Images of the week

Spider Silk with Inorganic Nanomaterials

Submitted by: Elena Krivoshapkina
Nanotechnology ; Created: 28 Sep 2020; Latest updated: 29 Sep 2020

High-performance functional biomaterials are becoming increasingly requested. Numerous natural and artificial polymers have already demonstrated their ability to serve as a basis for bio-composites. Spider silk offers a unique combination of desirable aspects such as biocompatibility, extraordinary mechanical properties, and tunable biodegradability, which are superior to those of most natural and engineered materials. Modifying spider silk with various inorganic nanomaterials with specific properties has led to the development of the hybrid materials with improved functionality. The purpose of using these inorganic nanomaterials is primarily due to their chemical nature, enhanced by large surface areas and quantum size phenomena. Functional properties of nanoparticles can be implemented to macro-scale components to produce silk-based hybrid materials, while spider silk fibers can serve as a matrix to combine the benefits of the functional components. Therefore, it is not surprising that hybrid materials based on spider silk and inorganic nanomaterials are considered extremely promising for potentially attractive applications in various fields, from optics and photonics to tissue regeneration. This review summarizes and discusses evidence of the use of various kinds of inorganic compounds in spider silk modification intended for a multitude of applications. It also provides an insight into approaches for obtaining hybrid silk-based materials via 3D printing.

Epigenetic Associations between lncRNA/circRNA, miRNA

Submitted by: Hyun Seung Ban
Oncology & Oncogenics ; Created: 29 Sep 2020; Latest updated: 29 Sep 2020

The three major members of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), named microRNAs (miRNAs), long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), and circular RNAs (circRNAs), play an important role in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. Recently, the competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) regulation model described lncRNA/circRNA as a sponge for miRNAs to indirectly regulate miRNA downstream target genes. Accumulating evidence has indicated that ceRNA regulatory networks are associated with biological processes in HCC, including cancer cell growth, epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), metastasis, and chemoresistance.

Current Status of Sample Preparation

Submitted by: Camila Xu
Molecular Biology ; Created: 18 Sep 2020; Latest updated: 21 Sep 2020

Sample preparation is and always will be the most important step in chemical analysis. Numerous techniques, methods, methodologies, and approaches are available in the literature, offering a wide range of analytical tools to the lab practitioner. Analytical scientists all over the world must deal with the development of protocols for a plethora of analytes in various sample matrices. Extraction techniques, either sorbent or solvent-based, provide the necessary tools to handle the sample in such a way that all its information can be revealed, exploiting all advantages of instrumentation to the fullest and prolonging the lifetime of the instrument for seamless operation.

In the last decade, advances in sample pretreatment are following green chemistry and green analytical chemistry demands, focusing on miniaturization and automation as well as by using the least possible amount of organic solvents. The question, then, is how far have we come now and what are the future perspectives?

This webinar provides a short introduction to sample preparation and include selective presentation of three state-of-the-art, representative extraction techniques: solid phase extraction, fabric phase sorptive extraction, and paper-based sorptive extraction.

Src Kinases as Therapeutic Targets

Submitted by: Adriano Angelucci
Oncology & Oncogenics ; Created: 18 Sep 2020; Latest updated: 18 Sep 2020

Src is the prototypal member of Src Family tyrosine Kinases (SFKs), a large non-receptor kinase class that controls multiple signaling pathways in animal cells. SFKs activation is necessary for the mitogenic signal from many growth factors, but also for the acquisition of migratory and invasive phenotype. Indeed, oncogenic activation of SFKs has been demonstrated to play an important role in solid cancers; promoting tumor growth and formation of distant metastases. Several drugs targeting SFKs have been developed and tested in preclinical models and many of them have successfully reached clinical use in hematologic cancers. Although in solid tumors SFKs inhibitors have consistently confirmed their ability in blocking cancer cell progression in several experimental models; their utilization in clinical trials has unveiled unexpected complications against an effective utilization in patients.

Cerenkov luminescence imaging and applications

Submitted by: Antonello Spinelli
Nanotechnology ; Created: 18 Sep 2020; Latest updated: 21 Sep 2020

       Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) is a novel optical molecular imaging modality based on the detection of the Cerenkov radiation.

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