Beware…CO2 This tiny microbe Ralston eutropha is coming to feed you.

The bacteria,  genetically engineered to absorb carbon dioxide and  hydrogen from air and to convert it into alcohol fuel, potential applications of this project are immense ranging from preservation of fossil fuels or proving concrete foundation to global warming eradication initiatives.

Harvard Professor of Energy, Daniel G. Nocera  engineered the  bacteria, called Ralston eutropha, takes hydrogen and CO² then converts it into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) by inserting genes that will allow the ATP to convert to alcohol fuel.

 

Advertisements

Let’s monitor sugar consumption to predict awakening time in coma patient’s

brain ON web

The mammalian brain depends on glucose as its main source of energy. In the adult brain, neurons have the highest energy demand, requiring continuous delivery of glucose from blood. In humans, the brain accounts for ~2% of the body weight, but it consumes ~20% of glucose-derived energy making it the main consumer of glucose (~5.6 mg glucose per 100 g human brain tissue per minute . Glucose metabolism provides the fuel for physiological brain function through the generation of ATP, the foundation for neuronal and non-neuronal cellular maintenance, as well as the generation of neurotransmitters. Therefore, tight regulation of glucose metabolism is critical for brain physiology.

Considering importance of glucose for brain cells, rate of glucose consumption is monitored by PET scan in coma patient’s to differentiate between patient’s in total coma and those with hidden sign of awareness.

Recently researcher’s from University of Copenhagen and Yale university used technique…

View original post 143 more words

Let’s monitor sugar consumption to predict awakening time in coma patient’s

The mammalian brain depends on glucose as its main source of energy. In the adult brain, neurons have the highest energy demand, requiring continuous delivery of glucose from blood. In humans, the brain accounts for ~2% of the body weight, but it consumes ~20% of glucose-derived energy making it the main consumer of glucose (~5.6 mg glucose per 100 g human brain tissue per minute . Glucose metabolism provides the fuel for physiological brain function through the generation of ATP, the foundation for neuronal and non-neuronal cellular maintenance, as well as the generation of neurotransmitters. Therefore, tight regulation of glucose metabolism is critical for brain physiology.

Considering importance of glucose for brain cells, rate of glucose consumption is monitored by PET scan in coma patient’s to differentiate between patient’s in total coma and those with hidden sign of awareness.

Recently researcher’s from University of Copenhagen and Yale university used technique FDG-PET to monitor sugar uptake in brain of coma patient’s to see energy signatures, they analyzed glucose uptake and neuron metabolism in patient’s with partial or full unconsciousness and then compared those results to whether or not a patient had woken up in a year’s time. They found that those who showed less than 42 percent of normal brain activity didn’t regain consciousness after a year, while those who had activity above that woke up within a year. Overall, the test was able to accurately predict 94 percent of patients who would wake up from a vegetative state.

BrainScanComa_web_1024.jpg

Monitoring rate of Glucose consumption in neurons can tell us when coma patient will wake up

it’s a very promising step towards a test that might offer families of patients with brain injuries some idea of what to expect in the next year, for better or worse.

Cryo electron microscopy next big thing in drug target discovery

Cryo- electron microscopy is a form of transmission electron microscopy where sample is analyzed at cryogenic temperature, this technique enable researcher to visualize potential drug target sites on proteins/enzymes with higher resolution in contrast to X-ray crystallography which require crystallization of specimen and however not all proteins can be crystallized easily, and those that do crystallize may not display the same shape that is present in their natural environment, either since the protein shape can be modified by crystallization additives or by the contacts that form between neighboring proteins within the crystal lattice.

Cancer cells require continuous nutrients supply  which they maintain by altering activation rate of key metabolic enzymes like mitochondrial enzymes pyruvate carboxylase and glutaminase, the expression of these enzymes increases several folds in lung cancer patients. Hence targeting metabolic enzymes is another form of cancer treatment but success story relies on clear idea about potential target sites on these enzymes for drugs to act on and CRYO-EM can be answer to this problem

xdh-protein-article

Improved resolution of atomic details of proteins from left to right by advances in cryo-EM technology 

Researchers  were able to capture images of glutamate dehydrogenase, an enzyme found in cells, at a resolution of 1.8 angstroms, a level of detail at which the structure of the central parts of the enzyme could be visualized in atomic detail. The scientists from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and their colleagues also reported achieving another major milestone, by showing that the shapes of cancer target proteins too small to be considered within the reach of current cryo-EM capabilities can now be determined at high resolution.Two of the small proteins the researchers imaged in this new study, isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH1) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), are active targets for cancer drug development. Mutations in the genes that code for these proteins are common in several types of cancer. Thus, imaging the surfaces of these proteins in detail can help scientists identify molecules that will bind to them and aid in turning the protein activity off.

 

Solar flares: catalyst of life on earth

    052316_ts_superflares_freeSolar flares the probable catalyst of life on earth..Around 4.1 million years ago solar particles could have compressed earth’s magnetic field reaching atmosphere and providing energy for occurrence of life forming abiogenic molecule.

Solar flares bombarded our earth’s surface around 4.1  million years ago reaching atmosphere and  Collisions between the particles and molecules in Earth’s atmosphere produced nitrous oxide, a planet-warming greenhouse gas, and hydrogen cyanide, a crucial component for building DNA, the researchers propose May 23 in Nature Geoscience.

Solar storms made a big impact on Earth, the researchers propose. The storms temporarily squeezed the magnetosphere, the protective magnetic bubble surrounding Earth, to one-sixth its normal height. That squashing allowed more solar particles to rain into the atmosphere. The dive-bombing particles ionized and broke apart nitrogen molecules in the air. Those molecules reassembled into new ones such as hydrogen cyanide, which can produce DNA bases and amino acids.

Another product, nitrous oxide, is a greenhouse gas nearly 300 times as potent as carbon dioxide. The additional nitrous oxide could have kept Earth from freezing during the sun’s dim days, the researchers propose.

Solar storms as factor for life formation gives weight to possibility of finding life on other planets as like earth distant planets had also faced solar eruptions in the past.