Scientific Highlights

News and Highlights from research made possible by NMI3´s Access Programme

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14. February 2013

The rht net: an ideal blueprint for the construction of a metal–organic framework platform

Relationship between the Cu-paddlewheel MBB, the SBB, and their corresponding building units in the design strategy for the construction of rht-MOF-1 (courtesy of the authors)

The need for tunable functional solid-state materials is increasing because of the growing demand to address persisting challenges in global energy issues, environmental sustainability, and others. It is practical and preferable for such materials to be pre-designed and constructed to exhibit the desired properties and specific functionalities for a given targeted application. Read more

14. February 2013

Proteins perform without water

Myoglobin (red) exhibits biologically relevant dynamics, even when its hydration sphere is replaced by a polymer surfactant corona (grey) (courtesy of the authors)

The thin film of water around proteins, their hydration water, is vital to the macromolecule’s biological activity. It was believed that without hydration water, proteins would not only be incorrectly folded but also lack the conformational flexibility that animates their 3D structures and brings them to life. However, a team of scientists found out otherwise. Read more

14. February 2013

Towards a new tumour-specific contrast agent for MRI applications

Fig. 2 – Cryo-TEM image for systems composed by molecules b) + c)

By Luigi Paduano

Nowadays, it is estimated that cancer is responsible for about 25% of all deaths in industrialised countries, 8 million people worldwide. Scientific research is currently studying novel strategies (including drugs, therapies and devices) able to be successfully used in medicine, when early diagnosis and/or techniques like radiation therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, etc. have proved to be ineffective. Read more