Researchers discover new treatment for diabetes


Researchers discovered a small molecule that inhibits an enzyme that degrades insulin.

Harvard researchers may have finally identified a chemical compound that could be used to study and treat diabetes after decades of searching. They have discovered a whole different method for maintaining insulin in the blood: by blocking the enzyme that breaks it down.



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Breathprint could one day be used to help diagnose disease

Our breathprint could be used to detect signature metabolites associated with disease.

Our fingerprints are unique to us, but so may be our breath.  Compounds in exhaled air produce a unique and stable molecular autograph or “breathprint” – one that could be used to monitor disease or track response to medication.



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Meteorite fragments help explain why living things only use molecules with specific orientations

This is an artist’s concept of excess left-hand aspartic acid created in asteroids and delivered to Earth via meteorite impacts. The line at the bottom is a chromatogram showing that left-hand aspartic acid (tall peak in the center, with diagram of left-hand aspartic acid molecule on top) was four times more abundant in the meteorite sample than right-hand aspartic acid (smaller peak to the left, with right-handed aspartic acid molecule on top). 

 Researchers analyzing meteorite fragments that fell on a frozen lake in Canada have developed an explanation for the origin of life’s handedness — why living things only use molecules with specific orientations. The work also gave the strongest evidence to date that liquid water inside an asteroid leads to a strong preference of left-handed over right-handed forms of some common protein amino acids in meteorites. The result makes the search for extraterrestrial life more challenging…

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Eating less helps the brain stay young: study


Eating less turns on a molecule that helps the brain stay young.

Overeating can cause brain aging while eating less turns on a molecule that helps the brain stay young.  Researchers at the Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Rome have discovered that a molecule, called CREB1, is triggered by “caloric restriction” (low caloric diet) in the brain of mice. They found that CREB1 activates many genes linked to longevity and to the proper functioning of the brain.

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Scientists Create World’s First Molecular Transistor

Hey look ma, only one molecule!
A group of scientists has succeeded in creating the world’s first transistor made from a single molecule.

The group included researchers from Yale University and the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea.

The team, including Mark Reed, the Harold Hodgkinson Professor of Engineering and Applied Science at Yale, showed that a benzene molecule attached to gold contacts could behave just like a silicon transistor.

The researchers were able to manipulate the molecule’s different energy states depending on the voltage they applied to it through the contacts.

By manipulating the energy states, they were able to control the current passing through the molecule.


Stunning Image of a Single Molecule

single molecule

Even the bonds to the hydrogen atoms at the pentacene’s periphery can be seen

The detailed chemical structure of a single molecule has been imaged for the first time, say researchers.  The physical shape of single carbon nanotubes has been outlined before, using similar techniques – but the new method even shows up chemical bonds.


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Fastest Evolving Technology – DNA Sequencing


Human DNA sequence

Investing in technology-driven fields is risky, especially when everyone touts them as the Next Big Thing. Sure, it’s easy to see quick gains, but you’re just as likely to see those gains vanish as the next-generation technology sneaks in and replaces it — the disruptor becomes the disrupted, so to speak.


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A New Way To Detect Cancer Early

A New Way To Detect Cancer Early 


A prototype device employs the same magnetic phenomenon used to write data to computer hard drives.

A new system for detecting cancer proteins uses the same magnetic phenomenon that lets computer hard drives read and write data. The Stanford University researchers developing the system hope that it will detect cancer in its earlier stages, when it’s easier to treat. MagArray, a startup in Sunnyvale, CA, will commercialize the technology.

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