Challenges of protein identification by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry

The gold standard approach for identifying a protein is Western blot, which uses a primary antibody to recognize the target protein for subsequent visualization of the protein band by chemiluminescence. More recently, various mass spectrometry-based methods have been developed for the detection and identification of proteins.   These techniques could be classified into fragmentation-based methods … More Challenges of protein identification by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry

Endosymbiosis may have occurred more than once

Multiple theories exist to explain the occurrence of endosymbiosis, which is the leading theory outlining the sequence of events that led to the formation of modern cells. Specifically, modern cells are ancestral prokaryotic cells nestled within an eukaryotic host cell. For example, mitochondrion in cells have been identified as ancestral prokaryotic cells that evolved into … More Endosymbiosis may have occurred more than once

Computer modelling for fitting possible structures to diffraction data

Modern structural biology is a combination of diffraction experiments using X-rays or electron, and computer simulation for fitting possible structures to the diffraction data.   Specifically, after protein crystallization and determination of structure through X-ray diffraction or cryo-electron microscopy, the resulting data remains difficult to understand. Thus, molecular simulation tools such as molecular dynamics are … More Computer modelling for fitting possible structures to diffraction data

What is a super-Earth in exoplanet research?

Super Earth refers to planets with a rocky core that has a radius of between 1.5 to 2 of that of Earth. They represent a class of exoplanets of significant scientific interest given the possibility of Earth-like habitability with respect to life, and is a target for observation by both space-based and Earth-based observatories. Thus … More What is a super-Earth in exoplanet research?

Water footprint of food production

Water is a necessary resource for food production, but given increasing stress on water resources around the world, the concept of water footprint for food production becomes a relevant idea for thinking about economically and ecologically sustainable agriculture.   Specifically, through innovations in irrigation and development of food crops with less need for water during … More Water footprint of food production

Adsorptive membrane treatment technologies may not have a low energy footprint

Adsorption is a low energy water and wastewater treatment technology. Thus, would the combination of adsorption and membrane treatment technologies lead to a low energy treatment system? The answer depends on the pore size of the membrane used in adsorptive membrane technologies, where the membrane surface serves as adsorbent for the sorption of heavy metals … More Adsorptive membrane treatment technologies may not have a low energy footprint

Energy requirement of forward osmosis membrane processes may not be lower than that of reverse osmosis

Forward osmosis is a relatively new membrane process for wastewater treatment. Specifically, it entails the addition of a volatile solute (such as ammonium carbonate) to the permeate side of the membrane for inducing the diffusion of water molecules across the membrane down a water concentration gradient. The volatile solute would be subsequently removed from the … More Energy requirement of forward osmosis membrane processes may not be lower than that of reverse osmosis

Duration of incubation of agar plates for viable cell count

Viable cell count is a common technique for assessing the relative number of viable cells in a culture that could be coaxed to grow on agar plates after serial dilution using a suitable diluent such as phosphate buffer. In essence, viable cell count asks the question: what are the numbers of viable cells in a … More Duration of incubation of agar plates for viable cell count

Utility of molecular simulation in constraining possible mechanisms of macroscopic phenomenon

Molecular mechanisms underpin macroscopic phenomenon that we observe, but inability to visualize microscopic events for determining the mechanisms involved precluded scientists from pinpointing the exact mechanistic details of a phenomenon. However, contemporary molecular simulation tools and techniques such as molecular dynamics have attained the temporal and spatial resolution for informing possible mechanistic details of events … More Utility of molecular simulation in constraining possible mechanisms of macroscopic phenomenon