Myrna Simpson Inaugural Recipient 2015 PM Huang Award
Myrna Simpson is the inaugural recipient of the PM Huang Award from the International Union of Soil Sciences. The Award was created to honor the long and productive career of Prof. Huang of the University of Saskatchewan and Myrna was selected for her work in soil organic matter – mineral – microbe interactions.
Interview with James Donaldson
Professor James Donaldson, who has been studying urban grime for more than a decade, recently presented new research detailing how urban grime releases smog-forming nitrogen oxide compounds when exposed to sunlight. This paper, co-authored with PhD student Alyson Baergen, has overturned the previously held notion that such compounds remain “trapped” in the grime. The research involved field studies in Toronto and Leipzig, Germany, and helps to explain why nitrous oxide (HONO) compounds have been recently reported in urban environments at higher levels than can be explained by current models. It has also shown, notes Donaldson, “that we do not understand urban air pollution as well as we had thought.” His research team is continuing to explore the chemistry occurring with sunlight and grime and are planning a similar study in Shanghai with colleagues at Fudan University, and are also undertaking a long-term study in Toronto. The story has captured the attention of international media and an interview with Donaldson is available at U of T News.
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Optimizing photo-control of bZIP coiled-coils by azobenzene
The cover picture shows a photoswitchable azobenzene cross-linked peptide (red) that acts as a dominant negative inhibitor of DNA binding by the transcription factor CREB (green). The DNA target is shown in white. G. A. Woolley and co-workers show that the largest degree of conformational control is obtained when the photoswitchable cross-linker is placed at the site of highest intrinsic helical propensity in the inhibitor.
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