Polymers in Meteorites Provide Clues to Early Solar System

Meteorites that do not experience high temperatures at any point in their existence provide a good record of complex chemistry present when or before our solar system was formed. So researchers have examined individual amino acids in these meteorites, many of which are not in present-day organisms. In Physics of Fluids, researchers show the existence of a systematic group of amino acid polymers across several members of the oldest meteorite class, the CV3 type.

Weizmann Institute of Science and Colleagues Show How Cancer Cells Hurt Themselves to Hurt Immune Cells More

Melanoma is skilled at evading therapies, with its cells going so far as to starve in order to stop the immune cells that would eradicate them. A team from the Weizmann Institute, including Prof. Yardena Samuels; the Netherlands Cancer Institute; and the University of Oslo have revealed one of melanoma’s tricks – never before seen in human cells – and a therapeutic target.

More turkey dinners for people with celiac disease?

An international team of researchers led by McMaster University has found that tryptophan, an amino acid present in high amounts in turkey, along with some probiotics, may help them heal and respond better to a gluten-free diet. The findings highlight the potential therapeutic value of targeting tryptophan metabolism in the gut in celiac disease to better control symptoms, despite the gluten-free diet, and accelerate intestinal healing.

Compressive shearing forces may jumpstart life on rocky moons and planets

Massive compressive shearing forces generated by the tidal pull of Jupiter-like planets on their rocky ice-covered moons may form a natural reactor that drives simple amino acids to polymerize into larger compounds. These extreme mechanical forces strongly enhance molecule condensation reactions, opening a new arena of possibilities for the chemical origins of life on Earth and other rock planets, according to new research from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Scientists Have Discovered the Origins of the Building Blocks of Life

Rutgers researchers have discovered the origins of the protein structures responsible for metabolism: simple molecules that powered early life on Earth and serve as chemical signals that NASA could use to search for life on other planets. Their study, which predicts what the earliest proteins looked like 3.5 billion to 2.5 billion years ago, is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Two Rutgers Professors Named Fellows of AAAS

Two Rutgers professors have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) this year, an honor awarded to AAAS members by their peers. They join 441 other AAAS members named new fellows because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. The fellows will be presented an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Feb. 15 at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2020 AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington.