Field of Science


1. A Nature News article on how scientists burnish their credentials online. The article describes a bizarre case where a researcher named Anil Potti who was recently accused of fabricating his credentials and research has gone to great lengths to try to salvage his reputation by creating multiple websites and posting trite banalities about his personal life.

3. Nature beats human beings...again. The first example of an enzyme that seems to be exclusively commited to catalyzing Diels-Alder reactions. Otto and Kurt would have been disappointed (or ecstatic, depending on how you see it).

4. The use of scaffold proteins to facilitate synthetic biology. This kind of work is hugely exciting. Whenever we discuss synthetic biology papers in our lab meetings, it's the only time when we feel like we have truly stepped into a time portal. The possibilities are endless, with the most practically exciting being the modular assembly of genes from different organisms to funnel reaction intermediates and produce virtually any natural or synthetic molecule we want on demand.


  1. Nice call on the Science paper - while I am sure I would have gotten around to noticing it, knowing my timeline, it would be November of this year.

    Disclaimer - I haven't picked through it just yet, I am starting my cycle of progressively more detailed skims. So if they mention this, well, I suppose I will be pleasantly surprised later on today.

    While the review focuses on eukaryotic systems, I see the same basic design principles in bacterial scaffolding proteins, one of which has become the object of my research affections. I think the point that the scaffolds themselves can be involved in the subsequent functionality is important - while they describe it in terms of serving as a coenzyme, one might also imagine situations where the scaffold propagates a conformational change from one protein to another. Another possibility is that it might be involved in recruiting additional complexes (or destabilizing a higher-order structure in which it is participating) to modulate a particular response.

  2. Indeed, exciting stuff, although it sounds much more like engineering than science to me.

  3. Perhaps it is, although I've always felt that much like synthetic chemistry can serve as a test of our understanding of chemistry, perhaps one day synthetic biology will begin to approach such maturity and development.

    Also, I've occasionally felt more like an engineer than a scientist more than once, although I'm certain part of that is due to repairing far too many NMR probes.....

  4. Hey. I have a question. Do you know of any good chemistry experiments? I am writing an extended essay in chemistry and we have to choose something that is not to known or to easy.


Markup Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i>italic</i> = italic
- <a href="">FoS</a> = FoS