacting with magnetized surfaces, offering indirect evidence towards understanding this mystery.

The phenomenon known as homochirality of life, which refers to the exclusive presence of biomolecules in one of their two possible mirror-image configurations within living organisms, has intrigued several prominent figures in science. This includes Louis Pasteur, who first identified molecular chirality, William Thomson (also known as Lord Kelvin), and Pierre Curie, a Nobel Laureate.

A conclusive explanation is still lacking, as both forms have, for instance, the same chemical stability and do not differ from each other in their physicochemical properties. The hypothesis, however, that the interplay between electric and magnetic fields could explain the preference for one or the other mirror-image form of a molecule – so-called enantiomers – emerged early on.

Mar 10, 2024

Next-Gen Electronics Transformed: MIT’s 2D Integration Breakthrough

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, particle physics

MIT ’s breakthrough in integrating 2D materials into devices paves the way for next-generation devices with unique optical and electronic properties.

Two-dimensional materials, which are only a few atoms thick, can exhibit some incredible properties, such as the ability to carry electric charge extremely efficiently, which could boost the performance of next-generation electronic devices.

But integrating 2D materials into devices and systems like computer chips is notoriously difficult. These ultrathin structures can be damaged by conventional fabrication techniques, which often rely on the use of chemicals, high temperatures, or destructive processes like etching.

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