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

engineering chemistry covid-19 photonics sars-cov-2 quick-reads research-brief sensors biochemistry biomedical-research biomedical-engineering biosensors biological-sensor

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

placenta baby chemistry pregnancy blood oxygen mother biochemistry hemoglobin breathing breath fetus

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

dna chemistry health energy biology disease research biochemistry school-of-science

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

evolution chemistry biology plants research biochemistry school-of-science whitehead-institute department-of-energy-doe

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

chemistry sustainability energy solar biology food research biochemistry mit-energy-initiative

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