3D printed blood vessels allow easy monitoring and experimentation

Paper: ECM-based microchannel for culturing in vitro vascular tissues with simultaneous perfusion and stretch Journal: Lab on a Chip Authors: Azusa Shimizu, Wei Huang Goh, Shun Itai, Michinao Hashimoto, Shigenori Miurad and Hiroaki Onoe Year: 2020 Featured Image: Jesus Leonardo Rondon Tapia–Creative Commons License Inflammation or…

Immune cells play important roles in COVID-19

A Solution Worse than the Problem: Using Chemistry to Understand the Runaway Immune Reaction in COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 has now caused over 100,000 deaths in the United States alone. However, only a small fraction of people infected develop severe illness leading to death. Why do some people barely display any symptoms, while others progress to complete respiratory failure? Here, researchers at Shanghai Children’s Hospital used chemical proteomic technology to identify protein-protein interactions between SARS-CoV-2 and human proteins and use these data to better understand how the virus interacts with the immune system, leading to a runaway reaction in some patients. They also correlate levels of important immune proteins IL-6 and IL-8 to COVID-19 severity in patient samples, in agreement with their chemical proteomic data.

A Closer Look At The Walls of The Toughest Microbes

Mycobacteria are tough, pathogenic microbes that shield themselves with a hardy envelope known as the mycomembrane. Little is still known about the proteins that build or interact with this envelope, but these researchers are up to the challenge.

How effective are fabric masks?

The COVID-19 global pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives, including the daily use of face masks. But how well do home-made fabric masks really filter the air we breathe?

Visualising Chemistry

Appreciating the 3D structure of the tiny chemical compounds we work with can be really difficult – but what if you could project the structure onto your living room floor?

Making materials that are both soft and firm

Living tissues are mostly soft, but put them under a bit of stress, and they quickly become firm to prevent tissues from breaking. This property has been very difficult to imitate with synthetic tissues, but new research has finally bridged that gap.

Artist Rendering of Coronavirus Particles

How Does a Newly Approved Drug Inhibit the Novel Coronavirus?

The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly become the worlds most significant public health challenge. Within days, the FDA is expected to announce the authorization of Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir to treat this disease. In this paper, Calvin Gordon and coauthors explore the biochemical mechanism of remdesivir, helping us understand why this drug, of all the antiviral drugs available to us, might be effective against the novel coronavirus.

Metal organic framework used to treat low-oxygen tumors

Cancerous tumors can often create areas of low oxygen concentration around them. This creates challenges for cancer treatments that rely on creating reactive oxygen species to damage tumor DNA. Research from the University of Chicago developed a metal-organic framework to help reverse hypoxia in cancerous tumors in mice.

New Genetic Codes to Program Biology

Researchers show for the first time that “unnatural” codons can code for “unnatural” proteins within a cell. Organisms can now operate with both synthetic code and synthetic hardware!