Bacteria Accept Expanded Genetic Code

Synthetic Biology: Researchers put DNA made from three base pairs—instead of the usual two—into living cells Stu Borman As life on Earth evolved, cells came to use two pairs of bases in their DNA: adenine and thymine, and cytosine and guanine. Those combinations have worked out pretty well for all living things. But this year […]

Electron Microscopy Alone Reveals Protein Machine’s Structure

Structural Biology: Technique gives first glimpse of mitochondrial ribosome at near-atomic resolution Sarah Everts The first near-atomic-level glimpse of a massive 3-megadalton biological machine was obtained this year using only cryogenic electron microscopy (cryoEM), without the need for protein crystallization or extensive purification protocols. The analytical milestone was achieved on the yeast mitochondrial ribosome’s large […]

Reaction Modeling Enhances Experiment

Computational Chemistry: Ab initio nanoreactor finds previously undetected products and mechanisms Stu Borman   REACTIVE MOVIES The Stanford group demonstrated the capabilities of their new ab initio nanoreactor by simulating reactions with different levels of molecular complexity: Acetylene polymerization (top) and the classic 1953 Urey-Miller reaction. The simulations generate products found experimentally in those reactions […]

Tainted Drinking Water In West Virginia

Water Pollution: Chemical leak tainted drinking water in West Virginia with substance used to process coal Jessica Morrison Questions about the lack of readily available toxicity data for many commercial chemicals came into the spotlight in January after crude 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) contaminated drinking water for some 300,000 people in the Charleston, W.Va., area. With little […]

Chemical Jobs And Salaries

Economy: U.S. employment picks up, but wages stalled; overseas weakness persisted Sophie L. Rovner If the U.S. economy were a patient, it would at long last be out of intensive care. But it would surely be haunted by nightmares about the rounds of job cuts endured after the Great Recession began in December 2007. While […]