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Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles
Scientists have created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks bottles – by accident. The breakthrough could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis by enabling for the first time the full recycling of bottles.

The new research was spurred by the discovery in 2016 of the first bacterium that had naturally evolved to eat plastic, at a waste dump in Japan. Scientists have now revealed the detailed structure of the crucial enzyme produced by the bug. The international team then tweaked the enzyme to see how it had evolved, but tests showed they had inadvertently made the molecule even better at breaking down the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic used for soft drink bottles. “What actually turned out was we improved the enzyme, which was a bit of a shock,” said Prof John McGeehan, at the University of Portsmouth, UK, who led the research. “It’s great and a real finding.”
plastic  recycling  enzymes  science  mutants  pet  bottles  green 
april 2018 by jm
Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles | Environment | The Guardian
Damian Carrington. The Guardian. 16 April 2018

Scientists have created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks bottles – by accident. The breakthrough could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis by enabling for the first time the full recycling of bottles.

The new research was spurred by the discovery in 2016 of the first bacterium that had naturally evolved to eat plastic, at a waste dump in Japan. Scientists have now revealed the detailed structure of the crucial enzyme produced by the bug.
enzymes  anthropocene 
april 2018 by asfaltics
Biotin (Vitamin B7) lowers treponin test results
Safety Alerts for Human Medical Products > Biotin (Vitamin B7): Safety Communication - May Interfere with Lab Tests

Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is a water-soluble vitamin often found in multi-vitamins, prenatal vitamins, and dietary supplements marketed for hair, skin, and nail growth. Biotin is used in hormone tests and tests for markers of cardiac health like troponin. Biotin in blood or other samples taken from patients who are ingesting high levels of biotin in dietary supplements can cause clinically significant falsely high or falsely low results. Many dietary supplements promoted for hair, skin, and nail benefits contain biotin levels up to 650 times the recommended daily intake of biotin. Physicians may also be recommending high levels of biotin for patients with certain conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Biotin levels higher than the recommended daily allowance may cause interference with lab tests. The FDA has seen an increase in the number of reported adverse events, including one death, related to biotin interference with lab tests. See also: https://www.univadis.com/viewarticle/fda-biotin-can-interfere-with-troponin-and-other-lab-test-results-570495
cardiac  enzymes  troponin  heart-attack  medical  interactions  labs  supplements  vitamins  diet  hair  skin  nails 
december 2017 by Tonti
Real-space and real-time dynamics of CRISPR-Cas9 visualized by high-speed atomic force microscopy | Nature Communications
The CRISPR-associated endonuclease Cas9 binds to a guide RNA and cleaves double-stranded DNA with a sequence complementary to the RNA guide. The Cas9–RNA system has been harnessed for numerous applications, such as genome editing. Here we use high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) to visualize the real-space and real-time dynamics of CRISPR-Cas9 in action. HS-AFM movies indicate that, whereas apo-Cas9 adopts unexpected flexible conformations, Cas9–RNA forms a stable bilobed structure and interrogates target sites on the DNA by three-dimensional diffusion. These movies also provide real-time visualization of the Cas9-mediated DNA cleavage process. Notably, the Cas9 HNH nuclease domain fluctuates upon DNA binding, and subsequently adopts an active conformation, where the HNH active site is docked at the cleavage site in the target DNA. Collectively, our HS-AFM data extend our understanding of the action mechanism of CRISPR-Cas9.

See also, the video at https://t.co/3NQxmbvzJF and a readable layperson overview at https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/11/crispr-video-real-time/545603/
genetics  crispr  cas9  visualization  enzymes  xraycrystallography  biophysics  video 
november 2017 by drmeme

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