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  • Lasso peptide
    The Link lab has used bioinformatic techniques to find a new class of lasso peptides in water-dwelling bacteria. A characteristic of the gene clusters that encode these lasso peptides is a gene encoding a lasso peptide isopeptidase, which recognizes the knotted structure of a lasso peptide and cleaves it into a linear peptide.
  • [3]catenane
    Catenanes are interlocked molecules in which constituents are held together by mechanical bonds rather than covalent bonds. A catenane with 3 interlocking rings (a [3]catenane) was built by enzymatically cleaving a variant of the lasso peptide microcin J25. The cleaved peptides self-assembled into the [3]catenane shown here, the structure of which was determined by NMR.
  • Norbornene block coplymer used as biobutanol prevaporation membrane
    New permselective polymeric materials to enable the recovery and concentration of butanol from dilute aqueous solution, such as fermentation broth have been developed. Energy-efficient recovery of butanol is an essential enabling technology for the large-scale production of butanol as both a chemical building block, and eventually, biofuel.
  • Colloidal self-assembly
    A new technique uses nonlinear manifold learning to infer structural relationships between colloidal particles based on their local topology. This approach facilitates the identification of crystal structures during self-assembly, when they may be distorted, defective, or even unknown.
  • Stress--Strain and Recovery--Strain curves for differnt block copolymers
    Changing from a linear to a star block copolymer architecture can yield substantial improvements in the properties of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs), such as their tensile strength and recovery from deformation. TPEs are melt-processable, reprocessable and recyclable, but typically show incomplete recovery from deformation when compared with conventional vulcanized elastomers.
  • Spectral Irradiance vs Wavelength
    Electrochromic window technologies offer dynamic control of the optical transmission of the visible and near-IR portions of the solar spectrum to reduce lighting, heating and cooling needs. Solar cells harvesting near-UV photons could satisfy the unmet need of powering such smart windows without competing for visible or near-IR photons and without aesthetic and design constraints.
  • Stratification in evaporating colloidal mixture
    Drying colloidal mixtures can undergo a spontaneous, nonequilibrium vertical separation into layers enriched in particles of a specific size, an effect which can be exploited to create functional coatings. Using simulations, we showed how the size of these layers depends on the particle size ratio and the drying rate, and proposed a model based on dynamical density functional theory to explain the observed phenomena.
  • Tuning gague factor for polyaniline by sturctural manipulation
    Mechanical deformations endured by flexible electronics can induce changes in the electrical resistance of their active electronic component. This effect is quantified by a parameter called the gauge factor. The tunability of both the polarity and the magnitude of the gauge factor of electrically conducting polyaniline can be achieved by structural manipulation.
  • Ductal Carcinoma In Situ
    Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) accounts for 20% of all breast cancer diagnoses in the United States. Graduate student Eline Boghaer used lattice-based computational modeling to explore the progression between classes of DCIS.
  • NO Reaction Network of E. coli
    Prof. Brynildsen is a recipient of an NSF CAREER award that focuses on studying nitric oxide stress in bacteria with approaches adopted from metabolic engineering to discover novel antivirulence therapies. Depicted above, a simplified diagram of the Escherichia coli nitric oxide response network.
  • A Nuclear F-actin Scaffold Stabilizes RNP Droplets Against Gravity in Large Cells
    The size of a typical eukaryotic cell is usually of the order of ~10 μm. However, some cell types grow to very large sizes, up to 1 mm. Graduate student Marina Feric in the Brangwynne lab has used microrheology and quantitative imaging to show that large nuclei contain an elastic F-actin scaffold that mechanically stabilizes them against gravitational forces.
  • Discovery of Lasso Peptide Isopeptidase
    Grad student Mikhail Maksimov *15 and Professor Jamie Link have isolated and characterized an enzyme, lasso peptide isopeptidase, that “unties” the lasso structure. This enzyme suggests additional layers of regulation or perhaps new functions for lasso peptides.
  • Incorporation of Unnatural Amino Acids into Lasso Peptides
    Professor Jamie Link and grad student Frank Piscotta, in collaboration with the Liu group at Texas A&M, have provided the first demonstration that unnatural amino acids can be introduced into the antimicrobial lasso peptide microcin J25. Four different amino acids were tolerated at four different positions, and all 16 of these variants retained antimicrobial activity.
  • Mapping the Crystalline Phase Space of a Molecular Semiconductor to Understand Effects on Charge Transport
    Small molecules – be they pharmaceuticals, explosives, dyes, flavors for food, or, as the Loo Group studies, molecular semiconductors – can adopt a variety of crystal structures, a phenomenon known as polymorphism.
  • Quantifying the Impact of Grain Boundaries
    Grain boundaries act as bottlenecks to charge transport in organic field effect transistors comprising polycrystalline active areas. In the Loo Lab, we have found that the impact of these boundaries depends on the structure of the organic semiconductor (molecular or polymeric) and the method of thin-film formation (solution-processing or thermal evaporation).
  • Technique Simplifies Creation of Pure Colloidal Crystals
    Computer simulations suggest that pure photonic crystals could be created from a mixture in which colloidal particles are dispersed in a polymer melt.
  • Two Liquid Phases of Water
    Computer simulations can be used to explore what happens to water as it is cooled to temperatures below freezing. A recent study found that the supercooled liquid separates into two liquids with different densities.