With a renewed interest in psilocybin — the psychedelic substance present in magic mushrooms — by the medical community, the Weng group at MIT sets up to study one of the enzymes that makes it.

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.