Tagged: C&E News
In a July 19 article, C&E News reported on the work of Professor Ramesh Jasti and his Group on carbon nano hoops. Cycloparaphenylenes (CPPs) or nanohoops are made from para-linked benzene rings. Stacking of CPPs could be the basis for preparing useful quantities of pure carbon nanotubes. However, CPPs are so difficult to make that they are currently sold commercially for about $100 per milligram. In a remarkable achievement, the Jasti Group have developed a new catalytic method that boosts the yields of eight- and 10-unit nanohoops by two orders of magnitude. As reported in C&E News, this work has implications for nanoelectronics because armchair nanotubes, the type of carbon nanotubes that would be made by nanohoop stacking, are highly prized as conductive nanowires.
Ramesh Jasti joined the BU faculty in 2009. The reported work is part of his laboratories goal of utilizing organic synthesis to probe the physics and theory of carbon nanostructures, with the ultimate goal of developing new applications in nanotechnology. Prior to coming to BU, he was one of the first postdoctoral fellows at the Molecular Foundry—a US Department of Energy nanoscience facility at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. As a highly interdisciplinary scientist, Professor Jasti also has appointments in the Materials Science and Engineering Division, as well as the Center for Nanoscience and Nanobiotechnology.
The work of Professor John Straub and his collaborators at the University of Maryland, Dr. Govardhan Reddy and Professor Dave Thirumalai demonstrates that when aggregation occurs in aqueous solution between amyloid or prion peptides—which are associated with protein-misfolding diseases—a dry interface between the biomolecules forms in two different ways, suggesting how aggregation rates might differ substantially between proteins (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 107(50), 21459-21464, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1008616107).
The C&E News article, “Putting DNA in a Bind,” gave an overview of a symposium at the Fall ACS Meeting in Boston on how small molecules interact specifically with DNA and regulate gene expression.
Prominently featured was the work of Professor Tom Tullius and his group on their use of hydroxyl radical cleavage, a technique developed in the Tullius lab in which DNA is cleaved to give an indirect image of the shape of the grooves of DNA. The shape information they produce is publicly available in their online database ORChID.
The Tullius group’s ability to produce images of the shape of DNA allows them to map electrostatic potential throughout the genome computationally, without the need for high-resolution X-ray structures. Their plan is to use these maps to locate places in the genome that would be favorable for certain kinds of proteins to bind, making it easier to design small molecules that recognize DNA shape as potential drugs.