Current Natural Products News and Events

Current Natural Products News and Events, Natural Products News Articles.
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Direct cloning method CAPTUREs novel microbial natural products
Microorganisms possess natural product biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) that may harbor unique bioactivities for use in drug development and agricultural applications. However, many uncharacterized microbial BGCs remain inaccessible. Researchers at Illinois previously demonstrated a technique using transcription factor decoys to activate large, silent BGCs in bacteria to aid in natural product discovery. (2021-02-19)

New method converts methane in natural gas to methanol at room temperature
Researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago have discovered a way to convert the methane in natural gas into liquid methanol at room temperature. (2021-02-18)

Plastic recycling results in rare metals being found in children's toys and food packaging
Scientists from the University of Plymouth and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tested a range of new and used products - including children's toys, office equipment and cosmetic containers - and found they contained quantities of rare earth elements. (2021-02-17)

Breakthrough in organic chemistry: Asymmetric syntheses of useful, unique chiral compounds
''N?C axially chiral compounds'' are important chiral molecules with various applications in medicinal chemistry and chiral technology. However, there is a scarcity of research on ways to synthesize them in an enantioselective (asymmetric) manner, to obtain useful forms of the compounds. Researchers at Shibaura Institute of Technology, Japan, have rectified this, by developing a catalytic enantioselective method to synthesize various N?C axially chiral compounds. A recent article in Accounts of Chemical Research summarizes their achievements. (2021-02-16)

Flowers of St. John's Wort serve as green catalyst
An interdisciplinary team of scientists from the School of Science at TU Dresden has for the first time used dried flowers of St. John's Wort (genus Hypericum) as an active catalyst in various photochemical reactions. This conceptually new and sustainable process was registered as a German patent and presented in the journal 'Green Chemistry'. (2021-02-12)

Combination of pine scent and ozone as super source of particulate emissions
Scientists have managed to figure out why conifer forests produce so many fine particles into the atmosphere. Aerosol particles are particularly abundant when ?-pinene, the molecule responsible for the characteristic pattern of pine trees reacts with atmospheric ozone. (2021-02-11)

Plant-based diet and bone health: adequate calcium and vitamin D intakes should be ensured
In a study conducted at the University of Helsinki, partial replacement of animal protein with plant protein in the diet altered bone metabolism and decreased calcium and vitamin D intakes. (2021-02-10)

Creating more sustainable fragrances with biotech
In the face of a changing climate and crop diseases, manufacturers of products containing natural flavors and fragrances are pivoting to a new way to source ingredients. Companies have been partnering with biotechnology firms to manufacture scents and flavors using fermented microbes, which experts say are more sustainable. A new story in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, details how the industry is brewing up new fragrances. (2021-02-10)

The invisible killer lurking in our consumer products
Our consumer products, such as food, cosmetics and clothes, might be filled with nanomaterials - unbeknownst to us. The use of nanomaterials remains unregulated and they do not show up in lists of ingredients. A new study published in Nature Communications sheds light on whether they are harmful and what happens to them when they enter an organism. (2021-02-09)

Chemists developed a simplified method for pharmaceutical compounds synthesizing
A team of chemists from Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University and Saint Petersburg State University developed a simple and efficient method to synthesize tetrahydroisoquinolines--important organic molecules for drug discovery. The method consists of just three steps. (2021-02-09)

Chemists identified necessary conditions for successful synthesis of small molecules
A team of researchers from Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University and Saint Petersburg State University identified the factors that affect the speed of synthesis of organic molecules consisting of several heterocycles. According to the team, accurate selection of reagents and reaction conditions can help efficiently obtain compounds used in the pharmaceutical industry. (2021-02-09)

Nanocarriers in the enhancement of therapeutic efficacy of natural drugs
https://doi.org/10.15212/bioi-2020-0040 Announcing a new article publication for BIO Integration journal. In this review article the authors Xiuling Li, Shunung Liang, Chee Hwee Tan, Shuwen Cao, Xiaoding Xu, Phei Er Saw and Wei Tao from Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China and Center for Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA discuss the potential benefits of four plants endogenous to China and the enhancement of their therapeutic efficacy by nanotechnology intervention. (2021-02-09)

Use of goldenseal may compromise glucose control in diabetics on metformin
Diabetic patients taking the natural product goldenseal while taking the prescription drug metformin may be unwittingly sabotaging their efforts to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Metformin--the world's most-prescribed oral glucose-lowering medication--was included in a cocktail of selected drugs given to participants in a clinical study led by scientists at Washington State University. The study found that after six days of taking goldenseal, participants had about 25 percent less metformin in their bodies. (2021-02-08)

City, University of London academic tracks COVID-19 dark web marketplaces
New research carried out by Dr Andrea Baronchelli and his colleagues into the dark web marketplace (DWM) trade in products related to COVID-19, has revealed the need for the continuous monitoring of dark web marketplaces (DWMs), especially in light of the current shortage and availability of coronavirus vaccines. (2021-02-04)

City, University of London academic tracks COVID-19 dark web marketplace before vaccine
Dr Andrea Baronchelli, and colleagues have carried out insightful research into the dark web marketplace (DWM) trade in products related to COVID-19; they have revealed the need for the continuous monitoring of dark web marketplaces (DWMs) especially in light of the current shortage and availability of coronavirus vaccines. (2021-02-04)

CABI study updates safer options for fall armyworm control in Africa
CABI scientists have updated the first major study of potential biological controls that could be used in the fight against the devastating fall armyworm in Africa. The research offers new insight into evidence of their efficacy in the field and increased availability as commercial products. (2021-02-03)

Amazon spreads vaccine misinformation, iSchool researchers find
Amazon's search algorithm gives preferential treatment to books that promote false claims about vaccines, according to research by UW Information School Ph.D. student Prerna Juneja and Assistant Professor Tanu Mitra. (2021-02-02)

Synthesizing valuable chemicals from contaminated soil
Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and ETH Zurich have developed a process to produce commodity chemicals in a much less hazardous way than was previously possible. In the current issue of Science, the researchers report that they have been able to utilize electrolysis, i.e., the application of an electric current, to obtain chemicals known as dichloro and dibromo compounds, which can then be used to synthesize commodity chemicals. (2021-01-29)

Detecting trace amounts of multiple classes of antibiotics in foods
Widespread use of antibiotics in human healthcare and livestock husbandry has led to trace amounts of the drugs ending up in food products. Long-term consumption could cause health problems, but it's been difficult to analyze more than a few antibiotics at a time because they have different chemical properties. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have developed a method to simultaneously measure 77 antibiotics in a variety of foods. (2021-01-27)

Well connected through amides
Linking molecular components through amide bonds is one of the most important reactions in research and the chemical industry. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, scientists have now introduced a new type of reaction for making amide bonds. Called an ASHA ligation, this reaction is fast, efficient, works under mild aqueous conditions, and is broadly applicable. (2021-01-27)

A mild way to upcycle plastics used in bottles into fuel and other high-value products
Plastic is ubiquitous in people's lives. Yet, when plastic-containing items have fulfilled their missions, only a small amount is recycled into new products, which are often of lower quality compared to the original material. And, transforming this waste into high-value chemicals requires substantial energy. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' JACS Au have combined a ruthenium-carbon catalyst and mild, lower-energy reaction conditions to convert plastics used in bottles and other packaging into fuels and chemical feedstock. (2021-01-27)

Putting bugs on the menu, safely
The thought of eating insects is stomach turning for many, but new Edith Cowan University (ECU) research is shedding light on allergy causing proteins which could pose serious health risks for those suffering from shellfish allergy. The research, published in the journal Food Chemistry, identified 20 proteins found in cricket food products which could cause serious allergic reactions. (2021-01-27)

New research: Monitoring online posts by consumers could help improve food safety
An estimated 48 million cases of foodborne illness are contracted in the U.S annually, causing about 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, according to CDC. In some instances, the source is well known, but 80 percent of food poisoning cases are of unknown origin. In a new study published by the journal Risk Analysis, proposes a new Food Safety Monitoring System that utilizes consumer comments posted on websites to identify products associated with food-related illnesses. (2021-01-26)

On the trail of active ingredients from marine yeasts
Numerous natural products are awaiting discovery in all kinds of natural habitats. Especially microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi are able to produce diverse natural products with high biomedical application potential in particular as antibiotics and anticancer agents. Researchers from GEOMAR and Kiel University isolated red yeast of the species Rhodotorula mucilaginosa from a deep-sea sediment sample and analyzed for its genome and chemical constituents. The scientists succeeded in demonstrating its anticancer and antibacterial effects. (2021-01-20)

Overactive food quality control system triggers food allergies, Yale scientists say
In a paper published Jan. 14 in the journal Cell, four Yale immunobiologists propose an expanded explanation for the rise of food allergies -- the exaggerated activation of our food quality control system, a complex and highly evolved program designed to protect us against eating harmful foods. (2021-01-14)

Sperm-specific gene expression in organisms including mice, macaques and men
A large class of mammalian genes is not completely shared throughout sperm development and differentiation, according to a new study of sperm in organisms including mice, macaques and men. (2021-01-14)

Rising health risks mean stronger regulations needed for smokeless tobacco
Researchers at the University of York are calling for more stringent regulatory measures to reduce the health burden of smokeless tobacco, a product often found in UK stores without the proper health warnings and as a result of illicit trading. (2021-01-12)

Healthcare Nutrition Council leads the way on medical food discussions
Medical foods help patients manage their nutritional needs, yet it can be very difficult for patients to have access to them. In August 2019, the Healthcare Nutrition Council (HNC), in partnership with the American Society for Nutrition (ASN), held the Medical Foods Workshop: Science, Regulation, and Practical Aspects. (2021-01-12)

Youth using e-cigarettes three times as likely to become daily cigarette smokers
University of California San Diego Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Sciences researchers report that starting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, before the age of 18 is a major risk factor for people becoming daily cigarette smokers. (2021-01-11)

Metabolic potential and molecular diversity of natural products from microorganisms
Metabolic potential and molecular diversity of natural products from microorganisms https://doi.org/10.1007/s42995-020-00077-5 Announcing a new publication for Marine Life Science & Technology journal. In this review article the authors consider the metabolic potential and molecular diversity of natural products from microorganisms. (2021-01-10)

Researchers synthesize bio-based Methylcyclopentadiene with 3-Methylcyclopent-2-enone
Scientists from DICP synthesized bio-based MCPD via direct hydrodeoxygenation of 3-methylcyclopent-2-enone (MCP) derived from cellulose. (2021-01-07)

Dual smoking and vaping doesn't cut cardiovascular risk: Boston University study
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death associated with smoking cigarettes. But as use of e-cigarettes (''vaping'') becomes more popular, including as a way to cut back on cigarettes, little is known about its effect on cardiovascular health. Now, a new Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) study, published in the journal Circulation, finds that vaping may not cut risk of cardiovascular disease in the way that most adults use them--in combination with cigarettes. (2021-01-06)

Majority of biotech companies completing an IPO from 1997-2016 achieved product approvals
A large scale study from Bentley University of the biotechnology companies that completed Initial Public Offerings from 1997-2016 estimates that 78% of these companies are associated with products that reach phase 3 trials and 52% are associated with new product approvals. The article, titled 'Late-stage product development and approvals by biotechnology companies after IPO, 1997-2016,' shows that these emerging, public biotechnology companies continue to have a role in initiating new product development, but are no longer distinctively focused on novel, biological products. (2021-01-06)

Natural products with potential efficacy against lethal viruses
Researchers describe the biology of three families of RNA viruses including Coronavirus, Ebola, and Zika and the natural products that have been shown to have capabilities to inhibit them. The review provides a guide that could accelerate drug discovery in response to future epidemics. (2021-01-05)

Polysaccharides from red algae affect mice immune systems, say FEFU scientists
Carrageenans, biologically active polysaccharides isolated from red algae and widely used in the food industry as stabilizers, thickeners, or jelly agents have an express effect on the immune systems of mice, a study reports. The research was carried out by scientists from the School of Biomedicine of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Vilnius University. A related article appears in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. (2020-12-29)

New catalytic approach to accessing key intermediate carbocation
This study revealed the development of a novel iridium based catalyst. The catalyst is capable of accessing the carbocation intermediates of the reaction to achieve an unprecedented level of regioselectivity (>95%) and enantioselectivity (98%). This technology will have far-reaching implications in synthetic, organic, and pharmaceutical chemistry. (2020-12-21)

Crowdfunding can affect consumer product choices -- especially when the products do good
A new study from the UBC Sauder School of Business shows that people will pay far more for social good items when they're crowdfunded. (2020-12-16)

Type of sugar used to sweeten sheep milk kefir may improve consumer acceptance
The study of human emotions can be used to gauge the sensory acceptance of dairy products. A possible route to increase worldwide consumption of sheep milk kefir may be to improve its sensory acceptance, which can be a determining factor for its inclusion in daily diets. In an article appearing in the Journal of Dairy Science, scientists studied the effects of kefir sweetened with five different sugars on sensory acceptance and emotional profile in regular consumers of fermented dairy products. (2020-12-15)

Scientists discover compounds that could have helped to start life on Earth
Scientists from St Petersburg University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have discovered natural cyclophosphates. These are possible precursors of phosphorus-containing molecules that are believed to have contributed to the emergence of primordial life on Earth. Cyclophosphates could have been formed billions of years ago in regions of elevated geothermal activity or during meteorite bombardments of the Earth. (2020-12-14)

Silica the best environmental alternative to plastic microbeads, finds study
Following bans on plastic microbeads in wash-off cosmetics, a new study weighs up the environmental costs of alternatives. (2020-12-14)

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