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2018 AAAS Annual Meeting February 15 - 19, 2018Austin, TX

Arizona State University

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- Govindjee - a 32 page .pdf document (611 KB)

Rutherford and his colleagues, for example, are using a “reverse evolution” technique: They hope to predict the sequences of missing-link reaction centers, using structural information like Redding’s to gain an understanding of their architecture. They then plan to synthesize those hypothetical ancestral sequences and test how they evolve.

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Some researchers aren’t waiting for the publication of the next structure. This one took seven years, after all. They’re pursuing synthetic experimentation instead.

- from the On-line Biology Book, Estrella Mountain Community College

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Presently, the world is experiencing an unprecedented crisis associated with the CO2 produced by the use of fossil fuels to power our economies. As evidenced by the increasing levels in the atmosphere, the reduction of CO2 to biomass by photosynthesis cannot keep pace with production with the result that nature has lost control of the global carbon cycle. In order to restore control of the global carbon cycle to solar-driven processes, highly efficient artificial photosynthesis can augment photosynthesis in specific ways and places. The increased efficiency of artificial photosynthesis can provide both renewable carbon-based fuels and lower net atmospheric levels of CO2, which will preserve land and support the ecosystem services upon which all life on Earth depends. The development of artificial photosynthetic antennas and reaction centers contributes to the understanding of natural photosynthesis and to the knowledge base necessary for the development of future scalable technologies. This review focuses on the design and study of molecular and hybrid molecular-semiconductor nanoparticle based systems, all of which are inspired by functions found in photosynthesis and some of which are inspired by components of photosynthesis. In addition to constructs illustrating energy transfer, photoinduced electron transfer, charge shift reactions and proton coupled electron transfer, our review covers systems that produce proton motive force.

"The trick is to use the world's most powerful X-ray laser, named LCLS located at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory," said Fromme. "Extremely fast femtosecond (10 -15 second) laser pulses record snapshots of the PSII crystals before they explode in the X-ray beam, a principle called 'diffraction before destruction.'"

KW - Photoinduced energy and charge transfer processes


Despite their important role as the molecular interface in host/pathogen interactions as well as drug/cell relationships, membrane proteins account for less than 1 percent of the 100,000 unique protein structures presently catalogued. This is largely due to the serious challenges involved in producing, purifying, and determining the structures of membrane proteins. Hansen and her colleagues outline new strategies to produce antibodies—specialized proteins produced naturally by the immune system in response to pathogens or other threatening biological agents.

“The ability to model and build molecular circuits for gathering light energy and moving it around in a controlled fashion, opens the door for the design and development of a variety of nano-scale devices that are powered and controlled by light,” Woodbury said.

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    Arizona State University

  • , Reading list - from Australian Academy of Sciences

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  • In two studies, at the highest dose levels, no litters were produced.

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- from Botany Online, University of Hamburg

That hypothesis contradicts one of the widely held ideas about the origins of photosynthesis: that species incapable of photosynthesis suddenly obtained the capacity through genes passed laterally from other organisms. According to Cardona, in light of the new discoveries, horizontal gene transfer and gene loss may both have played a role in the diversification of reaction centers, although he suspects that the latter may have been responsible for the earliest events. The finding, he said, might suggest that “the balance skews toward the gene-loss hypothesis”—and toward the idea that photosynthesis was an ancestral characteristic that some groups of bacteria lost over time.

- from Wiley Publishing (pdf 1.28 MB)

All of the necessary clones (plasmid DNAs) for applying this approach are available through the DNASU Plasmid Repository, which is housed in Biodesign’s Center for Personalized Diagnostics.

- from Botany On-line, University of Hamburg

This study was a combined effort of faculty in the Biodesign Institute, including Debra Hansen from the Center for Innovations in Medicine (CIM), Center for Applied Structural Discovery (CASD) and the School of Molecular Sciences (SMS), Kathryn Sykes from CIM and Petra Fromme from CASD and SMS, along with their teams of researchers and students, including: research scientists Mark Robida, Andrey Loskutov and Tien Olson, researchers Felicia Craciunescu, John-Charles Rodenberry and Hetal Patel and graduate student Xiao Wang from CIM and postdoc Katerina Dörner from SMS.

- from Arizona State University

This work was funded by the NIH (NIGMS) under the PSI:Biology program, as part of the MPID (Membrane Proteins in Infectious Diseases) U54 grant, directed by Petra Fromme.

- from Arizona State University

The success is another demonstration of the power and versatility of a bottom-up approach to the assembly of nano-scale architectures. Specifically, the design of excitonic circuits like the one described could lead to new applications beyond light-harvesting technology, including innovations in information and communications technology, and advances in fields ranging from the environment, transportation, healthcare, manufacturing and energy.

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