Analysis of sea squirt embryo reveals key molecules in dopaminergic neuron differentiation

Researchers have used a novel approach for analyzing the central nervous system of a proto-vertebrate to identify a regulatory cocktail that induces the creation of dopaminergic neurons/coronet cells, a primitive version of the hypothalamus. The findings shed more light on how neurons differentiate into particular subtypes, with potential implications for the treatment of conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
Source: Science Daily

Powerful molecules provide new findings about Huntington's disease

Researchers have discovered a direct link between the protein aggregation in nerve cells that is typical for neurodegenerative diseases, and the regulation of gene expression in Huntington’s disease. The results pave the way for the development of new treatment strategies for diseases that involve impairment of the basic mechanism by which the body’s cells can break down and recycle their own component parts. This process, called autophagy, is disrupted in for example Huntington’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Source: Science Daily

Sunscreen for dancing molecules

This study is the first to use heavy water (D2O) – a form of water that contains deuterium (D) instead of hydrogen – in the field of transmission electron microscopy (TEM). This approach significantly delays sample damage, which is one of the major impediments for broader application of liquid-phase TEM to fragile biological samples.
Source: Science Daily

RNA molecules that regulate action of male hormone in prostate cancer identified

A study detected in tumoral tissue hundreds of RNAs that do not encode proteins but appear to regulate effects of androgens and androgen receptors on gene expression in tumors. By investigating the connection between the presence of these molecules and tumor aggressiveness, the research paves the way for new scientific approaches focusing on the transcription process of noncoding RNA.
Source: Science Daily

Ultra-high-speed 'electron camera' catches molecules at a crossroads

An extremely fast ‘electron camera’ has produced the most detailed atomic movie of the decisive point where molecules hit by light can either stay intact or break apart. The results could lead to a better understanding of how molecules respond to light in processes that are crucial for life, like photosynthesis and vision, or that are potentially harmful, such as DNA damage from ultraviolet light.
Source: Science Daily

Fingerprints of molecules in space

Physicists are on the hunt for nitrogen containing molecules in space. Using terahertz spectroscopy, they directly measured two spectral lines for one particular molecule for the first time. The discovered frequencies are characteristic of the amide ion, a negatively charged nitrogen molecule. With the spectral lines now determined, this species can be searched for in space.
Source: Science Daily

Scientists find evidence of complex organic molecules from Enceladus

Using mass spectrometry data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, scientists found that large, carbon-rich organic molecules are ejected from cracks in the icy surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Scientists think chemical reactions between the moon’s rocky core and warm water from its subsurface ocean are linked to these complex molecules.
Source: Science Daily

Hunting molecules to find new planets

It’s been impossible to obtain images of an exoplanet, so dazzling is the light of its star. However, astronomers have the idea of detecting molecules that are present in the planet’s atmosphere in order to make it visible, provided that these same molecules are absent from its star. Thanks to this innovative technique, the device is sensitive to the selected molecules, making the star invisible and allowing the astronomers to observe the planet.
Source: Science Daily

Unexpected new dynamics for large DNA molecules in liquid suspension

Polymer physicists are today reporting the unexpected and previously unknown behavior of a charged macromolecule such as DNA embedded in a charged hydrogel, where it displays what they call a ‘topologically frustrated’ inability to move or diffuse in the gel, a phenomenon they describe in the current Nature Communications.
Source: Science Daily

Curiosity rover's findings on Mars' organic molecules offer tantalizing clues in the search for life on the planet

  1. Curiosity rover’s findings on Mars’ organic molecules offer tantalizing clues in the search for life on the planet  Los Angeles Times
  2. Curiosity Rover Finds Ancient ‘Building Blocks for Life’ on Mars  Space.com
  3. Mars rover Curiosity’s new findings hailed as ‘breakthroughs in astrobiology’  NBCNews.com
  4. Fingerprints of Martian Life  Air & Space Magazine
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Source: Google News

Less is more when it comes to predicting molecules' conductivity

Forward-thinking scientists in the 1970s suggested that circuits could be built using molecules instead of wires, and over the past decades that technology has become reality. Chemists present an innovative method that cuts computational costs and improves accuracy by calculating interactions between pairs of electrons and extrapolating those to the rest of the molecule.
Source: Science Daily

Lone water molecules turn out to be directors of supramolecular chemistry

A broken seal of a lab cuvette led an American researcher in the Netherlands to the origin of many an inexplicable result: the weather. Or the humidity, because this determines the water concentration in oils used as solvents, which was previously thought to be negligible. Lone water molecules in oil aren’t just spectators, they firmly direct supramolecular processes. This outcome means that a lot of previous research has to be re-examined, but also that chemists get a new, cheap and powerful tool.
Source: Science Daily

Agent 007: Organic Molecules as bearers of secrets

In the digital age, security of sensitive information is of utmost importance. Many data are encrypted these methods use a password for decryption, and in most cases, exactly this password is the entrance gate for hackers. Scientists use a new and highly secure approach by combining computer science with chemistry and a conventional encryption method with a chemical password.
Source: Science Daily