Caltech researchers use the "unnatural selection" of directed evolution to alter a bacterial enzyme

In a novel process that makes the evolution of species look like an engineering design contest, California Institute of Technology scientists have forced a bacterial strain to "evolve" a beta caratenoid enzyme . The evolved enzyme can carry out reactions that normally require other proteins and expensive agents. These reactions are important for making drugs and chemicals.

Egypt Honors Ahmed Zewail with Postal Stamps

Egypt has issued two postal stamps with the likeness of Ahmed Zewail, the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Physics and professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology. The stamps were issued in tribute to Zewail's scientific achievements. He was honored at a June 14 ceremony in Cairo, Egypt.

Richard Roberts Awarded Beckman Young Investigator Award

Dr. Richard Roberts, an assistant professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, has been named a Beckman Young Investigator by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation of Irvine, California.

Caltech Chemist, Alumnus Named To Institute of Medicine

Peter Dervan, chair of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, and David Ho, a Caltech trustee and graduate, have been elected members of the Institute of Medicine.

Researchers develop new plastic recording material that can be used to see through tissue without X rays

Researchers have recently achieved a certain amount of success in using laser light to see through scattering media such as human tissue. The new technology could eventually have medical applications in situations where X rays are ineffective or downright dangerous. Researchers develop new plastic recording materialthat can be used to see through tissue without X rays February 1998 98

Welch Award Honors Pioneer of New Chemistry Field

Dr. Ahmed H. Zewail, who has pioneered the field of femtochemistry, has been named the 1997 recipient of the Robert A. Welch Award in Chemistry. The Welch Foundation, based in Houston, annually presents the award, which consists of a $300,000 monetary prize, a certificate, and a gold medallion, to recognize outstanding contributions to chemistry for the betterment of humankind.

Caltech Scientists Invent Polymer For Detecting Blood Glucose

PASADENA— Scientists have designed a polymer that could vastly improve the way diabetics measure their blood glucose levels. The polymer is described in the current issue of Nature Biotechnology.

According to Dr. Frances Arnold, a professor of chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, the polymer is superior to the current enzyme-based glucose detectors because it is not of biological origin. The polymer will be easier to make and thus lead to cheaper and more reliable glucose sensors.

Caltech Chemists Design Molecule To Repair a Type of DNA Damage

PASADENA—Chemists have found a way to repair DNA molecules that have been damaged by ultraviolet radiation. The research is reported in the March 7, 1997, issue of the journal Science.

Engineers Demonstrate Technique for Crystallizing Proteins

PASADENA—Chemical engineers have successfully demonstrated a new method of crystallizing proteins, an important and notoriously difficult problem in biochemistry. The new approach is reported by researchers from Caltech and the University of Washington in the April 30 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Chemist Wins 1996 Grand Prize from la Maison de la Chimie

PASADENA—Caltech chemist Peter B. Dervan is a corecipient of the 1996 Grand Prix from the Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie, a French scientific society.

The prize is given each year to reward original work in chemistry that benefits humanity, life, society, or nature. Dervan shares the 1996 prize, which brings with it 150,000 French francs (about $30,000), with Professor Claude Hèléne of France's National Museum of Natural History.


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