In Silico Docking of Bolinaquinone at Clathrin Terminal Domain

Guest Commentary by Derek McPhee

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Endocytosis is a fundamental process that delivers macromolecules located outside the cell or on the cell membrane to the cytoplasm. It is a necessary process for nutrients to reach the cell, and for regulation of numerous transmembrane receptors. Of the various ways whereby cargo can access the cytoplasm, one of the most researched is the so called clathrin-dependent endocytosis, whose mechanism is relatively well understood. Membrane fragments, along with their contents, enter the cell as vesicles coated with clathrin species. This activity is not only key to the survival and normal functioning of eukaryotic cells, but has also been associated with a variety of pathological states, such as the access of pathogens like virus and bacteria to the cell interior, a number of cancers and other conditions.

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Interview with Eric Freed, Editor-in-Chief of Viruses

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Eric FreedDr. Eric Freed, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Viruses, received his Ph.D. in 1990 with Rex Risser and Howard Temin at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he investigated the function of the murine leukemia virus and HIV envelope glycoproteins in membrane fusion and virus entry. He joined Malcolm Martin at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 1992, working on topics of virus assembly and entry/post-entry events in the HIV replication cycle, and became Senior Investigator in 2002. Dr. Freed was selected as NCI Mentor of Merit in 2010 for excellence in mentoring and guiding the careers of trainees in cancer research and is currently serving as Chair of the NIH Virology Interest Group, as adjunct Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Maryland, College Park and as Co-Director of the University of Maryland Virology Program.           Freed Website

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Featured Review: Structures and Synthesis of Zwitterionic Polymers

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André Laschewsky1,2   

1Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Polymer Research IAP, Geiselbergstr.69, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany, 2 Department of Chemistry, Universität Potsdam, Karl-Liebknechtstr.24–25, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany

Abstract: The structures and synthesis of polyzwitterions (“polybetaines”) are reviewed, emphasizing the literature of the past decade. Particular attention is given to the general challenges faced, and to successful strategies to obtain polymers with a true balance of permanent cationic and anionic groups, thus resulting in an overall zero charge. Also, the progress due to applying new methodologies from general polymer synthesis, such as controlled polymerization methods or the use of “click” chemical reactions is presented. Furthermore, the emerging topic of responsive (“smart”) polyzwitterions is addressed. The considerations and critical discussions are illustrated by typical examples.

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Brain Jelly – An Organic, Brain-Like Computer without Circuits or Logic Gates

Jelly brain-FINAL copyThe human brain is the most powerful computer the world has ever seen. With its 86 billion neurons [1], less than originally thought (~100 billion, a myth of unknown origin [2]), the human brain is still at the top of the list and capable of remarkable feats, not only as far as computing power is concerned, but it is capable of self-programming, reasoning, data storage, and affords intelligence; at least in most cases. By comparison, digital computers are dumb slaves that do the bidding of their masters, the programmers, and rely on fixed nuts and bolts for their functioning. Furthermore, even the fastest computer currently in service, the Chinese NUDT Tianhe-2 with a capacity of 33.86 petaFLOPS (1015 FLoating-point Operations Per Second) [3], is only capable of handling one problem at a time and sequentially one bit at a time. The human brain’s computing is significantly slower, but Continue reading