To have an effect, a molecule must bind to a receptor and trigger a signal. Studying a receptor's structure can give us insights about the way this triggering process works.
Capsaicin is a fascinating molecule that puts the "pep" into peppers. Curiously, the amount of capsaicin in a pepper is measured with a test devised in 1912 by Wilbur Scoville. Dried peppers are dissolved in alcohol, this liquid extract is diluted in water, and trained people determine the pepper's Scoville value by "tasting" the heat.
I really wonder how these people are recruited. I like hot ... Read more
On pinene and inhibiting enzymes. People of a certain age may remember a series of really funny commercials featuring Euell Gibbons and his famous question about whether you've ever eaten a pine tree. "Some parts are edible" said Euell. Perhaps some parts are, but other pine tree products aren't so nourishing. Crystallography365, aka @Crystal_in_city had a couple of fun blog posts about pinene, ... Read more
Today (4/25) is national DNA day. Digital World Biology™ is celebrating by sharing some of our favorite structures of DNA. We created these photos with Molecule World™ a new iPad app for viewing molecular structures.
As we are taught in school, the double stranded DNA molecule is a right-handed helix as determined by Watson and Crick using Franklin's x-ray diffraction images . This B- ... Read more