Wednesday, September 21, 2016

DNA + Light: Talk by Carlos E. Crespo-Hernández

Talk sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry 
Thursday, September 22, 2016
4:45pm  Science Center A255

DNA + Light: From Nucleic Acid Bases to Modifications that Enable Damage to Carcinoma Cells

Carlos E. Crespo-Hernández, Department of Chemistry and Center for Chemical Dynamics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, United States.

Partial abstract: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an effective treatment option for a variety of skin cancers and diseases. Recently, the DNA analog 4‑thiothymidine (4tT) has demonstrated efficacy as a PDT agent against rapidly-dividing malignant cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. Its phototoxic activity and low off-target effects make this thiobase a highly promising PDT candidate. However, the depth of tissues able to be treated with 4tT is limited by its absorption cutoff at ~365 nm. A thiobase photosensitizer able to absorb longer wavelengths of light is needed because longer wavelengths are able to reach more invasive skin cancers and diseases. Recently, we found that doubling the sulfur substitution of the nucleobase increases its photoreactivity and simultaneously shifts its absorption spectrum into the near-visible region (~395 nm) where light can penetrate more than 100% deeper into tissues. In vitro screening experiments performed in our laboratory using epidermoid carcinoma cells (A431) have revealed several doubly-substituted thiobase derivatives that are effective photosensitizes.

Several relevant books are accessible electronically through OBIS:
Find them all and many other related titles with a keyword search on photodynamic therapy

Friday, September 16, 2016

Metal-Organic Frameworks as Biocompatible Platforms: publication by S. A. FitzGerald, et al.

New publication from a collaboration involving Stephen A. FitzGerald, Professor of Physics and eleven other authors from organizations in California, Illinois, Texas, and France.

Levine, Dana J., Tomce Runcevski, Matthew T. Kapelewski, Benjamin K. Keitz, Julia Oktawiec, Douglas A. Reed, Jarad A. Mason, Henry Jiang, Kristen A. Colwell, Christina M. Legendre, Stephen A. FitzGerald, Jeffrey R. Long. 2016.

"Olsalaiine-Based Metal-Organic Frameworks as Biocompatible Platforms for H2 Adsorption and Drug Delivery." Journal of the American Chemical Society 138 (32): 10143-10150.

From the Abstract:  “The low toxicity, high surface areas, and coordinatively unsaturated metal sites make these M-2(olz) materials promising for a range of potential applications, including drug delivery in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases.”

View online at ACS; subscriber access by Oberlin College Library and OhioLINK

Monday, August 29, 2016

Here we go! Welcome to the fall semester

8:15am and the Perlik Commons of Oberlin College Science Center is humming!  Welcome to all, students and staff -- so happy to see the coffee cart in operation for the school year.  The science library is humming, too, somewhat more quietly. ;-)  Sign up for a study carrel and grab your spot for the semester.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Love your park. NPS turns 100 today!

The National Park Service has been celebrating its centennial all year - today is the day of the NPS founding, August 25, 1916.  Thank you to the NPS founders: Theodore Roosevelt, Horace M. Albright, Stephen Mather, and Woodrow Wilson.  NPS is offering free admission to any of its 412 parks this weekend - so get out there!  The beginning of a new semester isn't the best timing for a park visit, of course.  Enjoy them virtually with Ken Burns The National Parks : America's Best Idea (a Kanopy streaming video).

Friday, August 05, 2016

Citizen Science Projects Celebrate National Park Service Centennial

Five National Park Citizen Science Projects Anyone Can Join: Celebrate the NPS centennial by lending a hand. -- Sierra Club

It's unlikely that anyone on campus will be participating in NPS citizen science projects on the actual centennial date, August 25 - we will be in the midst of new student orientation that day.  But the opportunities for citizen science projects throughout the year are numerous and varied.  Check it out!

Citizen science projects are ongoing worldwide, investigating many different subjects under a whole host of sponsors; see Discover magazine's Top Ten citizen science projects of 2015 for a hint at the diversity of options.  Find more at SciStarter.

Back to the National Park Service centennial - you can visit a lovely National Park within a one hour drive of Oberlin.  It doesn't have the awesome peaks of Glacier or the wildlife of Yellowstone or wild ocean shores of Acadia, but it offers excellent hiking trails and hundreds of acres of beautiful Ohio forest, fields, meadows, wetlands and streams.  Plus the old Ohio-Erie canal towpath for biking and Blossom Music Center, summer home of the Cleveland Orchestra.  Visit the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in every season to appreciate all there it has.

Friday, July 29, 2016

What is a genome? - a review from Aaron Goldman

Just published in the open access journal PLOS Genetics, with 3816 views in its first week on the site (open access truly does have a far reach!):

Goldman, Aaron David, Assistant Professor of Biology, and Laura F. Landweber. 2016. "What is a Genome?" PLOS Genetics 12 (7): e1006181.

Partial Abstract:
The genome is often described as the information repository of an organism... Several emerging areas of research demonstrate that this definition is an oversimplification. Here, we explore ways in which a deeper understanding of genomic diversity and cell physiology is challenging the concepts of physical permanence attached to the genome as well as its role as the sole information source for an organism.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Genotype-environment interactions in Arabidopsis thaliana - new publication from A. Roles

Roles, Angela J., Assistant Professor of Biology; Rutter, M.T., Dworkin, I., Fenster, C.B., and Conner, J.K. (2016). Field measurements of genotype by environment interaction for fitness caused by spontaneous mutations in Arabidopsis thaliana. Evolution 70, 1039-1050.

Journal banner @ Wiley Online
Partial abstract: As the ultimate source of genetic diversity, spontaneous mutation is critical to the evolutionary process. The fitness effects of spontaneous mutations are almost always studied under controlled laboratory conditions rather than under the evolutionarily relevant conditions of the field. We studied the fitness effects of 25 generations of accumulated spontaneous mutations in Arabidopsis thaliana in two geographically widely separated field environments, in Michigan and Virginia. We observed genotype-environment interactions in the fitness effects of new mutations, such that the effects of mutations in Michigan were a poor predictor of their effects in Virginia and vice versa. In particular, mutational variance for fitness was much larger in Virginia compared to Michigan. This strong genotype-environment interaction would increase the amount of genetic variation maintained by mutation-selection balance.
Full text online @OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center

Evolution - journal home page @Wiley Online Library

Learn more about the use of A. thaliana (a small flowering weed) as a model organism for genetic studies at The Ohio State University Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center.

Arabidopsis Protocols, 2nd ed., is online @Springer ebooks [access through OBIS]