Latest News

Metals influence C-peptide, a hormone related to insulin

May 20, 2019

A recently accepted publication by Heffern and coworkers in ChemBioChem details how metals like zinc, copper, and chromium affect a peptide hormone known as C-peptide. C-peptide is made during insulin production in the pancreas and may help with sugar transport, kidney disease, and nerve damage in patients with diabetes. Their findings show that copper and chromium stop C-peptide from being taken up by cells but zinc does not.

DMT Microdosing Produces Antidepressant and Anxiolytic Effects

March 04, 2019

In a recent publication (Cameron and coworkers, ACS Chemical Neuroscience, 2019), the Olson Lab demonstrates for the first time that psychedelic microdosing—the practice of administering subhallucinogenic doses on a chronic, intermittent schedule—may reduce depression and ease anxiety.  This work suggests that the hallucinogenic properties of psychedelic compounds like DMT might not be necessary for their therapeutic effects.

Thermodynamics of H₂O and CO₂ Absorption and Guest-induced Phase Transitions in Zeolite RHO

February 09, 2019
Scientific Achievement

The zeolite RHO structure is unusually flexible in response to guest molecule occupancy. Gas absorption calorimetry determined the energetics of H₂O and CO₂ interaction with the framework as a function of loading from near zero coverage to saturation for several cation exchanged zeolite RHO materials. Framework flexibility and an associated “gate opening” phase transition from the dehydrated acentric form to the hydrated centric form during water absorption are clearly detected and quantified. The interactions with CO₂ are weaker than with H₂O.

Solid state synthesis from KH and thermoelectric properties of K₈E₈Ge₃₈ (E = Al, Ga, In)

February 07, 2019

The Kauzlarich lab (Perez and coworkers, Inorganic Chemistry) has recently reported the synthesis, low-temperature thermoelectric properties, structures, and composition of the type-I Clathrates K₈E₈Ge₃₈ (E = Al, Ga, In) using KH, E, and Ge. K₈E₈Ge₃₈ shows significant thermoelectric (zT) improvement over the Si analog (K₈AI₈Si₃₈) due to a reduced electrical resistivity. This work points towards more sustainable cost-effective materials for optimal thermoelectric performance.

A Bump-Hole Approach for Directed RNA Editing

January 30, 2019

In a recent publication in Cell Chemical Biology (Monteleone and coworkers, A Bump-Hole Approach for Directed RNA Editing, 2018) the Beal and Fisher labs describe a site directed-RNA editing system with reduced off-target activity.  A variety of systems have been developed to direct reactions that change nucleic acid sequences, either in DNA (genome editing) or in RNA (transcriptome editing) and these systems are trans

Designing Reactions with Post-Transition-State Bifurcations

December 19, 2018

Deep understanding of the factors controlling reactivity and selectivity for chemical reactions empowers chemists to control product distributions and design reactions with desired outcomes. The work described here provides a recipe for designing reactions with post-transition-state bifurcations (PTSBs)—reactions in which a single transition state leads directly to two (or more) products.

An electrochemical thermal transistor

November 15, 2018

A recent collaboration among the groups of Ken Goodson and Eric Pop at Stanford University and of Davide Donadio at UC Davis developed a device, which thermal conductance can be modulated reversibly by a factor 10x in few minutes by electrochemical intercalation. This nanoscale switch is made of several layers of MoS2, and its thermal conductance has been measured at in operando conditions.

Eu₁₁Zn₄Sn₂As₁₂: A Ferromagnetic Zintl Semiconductor with a Layered Structure Featuring Extended Zn4As6 Sheets and Ethane-like Sn2As6 Units

October 09, 2018

In a recent publication from the Kauzlarich and Taufour labs (Devlin et. al., Chem. Mater., 2018) describes the synthesis, structure, and magnetic properties of a new layered Zintl phase and structure type, Eu₁₁Zn₄Sn₂As₁₂. Eu₁₁Zn₄Sn₂As₁₂ is made up of unique beehive Zn₄As₆ sheets with pseudo-trigonal planer Zn and ethane-like Sn₂As₆ units. Eu₁₁Zn₄Sn₂As₁₂ exhibits a large negative colossal magnetoresistance of 2690-fold at 9 T.

The Zinc Linchpin Motif in the DNA Repair Glycosylase MUTYH: Identifying the Zn²⁺ Ligands and Roles in Damage Recognition and Repair

September 26, 2018

A recent publication from the David, Siegel and Lim (Academia Sinica, Taiwan) labs (Nuñez et al., JACS, 2018) provides insight into the coordination sphere and critical role of a Zn²⁺ metal binding site in the DNA repair glycosylase MUTYH. Genome database mining and sequence alignment of MUTYH orthologs, along with computational modeling, identified and supported Zn²⁺ ligation by four Cys residues. Three of the Cys residues lie in an interdomain connector region unique to mammalian MutY enzymes, while the 4th Cys is located in close proximity to the Fe-S cluster DNA binding domain.

X-ray Triggered Release of Engineered Proteins from Nanoparticles

September 17, 2018

In a recent publication (Su and coworkers, X-ray Mediated Release of Molecules and Engineered Proteins from the Surface of Nanoparticles, 2018) the Guo and Siegel Labs presents unprecedented efficient release of modified green fluorescent proteins (GFP) from the surface of silica-coated gold nanoparticles.