From News at Brown: New research at Brown University and in Japan suggests bacteria could be a rich source of terpenes, the natural compounds common in plants and fungi that are used to make drugs, food additives, perfumes, and other products. Using a specialized technique to sift through genomic databases for a variety of bacteria, the researchers found 262 gene sequences that likely code for terpene synthases — enzymes that catalyze the production terpenes. The researchers then used several of those enzymes to isolate 13 previously unidentified bacterial terpenes.
From News at Brown: Efflux pumps are surface proteins that prevent antimicrobial drugs from getting a foothold in a bacterial cell by identifying and pumping them out of the cell. New research suggests that small pieces of those drugs could keep the efflux pumps busy and allow the antimicrobial drugs to reach a critical mass inside the cell. Read the full press release and see the article published in ACS Infectious Diseases.
Each fall, the Department of Chemistry hosts a poster session where graduate students showcase departmental research. Annual poster prizes are awarded to students with best posters in four categories. Congratulations go out to this year's recipients.
On Saturday, September 27, graduate student Vale-Cofer Shabica of Prof. Richard Stratt's lab presented a talk at the "Research Matters!" symposium hosted by the Graduate School. Below is the video of his talk. Click here to read the original news item announcing Vale's selection to speak at the symposium.
Researchers from Brown and MIT have shown new details about how a promising new class of antibiotics attacks the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. The research could provide a blueprint for developing drugs aimed at fighting TB. Click here to read the full press release.
Vale Cofer-Shabica, a graduate student in Professor Richard Stratt's group, has been selected to give a talk at Research Matters!, a TEDx-like symposium hosted by the Brown Graduate School. Vale is among the eight students selected from a group of over 50 nominees. He and his fellow presenters will speak to the topic "why my research matters." The symposium will take place on Saturday, Sept 27 from 3:00pm-5:00pm in the Martinos Auditorium at the Granoff Center.
Two Chemistry graduate students, Sujat Sen (PhD '14) and Dan Liu (current) collaborated on a project through Brown's interdisciplinary Center for the Capture and Conversion of CO2. The results show how copper foam can be used to catalyze the conversion of CO2, and its results are published in the peer-reviewed journal ACS Catalysis.
Each summer at Brown, undergraduate researchers in the humanities, life sciences, social sciences, and physical sciences have the opportunity to present posters at the Summer Research Symposium. This year, 11 students from the Chemistry Department displayed their posters to hundreds of visitors. The students represent a range of fields in chemistry, from nanoscale materials to DNA repair.
"The discovery of buckyballs — soccer-ball-shaped molecules of carbon — helped usher in the nanotechnology era. Now, Lai-Sheng Wang’s research group and colleagues from China have shown that boron, carbon’s neighbor on the periodic table, can form a cage-like molecule similar to the buckyball. Until now, such a boron structure had only been a theoretical speculation. The researchers dubbed their newfound nanostructure 'borospherene.'"