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Cellulose nanocrystals possible ‘green’ wonder material

The same tiny cellulose crystals that give trees and plants their high strength, light weight and resilience, have now been shown to have the...

Potential food source from non-food plants

A team of Virginia Tech researchers has succeeded in transforming cellulose into starch, a process that has the potential to provide a previously untapped...

Overfertilizing corn undermines ethanol

Rice University scientists and their colleagues have found that when growing corn crops for ethanol, more means less. A new paper in today's online edition of the American Chemical Society's journal Environmental Science and Technology shows how ...

Scientists observe nanosize microtubules 'treadmilling' across plant cells

A study in the journal Science is offering new insights into a long-standing mystery about plant growth. The scientists who conducted the experiment say their results could open new avenues of research for developing more effective herbicides and pharmaceuticals. Plant biologists from Stanford University and the Carnegie Institution of Washington report their new findings in the April 24 online edition of Science Express. The researchers are the first to witness the birth and growth of individual "microtubules" ? nanosize tubes of protein that form inside living plant cells.

Smart polymers provide light-activated switch to turn enzymes on and off

Researchers have applied studies in how proteins bind with different molecules to create a molecular switch that enables them to turn an enzyme on and off. The innovation holds promise for a wide range of laboratory processes, including highly targeted drug therapies. The study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, describes a reversible switch for the enzyme endoglucanase in which light is the trigger for turning the switch on and off.

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