How a Small, Organic Molecule Reigns in the Immune System

A Chinese research group has employed a chemical proteomic strategy to determine the mechanism of action of the anti-inflammatory molecule itaconate. Itaconate non-enzymatically modifies cellular proteins in order to modulate their activity, leading to a reduction in the activation of immune cells, which could pave the way to an autoimmune therapy.

Peering inside the cell

Everyday your cells are working overtime to keep you functioning. Learn how these researchers developed a new technique to peer through the crowded cell and study one individual protein.

Detergents are for more than washing dishes

Studying membrane-bound proteins requires stabilizing their structure outside of the membrane – otherwise they fall apart. But our analytical techniques have not risen to the challenge. Sadaf et al. pushes us forward by developing novel detergents for stabilizing membrane proteins.

What’s blacker than black?

There’s a new record holder for the world’s blackest material. Learn about how randomly oriented carbon nanotubes can be used to create a coating darker than anything else ever made!

The Smell of Success

Although skunks are nocturnal animals that prefer their own company, they won’t hesitate to spray potential predators, people or pets with fluid from their anal glands. For many years, these anal secretions have fascinated natural products chemists but repelled most of the rest of us. Learn about a new way to “de-skunk” from researchers at the University of Oklahoma.

Are Nanoparticles Getting Into Your Cells?

Scientists want to use nanoparticles to deliver drugs straight to where they’re needed in your body – but can the nanoparticles enter the right cells? A new model describes how to design nanoparticles that get to where they’re needed.

Draw your own circuits with liquid metal

Electrical circuits can be drawn, erased, and redrawn with ease on this new material that uses liquid metal particles suspended in a polymer network. Check out how it’s made and its potential uses in flexible electronics!