The latest Orbital newsletter
Scott, Fox and Gibson develop 'metallohelical antifreezes'
A collaboration between the Fox, Scott and Gibson groups has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The team were inspired by how small helical antifreeze proteins in Nature enable extreomophiles to survive low temperatures, where other species would not survive. Rather than using traditional peptide/protein chemistry, the team used self-assembled metallohelicates which have similar dimensions to a small alpha helix, and found some which were remarkably potent at stopping ice crystal growth ; a major technological challenge in applications from wind farms, to aircraft to cryopreservation. Modelling studies showed that the underlying activity could be linked the patches of hydrophobicity (water liking) and hydrophobicity (water hating).
Read the paper here
GibsonGroup Science heads to Space!
On Saturday morning (east cost US time, Saturday night in UK), a team of students from Edgecombe Community College (Carolina, USA), in collaboration with NASA and NC space grant, will launch a student-lead high altitude baloon, including an experiment based on the GibsonGroups innovative cryopreservation science.
The balloon will be launched to 60 to 100,000 feet, so high that the curvature of the Earth will be clearly visible. It will contain experiments to track movement, altitude humitity and more, but also 1 additional science experiment. The students, lead by Jillian Leary approached Professor Gibson to ask if the GibsonGroup's unique ice-growth inhibiting polymers, inspired by Natures antifreeze proteins, could be included as an experiment to see how cells respond to the harsh high-altitude envirnoments. The polymers are design to stop ice crystals growing, and enables cells, which would otherwise need large volumes of toxic solvents to survive being frozen and stressed. This technology has the potential to revolutionise regenerative and transplantation medicine.
The launch will be streamed live on facebook https://www.facebook.com/EdgecombeCC/posts/?ref=page_internal