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144 SLAS2018 Scientific Podium Presentations Announced
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Following a robust call for abstracts and careful review of submissions, the SLAS2018 Scientific Committee announces that 144 podium presentations have been selected for SLAS2018, Feb. 3-7, San Diego. View descriptions and presenters in the SLAS2018 Event Scheduler, and begin to build your personal schedule. The scientific program is organized into 10 educational tracks, including new tracks for Biologics Discovery, Chemical Biology and High-Definition Biotechnology.

SLAS members who register by Oct. 31 save $300 on their registration fees. Not yet a member? Join now and secure member pricing and all member benefits through Dec. 31, 2018.
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Abstracts Due Oct. 14 for SLAS Technology Special Issue on the Internet of Things in the Laboratory
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SLAS Technology Guest Editors Jay Gill (consultant) and Erik Werner (University of California, Irvine) invite special issue manuscript proposals (abstracts) on the use of low cost microcontrollers to control laboratory apparatus; development of laboratory equipment using microcontrollers and inexpensive sensor technology; novel experiments made possible by the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology; cloud-based laboratory data analysis; applications related to monitoring laboratory process and equipment; uses of systems like Arduino or Raspberry Pi; development of software for IoT technology; combined use of IoT and 3D printing technologies to enable rapid prototyping in the laboratory.

Invited authors will be notified by Oct. 18, and final manuscripts are due Feb. 16, 2018. Read "Microcontrollers, the Internet of Things and Our Laboratories" in the SLAS Electronic Laboratory Neighborhood.
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SLAS Webinar Oct. 17: Detecting Small Molecule Non-Covalent Binders Utilizing SAMDI and the Bruker MALDI-TOF — Proof of Concept for a New Screening Format
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Erica C. VanderPorten, SLAS Discovery author and Genentech senior scientific researcher, presents her team's latest work to develop assays to support medicinal chemistry efforts, characterize and understand compound mechanism of action and investigate new lead finding technologies.

"Advances in technology afford the opportunity to revisit old challenges of detecting compound binding from mixtures," VanderPorten says. "We combined the ability of mass spectrometry to unambiguously identify and resolve compounds from complex mixtures of analytes with Self-Assembled Monolayers and matrix-assisted laser Desorption Ionization (SAMDI) technology."

Register for the live webinar (free to dues-paying members) on Oct. 17, and read her article ahead-of-print at SLAS Discovery OnlineFirst.
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SLAS ELN Reports: SLAS2018 Explores the Diversity of Chemical Biology
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"Chemical biology is indeed a very broad term," says Track Chair Jonathan O'Connell of the new educational track of the same name at SLAS2018. "When I think about the term, I think about it as chemicals (or compounds) driving our understanding of biology. This can mean a number of things but from a high level, traditional drug discovery has broadly focused on a biological hypothesis and then looked for compounds that modulate a specific target central to that hypothesis. Turning this around, one can look at a particular phenotype and try to find compounds that modulate it or one can take a very exploratory hypothesis and use tool molecules to validate the biological hypothesis. This is one aspect of chemical biology."

The Lab Man reports that Chemical Biology Track podium presenters represent Bristol-Myers Squibb, DiscoverX, GlaxoSmithKline, the National Institutes of Health, Nurix, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, X-Chem and more.
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Applications Due Dec. 11 for $100K SLAS Graduate Education Fellowship Grant
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"As a student starting my career, getting a fellowship like this is very encouraging," says Erik M. Werner, winner of the inaugural 2016 SLAS Graduate Education Fellowship Grant and member of the Elliot Hui Laboratory at the University of California, Irvine. "It is also a great opportunity for me to connect with other people and ideas in my field."

"The timing was critical and perfect in that I am looking to finish my Ph.D. soon and the grant will support this project through completion," says Julea Vlassakis, 2017 recipient and member of the Amy Herr Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. "I anticipate that it will open new opportunities."

The SLAS grant program facilitates educational opportunities for outstanding students pursuing graduate degrees related to quantitative biosciences and/or life sciences research and awards up to $50,000 per year, for a maximum of two years, to qualified educational institutions. Applications for the 2018 grant are due Dec. 11.
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CRISPR System Targets RNA in Mammalian Cells
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Back in 2016, scientists uncovered CRISPR proteins that bind and cleave single-stranded RNA, rather than DNA. Now, the same team from MIT has tweaked the system, called CRISPR-Cas13a, to work in mammalian cells. "Prior to CRISPR, RNAi was the holy grail with respect to ways to modulate gene expression," notes Mitchell O’Connell, who works on RNA-targeting CRISPR at the University of Rochester and who was not involved in the work. More


Molecular Mechanism for the (−)-Epigallocatechin Gallate-Induced Toxic to Nontoxic Remodeling of Aβ Oligomers
Journal of the American Chemical Society    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
(−)-Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) effectively reduces the cytotoxicity of the Alzheimer's disease β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) by remodeling seeding-competent Aβ oligomers into off-pathway seeding-incompetent Aβ assemblies. However, the mechanism of EGCG-induced remodeling is not fully understood. Here we combine 15N and 1H dark-state exchange saturation transfer (DEST), relaxation, and chemical shift projection NMR analyses with fluorescence, dynamic light scattering, and electron microscopy to elucidate how EGCG remodels Aβ oligomers. More




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CRISPR-Gold Fixes Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Mutation in Mice
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Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have engineered a new way to deliver CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology inside cells and have demonstrated in mice that the technology can repair the mutation that causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a severe muscle-wasting disease. A new study shows that a single injection of CRISPR-Gold, as the new delivery system is called, into mice with Duchenne muscular dystrophy led to an 18-times-higher correction rate and a two-fold increase in a strength and agility test compared to control groups. More


Scientists Control the Rate of Breaking and Fixing Dihydrogen Molecule
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Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. The dihydrogen molecule, with an H-H bond, is one of the simplest and most flexible in chemistry. Cleaving a dihydrogen bond to produce or store energy requires designing the catalyst with the perfect balance of properties to achieve the desired reactivity. In addition, the ability to get that molecule to reassemble itself and to control the rate of assembly and disassembly is important in the production of clean fuels. More


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Rapid Antibiotic Resistance Test Turns on the LAMP
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Looking back through antiquity, it's not difficult to imagine how many lives would have been spared horrible anguish and death if antibiotic drugs had been discovered sooner. Conversely, the overuse of those same compounds, starting at a much earlier date, would probably make microbial drug resistance even worse than the exponential rise we are currently witnessing. Many species of bacteria have evolved resistance to commonly used antibiotics, and multidrug-resistant bacteria — so-called superbugs — have emerged, plaguing hospitals and nursing homes. More


People May Expect More Side Effects From Pricier Drugs
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The placebo effect, in which a patient's expectations lead them to experience the benefits of a treatment despite not actually receiving an active drug, has an evil twin: the nocebo effect. Scientists don't know as much about this less pleasant effect, in which patients' negative expectations cause them to experience adverse side effects, mostly because of the ethical challenges of designing experiments that induce bad outcomes on purpose. More




Working Safely with Fentanyl in the Lab
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With the fentanyl crisis still ongoing across North America, there is an increased need for testing for this dangerous substance in many forensic labs. However, breathing in just a little fentanyl can be fatal, meaning workers in such labs must take special precautions to stay safe. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, for example, isn't taking any chances with its forensic laboratory staff, as reported in a recent Fox 5 story. More


Surrounded by Potential: New Science in Converting Biomass
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In every plant — from trees to crops — there exists a substance that makes up its wood or stems, fiber, and cell walls. This substance is a complex natural polymer called lignin, and it is the second largest renewable carbon source on the planet after cellulose. This natural abundance has drawn high interest from the research community to chemically convert lignin into biofuels. More


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