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Journal of Postdoctoral Research (JPR) - Vol. 5, No. 7, July 2017
 
EDITORIAL: Metal Hydrides as Catalytic Intermediates
Sarah R. Soltau, Ph.D.
Metal Hydrides as Catalytic Intermediates: The Curious Case of Iron Carbonyl Clusters
Atefeh Taheri, Ph.D. and Louise A. Berben, Ph.D.
Chinese Anti-Corruption Policy Choices in a Transitional Stage
Zhaogang Qiao, Ph.D., and Ying Zhang, Ph.D.
Cyanobacterial biofactories: combining evolved and synthetic genetic regulatory mechanisms to yield carbon-neutral bioproducts
Logan A. Brand, and George W. Owttrim, Ph.D.
Research Highlight: Revealing molecular mechanism behind the effect of Zika Virus infection on neurodevelopment
Parikshit Bagchi, Ph.D. 
EDITORIAL: Developing Antibiotics with “Selfish DNA” Plasmids
Aparna Rao, PhD, and Somdutta Saha, PhD
Bacterial plasmid addiction systems and their implications for antibiotic drug development
Jennifer Tsang, PhD
Jadomycins: A Study of Their Synthesis and Biological Evaluation
Ehesan U. Sharif, PhD, and George A. O’Doherty, PhD
The many roles of TET1 in the post-implantation mouse embryo
Rita Khoueiry, PhD
Adipose triglyceride lipolysis - adding fuel to the fire
Vidisha Raje, PhD
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Author(s)
Sarah R. Soltau, Ph.D.
Address
Department of Chemical Sciences, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA 02325, United States
Abstract:

Metal hydrides are essential intermediates for many important processes in alternative energy production such as hydrogen (H2) production or H2 oxidation, electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbon based fuels, and the hydrogenation of CO2 and carbon monoxide.  These processes are the future of the alternative energy landscape and necessary developments to combat global climate change.  Development of catalysts that can be better tuned particular chemical reactions will increase the efficiency and success of the chemical processes necessarily for alternative energy production. The review by Drs. Taheri and Berben in this issue discusses the efforts to prepare catalysts that selectively perform CO2 reduction rather than favoring H2 production.  In their review, a selection of iron carbonyl cluster catalysts that vary in their ability to reduce CO2 or produce H2 based on their structure and hydricity are discussed (Taheri and Berben 2017).


Author(s)
Atefeh Taheri, Ph.D. and Louise A. Berben, Ph.D.
Address
Department of Chemistry, UC Davis, California 95616, United States
Abstract:

Here, we discuss recent efforts during the last 5 years for the development of molecular electrocatalysts involving metal hydride intermediates with particular attention to iron carbonyl clusters. This review begins with a brief description of thermodynamic properties (hydricity) of metal hydride intermediates and methods of hydricity measurements, specifically for iron carbonyl clusters. We then discuss two important reactions by iron carbonyl clusters relevant to solar fuel catalysis: electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 to formate and proton reduction to hydrogen. These examples are included because they provide valuable mechanistic insights into the design of catalysts that produce hydrogenated products selectively from CO2.


Author(s)
Zhaogang Qiao, Ph.D., and Ying Zhang, Ph.D.

Address
Community Training and Assistance Center, Boston. USA, and UMD, College Park. USA
Abstract:

With rapid economic development, corruption has become more and more serious in China. This paper has set up an optimal utility model to analyze the factors leading to corruption in China. The model illustrates how higher salary, lower income from corruption, lower preparation costs, higher probability and degree of punishment can help to reduce corruption. Considering these findings, this paper provided some policy discussions in the end.  


Author(s)
Logan A. Brand, and George W. Owttrim, Ph.D.
Address
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E9.
Abstract:

While cyanobacteria hold the promise of producing useful bioproducts from little more than sunlight and carbon dioxide, their economic feasibility hinges on developing better mechanisms to manipulate gene expression in order to divert photosynthate towards product formation. A recent report demonstrates how combining simple feedback loops can improve the dynamic range of target gene expression while utilizing progressively lower concentrations of chemical inducers. As an extension of this work, we propose that utilizing regulatory elements that respond to changing temperatures could circumvent the need for exogenous chemical inducers, maintaining low background expression under non-induced conditions, and enhancing dynamic range via temperature induction of cyanobacterial cultures on an industrial scale.


Author(s)
Parikshit Bagchi, Ph.D. 
Address
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, U of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Abstract:

During recent years, a member of Flaviviridae family named Zika virus emerged as a prominent human pathogen mostly because of its connection with neonatal microcephaly. While the effect of Zika virus infection on pregnant women especially neuronal development of fetus is well proven, the molecular mechanism behind this in cellular level was not understood. In a recent report in Science, Chavali et al. first time revealed the molecular mechanism behind the effect of Zika Virus Infection on neurodevelopment (Chavali et.al., 2017). 


Author(s)
Aparna Rao, PhD, and Somdutta Saha, PhD
Address
Dept. of Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA 15232, USA, 
Computational Biology, GSK R&D, 1250 South Collegeville Road, Pennsylvania 19426, USA
Abstract:

Plasmids are small circular double-stranded DNA molecules that are most commonly found in bacteria. They replicate independently of chromosomal DNA. Plasmids often encode genes that provide a survival advantage to the organisms(1). For instance, plasmids may carry genes that confer resistance to naturally occurring antibiotics, or may provide the organism the ability to selectively utilize particular nutrients that will aid in survival when food is scarce. However, the maintenance and replication of plasmids impose immense metabolic burden on the bacterial host, mainly in terms of reduced host growth and viability.


Author(s)
Jennifer Tsang, PhD
Address
Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Cente, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Abstract:

Bacteria frequently carry mobile genetic elements capable of being passed to other bacterial cells. An example of this is the transfer of plasmids (small, circular DNA molecules) that often contain antibiotic resistance genes from one bacterium to another. Plasmids have evolved mechanisms to ensure their survival through generations by employing plasmids segregation and replication machinery and plasmid addiction systems. Plasmid addiction systems utilize a post-segregational killing of cells that have not received a plasmid. In this review, the types of plasmid addiction systems are described as well as their prevalence in antibiotic resistant bacteria. Lastly, the possibility of targeting these plasmid addiction systems for the treatment of antibiotic resistant bacterial infections is explored.


Author(s)
Ehesan U. Sharif, PhD, and George A. O’Doherty, PhD
Address
Arcus Biosciences, 3928 Point Eden Way, Hayward, CA 94545, USA
Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02125, USA
Abstract:

Jadomycins are anticancer antibiotics isolated from Streptomyces venezuelae. The core of these natural products consists of a dihydro-phenanthridine ring-system. Another unique feature built to the core is a fused 1,3-oxazolidine-5-one ring. Recent synthetic reports suggest a structural revision of the fused oxazolidinone ring in jadomycin S and jadomycin T. This review will focus on the synthetic efforts leading to the structural revision, and the semisynthetic approaches to generate new jadomycin analogs and their biological activity.


Author(s)
Rita Khoueiry, PhD
Address
KU Leuven Department of Development and Regeneration, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.
Abstract:

The TET dioxygenases mediate DNA demethylation in pre-implantation embryos and in primordial germ cells, yet limited studies address their contribution to the global gain of DNA methylation following implantation. Here, we discuss our recent study revealing that Tet1 is expressed and functions non-redundantly in the early post-implantation mouse embryo. Ablating TET1 affects the methylation status of primed epiblast cells; however, the majority of gene expression regulation by TET1 seems to be independent of any gain or loss in methylation/hydroxymethylation due to TET1 omission. Interestingly, we reveal a gene repressive effect of TET1. Moreover, we show that loss of TET1 leads to developmental defects resulting in embryonic lethality with different penetrance depending on the genetic background of the mice.  


Author(s)
Vidisha Raje, PhD
Address
Department of Pharmacology, UVa, 1340 Jefferson Park Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA
Abstract:

Recent studies have shown the presence of functional brown adipose tissue (BAT) in adult humans and it role in thermogenesis. This study by Blondin et al published in Cell Metabolism shows that similar to rodents; adult human brown adipose tissue uses lipids as its cellular fuel during thermogenesis. Inhibition of triglyceride lipolysis was associated with a shift in the skeletal muscle mediated shivering instead and a shift in fuel utilization from lipids to glucose. This study provides yet another confirmatory role of a functional brown fat in adult humans that is fueled by fatty acids.

 
     
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