Archive by date | March 2009

ACS: Good to the last drop

Man, those physical chemists sure can throw a good chemical biology meeting. I finally got a chance to join in the ‘Functional Motions in Enzyme Catalysis’ session, and it was well worth the wait. Though each of the three talks was excellent, what was particularly interesting were some of the commonalities that emerged in the lectures and the subsequent panel discussion.  Read more

ACS: How much do you want?

Today I unexpectedly ventured far from my comfort zone to learn about ketosamines and 2-deoxyglucose in cancer treatment on one hand, and boronic acid-based sensors on the other, so I will not attempt to explain the details here as I would undoubtedly get many things wrong. Instead, I have an important question for you.  Read more

ACS: Cells are weird

So as part of my efforts to ‘seek out people I don’t know’, I went to a session yesterday in the colloid division about membranes and membrane proteins. Two talks by a grad student (Niña Hartman) and postdoc (Cheng-Han Yu) (see here for pictures) from Jay Groves’ lab were particularly outstanding. They are trying to figure out how TCR channels and other proteins at the immunological synapse are sorted into patterns. The general idea seems to be that clustering controls trafficking, with all kinds of fancy techniques used to provide evidence. The weirder thing to me is, how does the cell know where the synapse is supposed to be?? Something to ponder.  Read more

ACS: How sweet it is…

Today’s carbohydrate session was in honor of Peter Seeberger winning the Hudson Award, with the panel of speakers reflecting Seeberger’s interests in oligosaccharide synthesis, antigens and adjuvants, and the complexities of glycosylation as a post-translational modification.  Read more