Designing less addictive opioids, through chemistry

While the COVID-19 pandemic raged on, the opioid epidemic got worse as drug overdose deaths soared. New research proposes a way to chemically modify opioids to reduce the risk of addiction.

Aaron W. Harrison, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Austin College • conversation
July 16, 2021 ~8 min

A tiny circular racetrack for light can rapidly detect single molecules

An optical sensor that can detect individual molecules promises early detection of diseases and environmental contamination.

Judith Su, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Optical Sciences, University of Arizona • conversation
Oct. 22, 2020 ~5 min

How does a baby 'breathe' while inside its mom?

A fetus needs oxygen long before its lungs work and it's exposed to the air. Some ingenious biochemistry explains how the mother's blood delivers it.

Julie Pollock, Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of Richmond • conversation
May 5, 2020 ~6 min

Newly discovered enzyme “square dance” helps generate DNA building blocks

MIT biochemists can trap and visualize an enzyme as it becomes active — an important development that may aid in future drug development.

Raleigh McElvery | Department of Biology • mit
March 30, 2020 ~5 min

Cracking a tough case

Whitehead Institute and MIT researchers uncover the detailed molecular structure of the sporopollenin polymer, an inert material key for the emergence of land plants.

Greta Friar | Whitehead Institute • mit
Dec. 17, 2018 ~7 min

Understanding how plants use sunlight

Studies of how photoprotection works at the molecular level may provide a pathway to more biomass and crops.

Nancy W. Stauffer | MIT Energy Initiative • mit
Dec. 4, 2018 ~14 min

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