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Current Amino Acids News and Events, Amino Acids News Articles.
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Enigma of fatty acid metabolism solved: Enzyme shape controls its activity
Fats are essential for our body. The core components of all fats are fatty acids. Their production is initiated by the enzyme ACC. Researchers at the University of Basel's Biozentrum have now demonstrated how ACC assembles into distinct filaments. As the researchers report in (2018-06-13)

Fat cell filling, ketogenic diet, and the history of biochemistry:
Recent articles in the Journal of Lipid Research investigate how brown fat converts to white, how cells in the liver fill fat droplets, and how eating a ketogenic or calorie-restricted diet may change a mouse's metabolism. (2018-06-13)

Immune response associated with inflammation and joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis
To diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, antibodies to the amino acid citrulline are commonly measured. A new study from Uppsala University shows that a broad mix of different antibodies in the joints is the dominant factor that can be associated with severe inflammation and joint damage. These findings, published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, may lead to improved diagnostics. (2018-06-12)

Approaching an ideal amino acid synthesis using hydrogen
Osaka University researchers demonstrated a reductive alkylation method for the functionalization of substituted amines using hydrogen, which is efficiently catalyzed by innocuous main-group catalysts. Their reaction generated water as the sole byproduct. The presented reaction is highly versatile and environmentally benign, and therefore expected to be applied to wide areas of chemical synthesis. These benefits will contribute to establishment of a high throughput screening of potential drug candidates. (2018-06-11)

'Tricking' bacteria into hydroxylating benzene
Researchers at Nagoya University used bacteria to convert benzene into phenol. They developed 'decoy' molecules -- modified amino acids -- mimicking the native substrates of a genetically expressed oxygenase enzyme. When absorbed by live E.coli cells, the decoys were misrecognized as substrates of the oxygenase, which became activated. The bacteria then oxidized a supplied benzene source, needing only glucose as fuel. (2018-06-11)

Regenerative bandage accelerates healing in diabetic wounds
A Northwestern University team has developed a new device, called a regenerative bandage, that quickly heals these painful, hard-to-treat sores without using drugs. During head-to-head tests, Northwestern's bandage healed diabetic wounds 33 percent faster than one of the most popular bandages currently on the market. (2018-06-11)

Stanford nectar research sheds light on ecological theory
Different species almost always coexist -- whether it's big animals on the plains, bugs in a jungle or yeasts in flower nectar -- but how that works is complicated. Now, Stanford researchers have teased apart competing theories of how species live together. (2018-06-11)

Making the oxygen we breathe, a photosynthesis mechanism exposed
Oxygen photosynthesis has to be the greatest giver of life on Earth, and researchers have cracked yet another part of its complex and efficient chemistry. The more we know about it, the better we may be able to tweak photosynthesis, should it come under environmental duress, or should we need to boost crop productivity. (2018-06-11)

Bone apetit: How bacteria eat bone to sustain invasive infection
Researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center have determined the metabolic pathway that Staphylococcus aureus use to survive in bones. Invasive S. aureus infections frequently occur in the bone and are notoriously resistant to antimicrobial therapy. The research is presented at ASM Microbe, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, held from June 7-11 in Atlanta, Ga. (2018-06-08)

Microbiome differences between urban and rural populations start soon after birth
An analysis comparing the intestinal microbiomes of both infants and adults living in rural and urban areas of Nigeria has revealed that not only are there many differences in adults living in subsistence environments versus urban ones but also that these variations begin at a very young age. The study appears June 5 in the journal Cell Reports. (2018-06-05)

Scientists reveal structure of amino acid transporter involved in cancer
The human glutamine transporter ASCT2 is upregulated in several forms of cancer. It is also the docking platform for a wide range of pathogenic retroviruses. A team of University of Groningen scientists have used cryo-electron microscopy to elucidate the structure of the protein, which may generate leads for drug development. The results were published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology on 5 June. (2018-06-05)

HIV vaccine elicits antibodies in animals that neutralize dozens of HIV strains
An experimental vaccine regimen based on the structure of a vulnerable site on HIV elicited antibodies in mice, guinea pigs and monkeys that neutralize dozens of HIV strains from around the world. The findings were reported today in the journal Nature Medicine by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and their colleagues. (2018-06-04)

A change in bacteria's genetic code holds promise of longer-lasting drugs
By altering the genetic code in bacteria, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have demonstrated a method to make therapeutic proteins more stable, an advance that would improve the drugs' effectiveness and convenience, leading to smaller and less frequent doses of medicine, lower health care costs and fewer side effects for patients with cancer and other diseases. (2018-06-04)

New technology for enzyme design
Scientists at the University of W├╝rzburg have chemically modified the enzyme levansucrase using a new method. The enzyme can now produce sugar polymers that are exciting for applications in the food industry and medicine. (2018-06-01)

Polymer researchers discover path to sustainable and biodegradable polyesters
Researchers at Virginia Tech have synthesized a biodegradable alternative to polyolefins using a new catalyst and the polyester polymer, and this breakthrough could eventually have a profound impact on sustainability efforts. (2018-06-01)

Inefficient fat metabolism a possible cause of overweight
Protracted weight gain can, in some cases, be attributed to a reduced ability to metabolise fat, a new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the esteemed journal Cell Metabolism shows. Sensitive individuals might need more intensive lifestyle changes if they are to avoid becoming overweight and developing type 2 diabetes, claim the researchers, who are now developing means of measuring the ability to break down fat. (2018-05-31)

How to code a functional molecular machine?
An international team has developed a model that simulates protein evolution. Starting from stiff, unfunctional proteins, the computer model shows how evolving protein components can work together to give rise to dynamic and efficient molecular machines. (2018-05-29)

NCI study finds gut microbiome can control antitumor immune function in liver
Scientists have found a connection between bacteria in the gut and antitumor immune responses in the liver. Bacteria found in the gut of mice affect the liver's antitumor immune function. The findings have implications for understanding the mechanisms that lead to liver cancer and for therapeutic approaches to treat them. (2018-05-24)

Scientists shrink chemistry lab to seek evidence of life on Mars
An international team of scientists has created a tiny chemistry lab for a rover that will drill beneath the Martian surface looking for signs of past or present life. (2018-05-24)

How do insects survive on a sugary diet?
In research published in G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, researchers at the University of California, Riverside, show that bacteriocytes -- specific aphid cells that house the symbiotic bacteria -- have different DNA methylation patterns depending on what type of plant sap the aphid is consuming. (2018-05-24)

In the beginning was the phase separation
The question of the origin of life remains one of the oldest unanswered scientific questions. A team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now shown for the first time that phase separation is an extremely efficient way of controlling the selection of chemical building blocks and providing advantages to certain molecules. (2018-05-23)

Study finds snap-lock mechanism in bacterial riboswitch
In a discovery that points to potential new antibiotic medicines, scientists from Rice University and the University of Michigan have deciphered the workings of a common but little-understood bacterial switch that cuts off protein production. (2018-05-21)

Computer redesigns enzyme
University of Groningen biotechnologists used a computational method to redesign aspartase and convert it to a catalyst for asymmetric hydroamination reactions. Their colleagues in China scaled up the production of this enzyme and managed to produce kilograms of very pure building blocks for pharmaceuticals and other bioactive compounds. This successful proof of principle study was published in Nature Chemical Biology on 21 May. (2018-05-21)

Chemists synthesize millions of proteins not found in nature
MIT chemists have devised a way to rapidly synthesize and screen millions of novel proteins that could be used as drugs against Ebola and other viruses. (2018-05-21)

Annotation tool provides step toward understanding links between disease, mutant RNA
Researchers have developed a computer program that represents a key step toward better understanding the connections between mutant genetic material and disease. (2018-05-18)

Keep saying yes to fish twice a week for heart health
A new scientific advisory from the American Heart Association reaffirms the Association's recommendation to eat two servings of fish per week. (2018-05-17)

Levers and zippers in the cell's 'customs'
The passage of ions through the cell membrane is controlled by ion channels, which are protein complexes that regulate vital processes, such as the heartbeat, as well as being the target towards which many drugs are directed. Now a study by the University of Wisconsin, led by a Spanish researcher, presents a novel model to explain how the pores of these channels open and close. (2018-05-17)

Diabetes researchers find switch for fatty liver disease
Duke researchers have identified a key fork in the road for the way the liver deals with carbohydrates, fats and protein. They say it could be a promising new target for combating the pandemics of fatty liver disease and prediabetes. (2018-05-17)

Mechanical force controls the speed of protein synthesis
As cells create proteins, the proteins modulate synthesis speed by exerting a mechanical force on the molecular machine that makes them, according to a team of scientists who used a combination of computational and experimental techniques to understand this force. (2018-05-16)

Researchers identify gene that helps prevent brain disease
A UC San Diego-led team has identified a gene that helps prevent the harmful buildup of proteins that can lead to neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. As published in Nature, the researchers found that the 'Ankrd16' gene acts like a failsafe in proofreading and correcting errors to avoid the abnormal production of improper proteins. (2018-05-16)

Scientists use Dorset, UK, as model to help find traces of life on Mars
By studying a stream on the UK coast, experts have calculated how much organic matter we might find on Mars, and where to look. (2018-05-15)

Using MRSA's strength against it
MRSA evolved to become a deadly killer because it's wily and resilient. A new Michigan State University study, however, is figuring out how to turn one of its strengths against it. (2018-05-14)

Developing a method for synthesizing a novel polyester with alternating arrangement
Toyohashi University of Technology researchers have developed a method for synthesizing a 'pure' alternating copolymer of L-- and D-lactic acids in which L-- and D-lactic acids are alternately arranged, i.e., a 'syndiotactic' poly(lactic acid). With this method, it is possible to synthesize syndiotactic polyesters in which L- and D-type monomers are arranged alternately. These polyesters are conventionally difficult to synthesize. The present method is expected to facilitate the development of novel polyesters with unprecedented characteristics. (2018-05-10)

Discovery of novel biomarker with remarkable specificity to rheumatoid arthritis
University of Tsukuba-centered researchers identified the protein citrullinated ITIH4 as a new biomarker with high specificity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Notably, citrullinated ITIH4 levels were specifically increased in sera of patients with RA and significantly correlated with disease activity. Citrullinated ITIH4 might be a novel biomarker to distinguish RA from other rheumatic diseases and for assessing disease activity in patients with RA. (2018-05-10)

Hunting dogs may benefit from antioxidant boost in diet
Free radicals, those DNA-damaging single-oxygen atoms, are produced in spades during exercise. Dogs that exercise a lot, like hunting dogs, may need to consume more antioxidants than their less-active counterparts to protect against this damage. But what diet formulation best meets the needs of these furry athletes? A new University of Illinois study provides some answers in a real-world scenario. (2018-05-08)

Building better beta peptides
Beta peptides have become a key tool in building more robust biomaterials. These synthetic molecules mimic the structure of small proteins, but they are protected against processes that degrade natural peptides. A new study has expanded what we can do with these crafty peptides. Published in APL Bioengineering, the researchers show that molecules that have previously posed challenges to bioengineers can now be used to make new kinds of biomaterials. (2018-05-07)

Walnuts impact gut microbiome and improve health
Diets rich in nuts, such as walnuts, have been shown to play a role in heart health and in reducing colorectal cancer. According to a new study from the University of Illinois, the way walnuts impact the gut microbiome -- the collection of trillions of microbes or bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract -- may be behind some of those health benefits. (2018-05-03)

Flaw found in water treatment method
Some potentially toxic chemicals in water may be created, ironically, during the water treatment process itself. (2018-05-02)

Scientists make major breakthrough on omega-3 production
A major discovery that could 'revolutionize' the understanding of omega-3 production in the ocean has been made by an international team of scientists. (2018-05-02)

A simple catalyst helps to assemble complex molecular frameworks of antifungal agents
A team of Russian chemists led by Professor Dmitry Perekalin from Nesmeyanov Institute of Organoelement Compounds have recently developed a new rhodium catalyst for organic synthesis. The active center of the catalyst, the rhodium atom, is 'wearing' an asymmetric 'hat,' that allows the catalyst to assemble the reacting molecules with full spatial control. The method is expected to help to synthesize new antifungal agents for agricultural industry. (2018-05-02)

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