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Spectroscopic Kinetic Monitoring and Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Biocatalytic Ester Hydrolysis in Non-Aqueous Solvent

Chen et al. | Dec 20, 2020

Spectroscopic Kinetic Monitoring and Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Biocatalytic Ester Hydrolysis in Non-Aqueous Solvent

Lipases are a common class of enzymes that catalyze the breakdown of lipids. Here the authors characterize the the activity of pancreatic lipase in different organic solvents using a choloremetric assay, as well as using molecular dynamic simulations. They report that the activity of pancreatic lipase in 5% methanol is more than 25% higher than in water, despite enzyme stability being comparable in both solvents. This suggests that, for industrial applications, using pancreatic lipase in 5% methanol solution might increase yield, compared to just water.

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Assessing CDK5 as a Nanomotor for Chemotactic Drug Delivery

Jiang et al. | Sep 08, 2022

Assessing CDK5 as a Nanomotor for Chemotactic Drug Delivery

Enzyme chemotaxis is a thermodynamic phenomenon in which enzymes move along a substrate concentration gradient towards regions with higher substrate concentrations and can be used to steer nanovehicles towards targets along natural substrate concentrations. In patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a gradient of tau protein forms in the bloodstream. Tau protein is a substrate of the enzyme CDK5, which catalyzes the phosphorylation of tau protein and can travel using chemotaxis along tau protein gradients to increasing concentrations of tau and amyloid-beta proteins. The authors hypothesized that CDK5 would be able to overcome these barriers of Brownian motion and developed a quantitative model using Michaelis-Menten kinetics to define the necessary parameters to confirm and characterize CDK5’s chemotactic behavior to establish its utility in drug delivery and other applications.

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Role of Environmental Conditions on Drying of Paint

Aggarwal et al. | Feb 20, 2021

Role of Environmental Conditions on Drying of Paint

Reducing paint drying time is an important step in improving production efficiency and reducing costs. The authors hypothesized that decreased humidity would lead to faster drying, ultraviolet (UV) light exposure would not affect the paint colors differently, white light exposure would allow for longer wavelength colors to dry at a faster rate than shorter wavelength colors, and substrates with higher roughness would dry slower. Experiments showed that trials under high humidity dried slightly faster than trials under low humidity, contrary to the hypothesis. Overall, the paint drying process is very much dependent on its surrounding environment, and optimizing the drying process requires a thorough understanding of the environmental factors and their interactive effects with the paint constituents.

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Idotea balthica comparison: Anatomy, locomotion, and seaweed preference of Massachusetts isopods

Yee et al. | Feb 17, 2022

<em>Idotea balthica</em> comparison: Anatomy, locomotion, and seaweed preference of Massachusetts isopods

Here the authors examined a population of Massachusetts marine isopods, seeking to classify them based on comparison of their morphology, movement, and seaweed preference compared to those of known species. In this process they found that they were most similar to Idotea balthica. The authors suggest that this knowledge combined with monitoring populations of marine biology such as these isopods in different physical and ecological areas can provide useful insight into the effects of climate change.

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High-throughput virtual screening of novel dihydropyrimidine monastrol analogs reveals robust structure-activity relationship to kinesin Eg5 binding thermodynamics

Shern et al. | Jan 20, 2021

High-throughput virtual screening of novel dihydropyrimidine monastrol analogs reveals robust structure-activity relationship to kinesin Eg5 binding thermodynamics

As cancer continues to take millions of lives worldwide, the need to create effective therapeutics for the disease persists. The kinesin Eg5 assembly motor protein is a promising target for cancer therapeutics as inhibition of this protein leads to cell cycle arrest. Monastrol, a small dihydropyrimidine-based molecule capable of inhibiting the kinesin Eg5 function, has attracted the attention of medicinal chemists with its potency, affinity, and specificity to the highly targeted loop5/α2/α3 allosteric binding pocket. In this work, we employed high-throughput virtual screening (HTVS) to identify potential small molecule Eg5 inhibitors from a designed set of novel dihydropyrimidine analogs structurally similar to monastrol.

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Modular mimics of neuroactive alkaloids - design, synthesis, and cholinesterase inhibitory activity of rivastigmine analogs

Yu et al. | Sep 12, 2022

Modular mimics of neuroactive alkaloids - design, synthesis, and cholinesterase inhibitory activity of rivastigmine analogs

Naturally occurring neuroactive alkaloids are often studied for their potential to treat Neurological diseases. This team of students study Rivastigmine, a potent cholinesterase inhibitor that is a synthetic analog of physostigmine, which comes from the Calabar bean plant Physostigma venenosum. By comparing the effects of optimized synthetic analogs to the naturally occurring alkaloid, they determine the most favorable analog for inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), the enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) to terminate neuronal transmission and signaling between synapses.

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Effect of Collagen Gel Structure on Fibroblast Phenotype

Grace et al. | Nov 28, 2012

Effect of Collagen Gel Structure on Fibroblast Phenotype

Environment affects the progression of life, especially at the cellular level. This study investigates multiple 3-dimensional growth environments, also known as scaffolds or hydrogels, and their effect on the growth of a type of cells called fibroblasts. These results suggest that a scaffold made of collagen and polyethylene glycol are favorable for cell growth. This research is useful for developing implantable devices to aid wound healing.

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