Sickle cell disease (SCD), which affects millions of people worldwide, has traditionally been treated with a cytotoxic drug that has a range of negative side effects and variable patient response. Bay Area biopharmaceutical company Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) is on a mission to develop a better treatment and is using the ALS to help. ... Read more »
Lead halide perovskites have emerged as high-performance photovoltaic materials, demonstrating remarkably rapid improvements in efficiency. In situ printing and time-resolved x-ray characterization have provided new insights into the relationship between device efficiency, perovskite crystallinity, and film morphology. ... Read more »
Bacterial microcompartments (BMCs) are hollow protein shells that encapsulate enzymes involved in bacterial metabolism. Crystallography studies have provided atomic-resolution views of a fully assembled BMC, revealing basic principles of shell construction for fighting pathogens or bioengineering applications.
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Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) last a long time and are very energy efficient. However, white LEDs currently rely on phosphor materials doped with rare-earth elements (REEs) that are increasingly costly and in short supply. A new class of hybrid phosphor materials shows promise as REE-free alternatives. ... Read more »
Researchers used x-ray microdiffraction to trace the complex sequences of crystal growth in concrete from ancient Roman pier and breakwater sites. The results indicate that minerals continue to form over millennia as seawater percolates through, reinforcing the cementing matrix in a kind of regenerative process. ... Read more »
The Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne pathogen recently linked to birth defects in infants. At the ALS, researchers have resolved the structure of a key ZIKV protein to 3.0 Å, an important step toward the rational design of drugs capable of disrupting viral functions and halting the spread of the disease.
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A new look inside 2,000-year-old concrete—made from volcanic ash, lime (the product of baked limestone), and seawater—has provided new clues to the evolving chemistry and mineral cements that allow ancient harbor structures to withstand the test of time. ... Read more »
The actions of a protein used for DNA replication and repair are guided by electrostatic forces known as phosphate steering, a finding that not only reveals key details about a vital process in healthy cells, but provides new directions for cancer treatment research. ... Read more »
Scientists are providing the clearest view yet of an intact bacterial microcompartment (BMC), revealing the polyhedral structure and assembly of this organelle’s protein shell. Having the full structure can help provide important information in fighting pathogens or bioengineering bacterial organelles for beneficial purposes. ... Read more »
Scientists found that the element berkelium breaks form with its heavy-element peers by taking on an extra positive charge when bound to a synthetic organic molecule. This property could help scientists develop better methods for handling and purifying nuclear materials. ... Read more »