Multiple ways to the ‘Final Destination’, starring benzene and mutant T4 lysozyme

“You are the Yin to my Yang”, said every receptor to its ligand; and they lived triggering cellular responses happily ever after.

Binding of ligands to their respective receptors is of crucial importance in preventing the human body from snowballing into a state of disorder. There are multiple kinds of receptors, located either inside a cell or on its surface. When a ligand binds to its respective receptor, it triggers a cascade of cellular responses. For example, the number of olfactory receptors in the human nose is around four hundred and each contributes to your sense of smell. Though one could go on and on about the different kinds of receptors and their effect on all biological processes inside your body, this article is centred around the fundamental question of how a ligand reaches and binds to a seemingly inaccessible cavity inside its complementary receptor..Read more

FCS set up in TIFR Hyderabad bags international attention

Kanchan Garai’s lab set out to investigate the early stages of aggregation of amyloid proteins. These proteins are characteristic of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Type 2 diabetes. The researchers resorted to a technique called the Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). FCS is a popular biophysical technique capable of characterizing single molecules even at very low concentrations. However, the researchers soon realized that conventional FCS was not suitable for studying protein aggregation in real time. It was only a matter of time until cuvettes were to make a fashionable comeback in the FCS setup.Read more

Tailor-made crystals

If physicists were asked to come up with a list of things they are completely smitten by,there is an enormous chance that colloids shall feature in that list. Now, what is a colloid? A colloid is a particle whose diameter ranges in the scale of 1 nanometer to one micrometer. The fascinating thing about these particles is that when dispersed in a medium, it cannot be dialysed through a membrane.Read more

Ushering in novel radiation therapy systems by zapping bacteria with ultra-short high intensity laser pulses

Proton beams have found a special use in targeting tumours with high precision. Contrary to conventional radiation therapy, proton therapy minimizes damage to the surrounding tissue by morphing the incident area of the proton beam into the shape of the tumour. Cyclotrons are used for the generation of a proton beam.Read more