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SCIENCE
July 11, 2010 | By Rachel Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
To answer the really big questions in biology, scientists sometimes need to think small — very small. That's because the molecules of life — bundles of DNA, for example, and proteins — are tiny: generally less than one millionth of an inch long. Now researchers have developed a microscope with resolution about 10 times better than the previous state of the art. The technology allows visualization of molecules with a resolution of roughly one nanometer, or about 40 billionths of an inch.
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SCIENCE
March 20, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Breathe in deeply and feel the power of your nose. If your sense of smell is firing on all cylinders, you can distinguish among a dizzying array of 1 trillion different odors, according to a new study in the journal Science. Bad perfume, baby skin, lavender rubbed between your fingers, real apple pie in the oven, and apple-pie-scented candles -- the diverse world of odor is yours for the smelling. "Our sense of smell is amazing," said Leslie Vosshall, who studies olfaction at the Rockefeller University in New York City.
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NEWS
April 8, 1992 | THOMAS H. MAUGH II, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
Where's the beef? According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture, it's locked in a small molecule that gives meat its natural beefy flavor. The molecule, recently discovered in fresh beef, could improve the flavor of frozen foods, soups, airline meals and a broad variety of other inexpensive foods, USDA animal physiologist Arthur Spanier said here Tuesday at a meeting of the American Chemical Society. "It could make a chuck steak taste like a T-bone," he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 28, 2013 | Thomas H. Maugh II
The difference between a glove for the left hand and one for the right is obvious to the human eye, even though the two are mirror images of each other. It is an easy task to distinguish between them and separate them from each other. Most biological molecules have similar mirror images, but it can be difficult to distinguish between them and even harder to separate them. Hardest of all is synthesizing only the desired form, because only this form will interact with other biological molecules in the correct fashion.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 1988 | Compiled from Times staff and wire reports
Chemists have invented a molecule that can selectively latch onto barbiturates, raising the hope that the artificial receptors may be used to detoxify people who have taken overdoses. "It is envisioned that these molecules would course through the blood, selectively sponging up and inactivating barbiturates before the drugs could reach their natural sites of action in the body," said a spokesman for the American Chemical Society. Princeton University chemistry professor Andrew D.
SCIENCE
August 31, 2012 | By Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times
Scientists have created a tiny measuring scale 300 times smaller than the width of a human hair that can weigh a single molecule at a time. The device may one day help doctors diagnose disease and illuminate the complex inner machinery of cells, its makers say. An international team led by Caltech researchers built the device to measure the mass of large molecules that are difficult to analyze through conventional mass spectrometry methods....
SCIENCE
January 3, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A small group of molecules has been shown to inhibit a deadly toxin associated with inhalational anthrax, a discovery that could lead to new ways of treating the disease, researchers said Monday. Anthrax produces large amounts of a toxin that can kill a person even after antibiotics have destroyed the bacteria, Dr. Lewis Cantley of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and his colleagues reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 1989 | Compiled from Times Wire and Staff Reports
The editors of Science magazine have for the first time chosen a "Molecule of the Year," representative of the most significant scientific achievement. The first winner is an enzyme called DNA polymerase that can be used in the laboratory for making large quantities of any particular piece of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, the genetic blueprint of life) through a process known as polymerase chain reaction or PCR.
NEWS
December 3, 1987 | THOMAS H. MAUGH II, Times Science Writer
Caltech scientists, using extraordinarily short bursts of laser light, have witnessed the creation of chemical molecules--an unprecedented step in the study of chemical reactions. "For the first time, we are able to see the birth of new molecules which make us and form the world around us," said chemist Ahmed H. Zewail. "We are able to see how bonds (between atoms) are broken and made and how molecules are formed in a millionth of a billionth of a second," he said.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 25, 2008 | Jessica M. Pasko, Associated Press
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Ray Giguere loves teaching people how to recognize the real physical and philosophical importance of the molecules in their lives. That passion led to the development of "Molecules That Matter," a new exhibition at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Gallery at Skidmore College.
SCIENCE
October 9, 2013 | By Monte Morin
As a chemistry professor at USC, Arieh Warshel says he sometimes finds it difficult to convince his fellow scientists that computers have a place in experimental fields like his own. Many people, he laments, use them to make or watch movies, "but not to understand. " Though Warshel may hold a minority view on a campus with strong ties to Hollywood - visitors to his laboratory's website are informed that his animated computer simulations are not available on Netflix - he got a huge endorsement Wednesday from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in the form of a Nobel Prize.
SCIENCE
September 5, 2013 | By Melissa Pandika
Gold may be flashier, but now chemists are giving silver a chance to shine. They've figured out how to make silver nanoparticles that are even more stable than gold nanoparticles. Durable and easy to handle, gold nanoparticles are used for drug delivery, cell imaging and many other applications. Because silver is cheaper and more abundant than gold, it may seem like a more convenient nanomaterial. But unlike gold, silver degrades easily, which makes building stable silver nanoparticles extremely difficult.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 23, 2013 | By Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times
When Jerome Karle learned he was to share the Nobel Prize in chemistry, the Brooklyn-born scientist was miles above the Atlantic Ocean and quite unaware that his flight was about to turn into a champagne fete. Karle had left his hotel room in Munich, Germany, before he could receive the news from Stockholm and was instead told by the pilot, who informed the entire aircraft and invited all to toast the passenger in seat 29C. "It will take at least 24 hours for this to sink in," Karle told reporters after his arrival in Washington, D.C. Indeed, it had taken decades for Karle's work to sink in with the scientific community.
SCIENCE
October 11, 2012 | Jon Bardin and Eryn Brown
Two American physicians who solved a key part of the mystery of how cells in the body are able to sense and respond to chemical messages -- a discovery that paved the way for an estimated 40% of the prescription drugs available today -- have won the Nobel Prize in chemistry. Dr. Robert J. Lefkowitz of Duke University Medical Center and Dr. Brian K. Kobilka of Stanford University School of Medicine were honored Wednesday by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for their studies of signaling molecules known as G-protein-coupled receptors, or GPCRs.
SCIENCE
October 10, 2012 | By Jon Bardin
American scientists Brian K. Kobilka and Robert J. Lefkowitz won the Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday, receiving the honor for their work unveiling how an important group of signaling molecules works in the body. The molecules, called G-protein-coupled-receptors, or GPCRs, are embedded in the membrane of cells and cause important chemical cascades when a target molecule attaches to them. That target could be anything from a hormone such as adrenaline to neurotransmitters such as dopamine.
SCIENCE
September 11, 2012 | By Jon Bardin, Los Angeles Times
In what could lead to a new group of targets for the treatment of memory loss disorders like Alzheimer's disease, scientists have identified a group of molecules that appear to be required for the transition from a short-term to a long-term memory. The molecules, called nuclear receptors, belong to a class of proteins called transcription factors that play a central role in gene expression. The proteins bind to DNA and help regulate which genes are expressed at a given time. Previous research had suggested that nuclear receptors were somehow involved in memory formation, and the new study confirms that the loss of these proteins prevents long-term memories from forming.
SCIENCE
August 31, 2012 | By Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times
Scientists have created a tiny measuring scale 300 times smaller than the width of a human hair that can weigh a single molecule at a time. The device may one day help doctors diagnose disease and illuminate the complex inner machinery of cells, its makers say. An international team led by Caltech researchers built the device to measure the mass of large molecules that are difficult to analyze through conventional mass spectrometry methods....
SCIENCE
May 25, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
In honor of the upcoming Summer Olympics, British scientists have synthesized and IBM scientists in Switzerland have imaged the smallest possible molecule with five rings, an unusual molecule that they have named olympicene. The molecule is just 1.2 nanometers in width, about a hundred thousandth the width of a human hair. The molecule, composed of 19 carbon atoms and 12 hydrogen atoms, essentially consists of five interlocked benzene rings and was synthesized by chemists David Fox and Anish Mistry of the University of Warwick.
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