By Meghan Bialt-DeCelie ’19   Since the explosion of CRISPR-Cas 9, a gene editing technology, researchers have been further exploring its mechanisms and ways of improving the system. AcrIIA4 is a known anti-CRISPR protein that inhibits the CRISPR-Cas 9 complex, but the mechanism and residues involved were not as explored. Researchers lead by Jiyung Shin, PhD from The University of California Berkley investigated AcrIIA4 to … Continue reading The Anti-CRISPR

Figure 1 Lipid-coated gold nanorods used to study transfection efficacy of HSP promoters

Cancer Therapy Employing Lipid-coated Gold Nanorod

By Rideeta Raquib ’19 Gene regulation induced by light has potential for noninvasive control over the function of target cells. One such method involves the delivery of photothermal heaters and heat shock protein (HSP) promoter-driven protein expression vectors into the cells and then illuminating them to activate the cells. HSP promoters are controlled by heat shock factor, which is a transcription factor in the cytosol … Continue reading Cancer Therapy Employing Lipid-coated Gold Nanorod

Magnetic Nanoparticles for Oil Removal

Meghan Bialt-DeCelie ’19 One of the costliest processes in oil and gas production is safe disposal of produced water. This water contains tiny amounts of oil that are difficult to separate and make water unsafe for the environment. Traditional methods such as gravitational separation of oil are costly and are not reliable for removing the tiny droplets of oil that remain in the water, making … Continue reading Magnetic Nanoparticles for Oil Removal

Figure 1. VO2, vanadium dioxide, is a metal that can conduct electricity without conducting heat.

Vanadium Dioxide Conducts Electricity, But Not Heat

By Megan Tan ‘19 Thermal and electrical conductivity need to be proportional in electrical conductive solids. Although several metals can conduct electricity better than they can conduct heat, this phenomenon has only been known to occur at extreme temperatures. However, a recent study led by Professor Junqiao Wu from the University of California, Berkeley and his team of researchers has found that metallic vanadium dioxide … Continue reading Vanadium Dioxide Conducts Electricity, But Not Heat

Enzyme in Soil Bacteria Inhibits Biofilm Formation

      Patrick Yang ‘20 Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a multidrug resistant bacterium responsible for serious medical illnesses, such as pneumonia, sepsis, and cystic fibrosis. The bacterium produces a metabolite called pyocyanin, which largely contributes towards the pathogen’s toxicity. A recent discovery found that pyocyanin also aids in the aggregation of bacteria to form biofilm. Biofilm, a community of microorganisms that is resistant to conventional … Continue reading Enzyme in Soil Bacteria Inhibits Biofilm Formation

NeuroGrids for Minimally Invasive Diagnosis

    By Richard Liang Monitoring the electrophysiological signals in the brain is critical for diagnosing and treating neurological diseases. The closer a sensor is to the neurons, the more accurate and precise the readings of neuronal activity can be. While sub-dural electrodes can be placed on the surface of brain tissue, issues like local tissue damage, hemorrhages, and infections can be detrimental to patient … Continue reading NeuroGrids for Minimally Invasive Diagnosis

Chromatography Separates Cyclosporin Analogs

by Jenna Mallon (’18) In recent years, cyclic peptides have emerged as leaders in therapeutic drugs due to their in vivo stability and bioavailability. A class of specific cyclic peptides known as Cyclosporins has been effective in preventing rejection and infection in the body after organ transplants. The different analogs of Cyclosporin are very structurally similar, making separation extremely difficult. For this reason Yuefei Shao, … Continue reading Chromatography Separates Cyclosporin Analogs

Mitochondria: Selective protein degradation ensures cellular longevity

by Aaron Gochman (’18) Mitochondria are known as the “powerhouse of the cell.” They provide energy and regulate important biological processes to ensure healthy metabolism and proper cellular function. Hence when mitochondrial dysfunction occurs, the cell is at great risk. A pair of researchers from University of Gothenburg in Sweden have characterized a pathway in which harmful mitochondrial proteins can be degraded without affecting normal … Continue reading Mitochondria: Selective protein degradation ensures cellular longevity

Swimming Pools May Be Mutagenic

By Sahil Rawal (’19) Swimming pools are known to contain many disinfectant products such as chlorine to keep the water safe to swim in. However, studies have recently found that these disinfectants release byproducts that could eventually react with organic matter already present in the water, such as human urine or sweat. These released byproducts have already been found to cause cases of asthma and … Continue reading Swimming Pools May Be Mutagenic

Graphene Optimization with Common Glass

By Meghan Bialt-DeCelie ’19 Graphene, a material made of a two-dimensional sheet of carbon, is effective in durability and the conductivity of electricity. However, it has had trouble being commercialized. In a process called grapheme doping, chemicals were introduced to improve the electron density of grapheme and it eventually made the material more vulnerable do degradation. In collaboration with researchers from Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven … Continue reading Graphene Optimization with Common Glass