Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Coordination chemistry and neurodegenerative diseases

I think I've shared at least one paper by Chris Orvig before. This paper is a short review on the role of coordination chemistry in neurodegenerative diseases. As you know, many of these diseases are closely related with certain metal ions and I think inorganic (and bioinorganic) chemists are key people to help us understand more about these diseases. I hope one day an inorganic (or medicinal inorganic/bioinorganic) chemist makes a groundbreaking discovery and will never be forgotten for his contribution to medicine.

"Neurodegenerative diseases are capturing the world's attention as being the next set of diseases we must tackle collectively. Not only are the patients experiencing gradual cognitive and physical decline in most cases, but these diseases are fatal with no prevention currently available. As these diseases are progressive, providing care and symptom treatment for the ageing population is becoming both a medical and a financial challenge. This review discusses how Werner coordination chemistry plays a role in three diseases – those of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and prions. Metal ions are considered to be involved in these diseases in part via their propensity to cause toxic aggregation of proteins. First, the coordination of metal ions, with emphasis on copper(II), to metalloproteins that are hallmarks of these diseases – amyloid β, α-synuclein, and prion, respectively – will be discussed. We will present the current understanding of the metal coordination environments created by the amino acids of these proteins, as well as metal binding affinity. Second, a diverse set of examples of rationally designed metal chelators to outcompete this deleterious binding will be examined based on coordination mode and affinity toward bio-relevant metal ions. Overall, this review will give a general overview of protein and metal chelator coordination environments in neurodegenerative diseases. "

Friday, June 13, 2014

I miss my bike!

Due to the horrible weather around here and some technical problems, I still haven't started to ride my bike. I hope I can ride very soon.

"I  ride, I ride the winds that bring the rain
A creature of love and I can't be tamed"

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Grad school update

It's been 2.5 weeks since I started. The first week, I was exhausted when I got home. There were a few days that I fell asleep! I think I started to get better (especially physically) during the second week. This week, I am sure I am fit enough to think and plan the next day and conduct the experiments. I am now in a better position in terms of my personal schedule. I have just started to go back to reading my books and textbooks again. I am really happy that I started grad school early in the summer without even giving any break after my graduation from the college.

About research? I have been reading some literature and running experiments. Although I am having hard time to characterize my paramagnetic metal complexes, I am learning a lot. Overall, I like what I am doing and it totally makes sense.