News & Research

Potential Help for TB Patients

March 2, 2015 | Journal of Proteome Research

Researchers investigated tuberculosis patients’ urine metabolome to help understand the disease pathophysiology and determine effective diagnosis and treatment methods, specifically host-directed therapy and protective vaccines.

Deliver Drugs to the Brains of Embryos

March 5, 2015 | ACS Chemical Neuroscience

Cadmium selenide/zinc sulfide core–shell quantum dots surface-functionalized with a zwitterionic palmitoylated peptide ligand deliver a cell-penetrating lipopeptide to a developing chick’s embryo brain without any apparent toxicity.

2014 Highlights of ACS Achievements

March 3, 2015 | American Chemical Society


Long Live Glutathione

March 3, 2015 | Journal of Physical Chemistry B

The authors examined the possible role of the tripeptide glutathione in prebiotic molecular evolution. Glutathione contains a γ-peptide bond, which is more thermodynamically favored than standard α-peptide bonds. In the absence of enzymes during prebiotic times, glutathione was a “survivor” and still performs essential biochemical duties.

Food Foams

March 3, 2015 | Langmuir

A food-grade surfactant, sodium stearoyl lactylate (SSL), is used to prepare ultrastable aqueous foams that also contain calcium carbonate nanoparticles. The foams, with half-lives of ≈40 days, are a proof of concept for potential use in food formulations.

Toward Better DNA Assays

March 2, 2015 | Journal of the American Chemical Society

The fluorescent nucleotide analogue 2-aminopurine is often used in DNA assays, but has a low quantum yield and does not always represent relevant conformations. Another analogue, deoxythienoguanosine, has a higher quantum yield and gives more accurate structural and dynamical data.

Five Chiral Centers for the Price of One

March 2, 2015 | Journal of Organic Chemistry

A rhodium(I) catalyst is used to cyclize chiral ethers that contain two double and two triple bonds to optically pure tetracyclic ether-ketones with four additional stereogenic centers. The reaction, run in a CO atmosphere to generate the ketone group, consists of domino Pauson–Khand and Diels–Alder cycloadditions.

Triple Threat

February 28, 2015 | Bioconjugate Chemistry

Peptides containing the arginine-glycine-aspartate (RGD) sequence are ideal targeting reagents for tumor diagnosis, imaging, and therapy. This one-step method for synthesizing RGD conjugated gold nanoclusters makes the cyclic RGD molecules perform the roles of reducing, stabilizing, and targeting agents.

Stimulus-Responsive MOFs

February 27, 2015 | Chemistry of Materials

The title of this perspective says it all: “Responsive metal–organic frameworks [MOFs] and framework materials: under pressure, taking the heat, in the spotlight, with friends”. A great deal of research has been conducted on “smart” MOFs that respond to all sorts of stimuli.

Methane Solubility in Propylene Carbonate

February 26, 2015 | Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data

Propylene carbonate (PC) is a solvent used for removing acid gases (H2S and CO2) from gas streams, but it’s important not to dissolve hydrocarbons, especially methane. This work reports the solubility of methane in PC at temperatures from –29 to 100 ºC and pressures from 101 to 11,200 kPa. Methane’s solubility minimum is at ≈60 ºC at all pressures.

DNA-Based Excitonic Devices

February 25, 2015 | ACS Photonics

DNA brick assembly is a good way to create programmable “nanobreadboards” on which chromophores can be rapidly and easily repositioned to prototype new excitonic devices, optimize device operation, and induce reversible switching. The authors used DNA nanobreadboards to demonstrate all of these functions by making and operating two excitonic AND logic gates.

Exploring Cyanines with Quantum Tools

February 24, 2015 | Accounts of Chemical Research

Cyanines may be old-fashioned dyes, but their optical properties make them ideal components of near-infrared devices. Their popularity has stimulated extensive quantum mechanical investigations to determine their electronic nature. The most recent advances are reviewed here.

Solvent-Binding Energies and Crystal Morphology

February 23, 2015 | Organic Process Research & Development

Penicillin sulfoxide (PS) is used to produce 7-ADCA, an important nucleus of cephalosporin antibiotics. In this study, the binding energies of water, ethyl acetate, and butyl acetate on specific surfaces of PS were evaluated. The binding energies are strongly associated with the crystal morphology of PS.

It Takes Wastes To Remove Wastes

February 16, 2015 | ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering

Sewage sludge is a wastewater treatment byproduct that can be converted to carbons for use in environmental remediation. Here, polystyrene foam (another waste material) is coated with sludge and pyrolyzed to form hollow sludge carbons (HSCs). The HSCs efficiently adsorb methylene blue (a surrogate for organic pollutants) from water.

Oxygen Reduction Kinetics under Pressure

February 16, 2015 | Journal of Physical Chemistry

The often-sluggish aqueous oxygen reduction reaction used in fuel cells is difficult to study because water boils at normal operating temperatures. In this study, boiling is suppressed by operating under pressure. This modification allowed the authors to elucidate the reaction’s kinetics.

Cancer-Fighting Daisy

February 16, 2015 | Journal of Natural Products

A new tricyclic sesquiterpene, meleucanthin, was isolated from an extract of the leaves and branches of the blackfoot daisy Melampodium leucanthum, along with four known sesquiterpene lactones. All of the compounds showed antiproliferative and cytotoxic efficacy against two prostate cancer cells and HeLa cervical cancer cells.

Decoding Protein Loop Dynamics

February 13, 2015 | Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation

The flexibility and dynamics of protein loops are critical for biological events at the molecular level. Molecular dynamics simulations were used to classify 169 loops in 38 proteins into “fast” (correlation times <10 ns), “slow” (100–500 ns), and “static” groups. These results and more are available on a public Web server.

Morphology Determines Catalytic Properties

February 12, 2015 | ACS Catalysis

Attempted catalytic oxidative couplings of methane produce mostly CO and CO2. This study shows that the catalytic ability of lanthanum oxycarbonate depends on its morphology. One rod-shaped form promotes methane coupling with 65% selectivity to the desired C2+ compounds.

Better Delivery, Better Results

February 5, 2015 | Molecular Pharmaceutics

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common causes of cancer-related mortality worldwide. The authors report the codelivery of sorafenib and curcumin by directed self-assembled nanoparticles to enhance the drugs’ therapeutic effect on HCC.

Soluble Iron from the Sky

February 3, 2015 | Environmental Science & Technology Letters

The author’s model predicts that atmospheric processing of combustion aerosols may convert insoluble iron to soluble, bioavailable forms. The model suggests that soluble iron deposition from combustion sources contributes >40% of the total soluble iron deposition over significant portions of southern oceans.

Foiling Fibril Formation

February 2, 2015 | Biochemistry

Misfolding, aggregation, and accumulation of proteins as human apolipoprotein C-II (apoC-II) amyloid fibrils are defining characteristics of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The authors show that specific charge and charge-pair mutations within apoC-II significantly alter its ability to form fibrils.

Efficient Hydrogen Gas Sensor

February 2, 2015 | ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Hydrogen gas sensors are made via electron beam deposition of platinum on highly aligned sheets of carbon nanotubes. A platinum thickness of 6 nm gave the highest response to hydrogen (3–33% H2 in air at room temperature). The response decreased at greater or smaller thicknesses.

Make Sulfoxides under Mild Conditions

February 2, 2015 | Organic Letters

In aqueous solution at room temperature, arylsulfinic acids react at the 3-position of indoles to displace hydrogen and produce indol-3-yl aryl sulfoxides. No catalyst or additive is required in this electrophilic substitution reaction. The method can be used to produce biologically active sulfoxides

Helping Kids Breathe

January 28, 2015 | ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters

Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an important pathogens that causes lower respiratory tract infections in infants and young children. Several imidazolepyridine derivatives were synthesized and found to have good potency as RSVs fusion inhibitors.

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